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Computer Attitude, Use, Experience, Software Familiarity and Perceived Pedagogical Usefulness: The Case of Mathematics Professors

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Author(s): Yushau, B.

Journal: Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education
ISSN 1305-8223

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2006;
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Keywords: Computer Attitudes | Computer Use | Computer Experience | Computer Usefulness | Mathematics | Software Familiarity | Mathematics Professors.

ABSTRACT
As the pedagogical-effectiveness of information technology (IT) in mathematics education is carefully established the topic of discourse among mathematicians and mathematics educators is no longer a dispute about whether or not to use IT in the teaching and learning of mathematics but a shift to some debate about the when and how of its usage. Under this dispensation, both researchers and educators have emphasized the role that teachers’ attitudes toward information technology play as a crucial factor in the successful use of computers in the teaching and learning of mathematics. In this paper, we seek to study and examine the attitude of mathematics professors toward computers. In addition, the paper also investigates the effects of age and computer experience on computer attitude, usage, software familiarity, and perceived pedagogical usefulness. The broader perspective of the paper has drawn its input from more than fifty five percent (55%) of the mathematical sciences faculty of King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals who participated in a survey conducted as feedback for the paper. Measurement tools deployed in this regard were a slightly modified Computer Attitude Scale (CAS) by Loyd and Gressard (1984), and the Pedagogical Use (PU) unit of the Computer Attitude Scale for Teachers (CAST) by Yuen and Ma (2001). The acquired data was analyzed using an analysis of variance (ANOVA). Although both ANOVA and Duncan multiple comparison revealed that Age and computer experience did not affect attitudes towards computers and their pedagogical usefulness, the raw data nonetheless does show some trend towards that. From the result, one can conclude that mathematics professors not only have positive attitude towards computers, but seems convinced of the positive role that computers can play in the teaching and learning of mathematics. The only aggravating factor is the technical know-how and concomitant experience that are essential in guiding pedagogical activities towards effective and proper utilization of these technologies
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