Authentic use of ICT in Mathematics

In this digital age, young people need to be highly skilled in the use of ICT since it has redefined the way in which people share, use, develop and process information technology (Australian Education Council, 2008).

In terms of implications for mathematics, the rapid and continuing advances in digital technologies have facilitated the expansion of ideas and provide new tools for mathematical exploration and invention (Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority [VCAA], 2016). But mathematics is just as necessary to technology as technology is to mathematics; Mathematics has a fundamental role in both enabling and sustaining cultural, social, economic, and technological advances and empowering individuals to become critical citizens (Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority [VCAA], 2016).

In order for students to reach a level through which they are engaged in critical thinking, the most important thing that research proposes is that what really matters is not the use of technology, but rather, how it is used (Goldenberg, 2000). In his book, Jonassen (2000) claims that the most effective uses of technology in classrooms are for accessing information and interpreting, organising and representing personal knowledge. Jonassen denotes such applications that achieve these criteria as Mindtools while Goldenberg (2000) defines them as ‘Mathematical Idea-Processors’.

There is a prominent theme in the literature that declares technology usage must fit the purpose and problems posed by the task (Goldenberg, 2000; Sarama & Clements, 2006). In order to aid the educator in developing authentic uses of technology, Puentedura (2015) created the SAMR model. His model attempts to associate its ladder rungs, Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition, with the multiple levels of Bloom’s revised taxonomy, and thus encourage a transition from lower-order to higher-order thinking (Anderson, Krathwohl, & Bloom, 2001).

This rationale for technology use in mathematics has attempted to position the student at the centre of the process through enabling them to actively create and make meaning through its application.


Anderson, L. W., Krathwohl, D. R., & Bloom, B. S. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives: Allyn & Bacon.

Australian Education Council. (2008). Melbourne Declaration on Education Goals for Young Australians: Canberra: MCEETYA.

Goldenberg, E. P. (2000). Thinking (and talking) about technology in math classrooms. Issues in Mathematics Education, 1-8.

Jonassen, D. H. (2000). Chapter 1 What are Mindtools? Computers as mindtools for schools : engaging critical thinking: Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Merrill, 2000. 2nd ed.

Puentedura, R. R. (2015). The SAMR Model and Digital Learning.  Retrieved from

Sarama, J., & Clements, D. H. (2006). Mathematics, young students, and computers: Software, teaching strategies and professional development. The Mathematics Educator, 9(2), 112-134.

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority [VCAA]. (2016). Mathematics.   Retrieved from

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