Children’s Use of Touchscreen Virtual Manipulatives and Drawing Tools When Solving Fraction Problems
Abstract: As technological innovation advances, how mobile apps can shape children’s mathematics learning has remained an open question. This qualitative study drew on task-based interviews to explore how children used touchscreen virtual manipulatives (VMs) and drawing tools when engaged with fraction problems. Provided with iPad tablets, four 2nd and 3rd graders worked in pairs to solve a set of tasks with a fraction app. The findings suggest the following. First, the children could collaborate in figuring out features in the app and solving fraction problems on the tablet interface. Second, the children were better able to intuitively think about equal sharing and partitioning with free drawing tools than the provided VMs. Finally, the implications of using the fraction app in elementary classrooms were discussed further.
Presider: Hochieh Lin