, Volume 42, Issue 7, pp 667–681 | Cite as

Handheld technology for mathematics education: flashback into the future

  • Luc TroucheEmail author
  • Paul Drijvers
Original Article


In the 1990s, handheld technology allowed overcoming infrastructural limitations that had hindered until then the integration of ICT in mathematics education. In this paper, we reflect on this integration of handheld technology from a personal perspective, as well as on the lessons to be learnt from it. The main lesson in our opinion concerns the growing awareness that students’ mathematical thinking is deeply affected by their work with technology in a complex and subtle way. Theories on instrumentation and orchestration make explicit this subtlety and help to design and realise technology-rich mathematics education. As a conclusion, extrapolation of these lessons to a future with mobile multi-functional handheld technology leads to the issues of connectivity and in- and out-of-school collaborative work as major issues for future research.


Mathematics education Handheld technology Instrumentalisation Instrumentation Orchestration 


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Copyright information

© FIZ Karlsruhe 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INRP (National Institute for Pedagogical Research)LyonFrance
  2. 2.Freudenthal Institute for Science and Mathematics EducationUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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