Computer as the sole drawing tool and school results in geometry

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Jiri Vanicek
Josef Lombart


A factor that plays a significant role in the effective use of information technologies is the teacher's belief regarding the appropriateness and usefulness of such teaching. The research presented here addresses the following question: How does replacing ruler and compass constructions with constructions using Geogebra impact the geometrical knowledge of school-aged students? Twelve year-old subjects from six different schools worked through identical, 8-day geometry units. After each unit was completed, students took two tests - one focusing on pencil-and-paper drawing (i.e., the drawing test), the other consisting of short answers (i.e., the non-drawing test). We present the content of our teaching experiment while discussing the promise and the perils of an GeoGebra-centered approach to classic geometry constructions. We also share data gathered from a teacher attitudinal survey. Our research suggests that a teacher's perception of efficiency of GeoGebra use depends on beliefs regarding geometry as either practical drawing or, alternatively, as the study of shapes and space in the world.

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