Preparing Faculty to Teach with Technology

Nina Bailey
Graduate Research Assistant
University of North Carolina Charlotte

Need: NCTM (2015), AMTE (2017), and CBMS (2012) have all pointed to the importance of preparing secondary mathematics teachers [PSMTs] to teach using mathematical action technologies (e.g., CODAP, Desmos, GeoGebra). However, a recent nationwide survey of accredited PSMT preparation programs found that while most programs do integrate technology in at least one course for PSMTs, many do not include opportunities to engage with a variety of mathematical action technologies and two programs reported that they do not include technology at all. In addition, responses to open ended questions indicated that faculty expertise is one of the reasons mathematical action technologies are not used more widely (Authors et al., 2020).

Guiding Question: In what ways might a workshop designed for university faculty that teach mathematics, statistics, and mathematics education methods courses for PSMTs help address this issue?

Outcomes: A 6-day virtual workshop on teaching undergraduate courses for PSMTs with mathematical action technologies was conducted. The workshop provided opportunities for faculty who teach mathematics, statistics, and methods courses to learn about technologies that are appropriate for use in their courses and are commonly used in secondary schools. An overarching goal was to support the development of faculty self-efficacy for using the technologies and self-efficacy for using the technologies in their instruction. Seventy participants representing 52 universities across 31 states participated in the workshop. Participants each completed a pre- and post- self-efficacy survey. Participants rated their self-efficacy using the technologies presented in the workshop sessions for themselves as well as teaching with the indicated technologies. Findings indicate that participants began the workshop with low self-efficacy for using and teaching with the newer technologies commonly used in secondary schools today, while some reported higher levels of self-efficacy (and experience with) older technologies (e.g., TI-84 graphing calculator). All items for both the self-efficacy for using the technology tools and self-efficacy for teaching with the technology tools demonstrated improvement pre to post with moderate to large effect sizes (p-value <.001). In a follow up survey administered the subsequent semester, 30 of the 44 participants who responded noted they used at least one of the technologies in their instruction during the semester directly following the workshop. Those that reported they have not yet incorporated any of the technologies into their instruction typically noted this was because it was “not applicable” in their current courses, but planned to use it the following semester.

Broader Impacts: This workshop increased the knowledge and self-efficacy of 70 MTEs, who typically teach 30 PSMTs per year, thus we anticipate reaching approximately 1,800 PSMTs per year. If those PSMTs have future classrooms with an average of 25 students and teach 5 classes per day (a conservative estimate), then we will have reached approximately 225,000 high students in the first year the PSMTs enter the classroom. This broad reach has great potential to influence the STEM pipeline and does not account for the MTEs sharing their knowledge with colleagues.


Allison W. McCulloch, University of North Carolina Charlotte, Charlotte, NC; Jennifer Lovett, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN; Kristen Fye, University of North Carolina Charlotte, Charlotte, NC