Mathematics Education Research Journal

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 123–147 | Cite as

Showing and telling: using tablet technology to engage students in mathematics

  • Naomi IngramEmail author
  • Sandra Williamson-Leadley
  • Keryn Pratt
Original Paper


This paper reports on a qualitative investigation into the use of Show and Tell tablet technology in mathematics classrooms. A Show and Tell application (app) allows the user to capture voice and writing or text in real time. Described here are the perceptions of 11 teachers during and after their exploration into the use of Show and Tell in their primary and secondary classrooms. These perceptions were used to evaluate Show and Tell tablet technology against a framework of student engagement and effective pedagogy. The results of the study indicated that the teachers perceived both the level and the quality of the students’ engagement were high. Using Show and Tell apps enabled the teachers to enact effective pedagogy within their classroom practices. Importantly, through the use of Show and Tell recordings, students’ thinking became visible to themselves, their teachers and other students in the class. This thinking then formed the basis of robust discussions and negotiation about the mathematical concepts and the strategies the students used to solve problems.


Tablet Mathematics learning Engagement Reflection Show and Tell 



We would like to express our warm thanks to the teachers involved in the research project for their creativity and the time they spent in implementing Show and Tell in their classroom. We would also like to thank the Division of Humanities, University of Otago, for their contribution towards this project with the awarding of the Humanities Research Grant.


  1. Anthony, G., & Walshaw, M. (2007). Effective pedagogy in mathematics/pāngarau: Best Evidence Synthesis iteration (BES). Wellington: Ministry of Education.Google Scholar
  2. Anthony, G., & Walshaw, M. (2009). Effective pedagogy in mathematics (Vol. 19). Belgium: International Academy of Education.Google Scholar
  3. Attard, C., & Curry, C. (2012). Exploring the use of iPads to engage young students with mathematics. In J. Dindyal, L. P. Cheng, & S. F. Ng (Eds.), Mathematics education: expanding horizons. Proceedings of the Thirty-Fifth Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. (MERGA-35) (pp. 75–82). Singapore: MERGA.Google Scholar
  4. Attard, C., & Northcote, M. (2011). Teaching with technology: mathematics on the move: using mobile technologies to support student learning (part 1). Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 16(4), 29–31.Google Scholar
  5. Attard, C., & Orlando, J. (2014). Early career teachers, mathematics and technology: device conflict and emerging mathematical knowledge. In J. Anderson, M. Cavanagh, & A. Prescott (Eds.), Curriculum in focus: Research guided practice. Proceedings of the Thirty-Seventh Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. (MERGA-37) (pp. 71–78). Sydney: MERGA.Google Scholar
  6. Bennison, A., & Goos, M. (2010). Learning to teach mathematics with technology: a survey of professional development needs, experiences and impacts. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 22(1), 31–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Branch, J. (2006). Using think alouds, think afters, and think togethers to research adolescents’ inquiry experiences. The Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 52(3), 148–159.Google Scholar
  8. Burden, K., Hopkins, P., Male, T., Martin, S., & Trala, C. (2012). iPad Scotland evaluation. University of Hull,[online] Available at: Scholar
  9. Calder, N. (2011). Processing mathematics through digital technologies: the primary years. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cavanagh, M., & Mitchelmore, M. (2011). Learning to teach secondary mathematics using an online learning system. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 23(4), 417–435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Clark, W., & Luckin, R. (2013). What the research says: iPads in the classroom. Retrieved from Scholar
  12. DeBellis, V. A., & Goldin, G. A. (2006). Affect and meta-affect in mathematical problem solving: a representative perspective. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 63, 131–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Educreations. (2014). from
  14. Ericsson, K., & Simon, H. (1999). Protocol analysis: Verbal reports as data (3rd ed.). Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  15. Goos, M., Galbraith, P., & Geiger, V. (2000). Reshaping teacher and student roles in technology-enriched classrooms. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 12, 303–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Goos, M., Soury-Lavergene, S., Assude, T., Brown, J., Kong, C. M., Glover, D., & Sinclair, M. (2010). Teachers and teaching: theoretical perspectives and issues concerning classroom implementation. In C. Hoyles & J.-B. Lagrange (Eds.), Mathematics education and technology—rethinking the terrain (The 17th ICMI study) (pp. 311–328). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  17. Hannula, M. S., Evans, J., Philippou, G., & Zan, R. (2004). Affect in mathematics education—exploring theoretical frameworks. In Proceedings of the Twenty-Eighth Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (Vol. 1, pp. 107–136). Bergen: PME.Google Scholar
  18. Haugland, S. (1999). The newest software that meets the developmental needs of young children. Early Childhood Education Journal, 26(4), 245–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Haydon, T., Hawkins, R., Denune, H., Kimener, L., McCoy, D., & Basham, J. (2012). A comparison of iPads and worksheets on math skills of high school students with emotional disturbance. Behavioral Disorders, 37(4), 232–243.Google Scholar
  20. Ingram, N. (2011). Affect and identity: the mathematical journeys of adolescents (PhD doctoral dissertation). New Zealand: University of Otago.Google Scholar
  21. Ingram, N. (2013). Mathematical engagement skills. In V. Steinle, L. Ball, & C. Bardini (Eds.), Mathematics education: yesterday, today and tomorrow. Proceedings of the Thirty-Sixth Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. (MERGA-36) (pp. 442–449). Melbourne: MERGA.Google Scholar
  22. Ingram, N., Williamson-Leadley, S., Parker, K., & Bedford, H. (2015). Using Show and Tell tablet technology in mathematics. In R. Averill (Ed.), Mathematics and statistics in the middle years: evidence and practice (pp. 18–34). Wellington: NZCER.Google Scholar
  23. Joubert, M. (2013). Using digital technologies in mathematics teaching: developing an understanding of the landscape using three “grand challenge” themes. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 82(3), 341–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Joyce, B., & Showers, B. (2002). Student achievement through staff development. Alexandria: Association for supervision and curriculum development.Google Scholar
  25. Karo-Ljungberg, M, Douglas, E, McNeill, N, Terriault, D, Malcom, Z. (2012). Re-conceptualising and de-centering think-aloud methodology in qualitative research. Qualitative Research.
  26. Koehler, M., & Mishra, P. (2009). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge? Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 60–70.Google Scholar
  27. Larkin, K. (2013). Mathematics education: is there an app for that? In V. Steinle, L. Ball, & C. Bardini (Eds.), Mathematics education: yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Proceedings of the Thirty-Sixth Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. (MERGA-36) (pp. 426–433). Melbourne: MERGA.Google Scholar
  28. Larkin, K. (2014). iPad apps that promote mathematical knowledge?: Yes, they exist! Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 19(2), 28.Google Scholar
  29. Lingard, B., Hayes, D., & Mills, M. (2003). Teachers and productive pedagogies: contextualising, conceptualising, utilising. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 11(3), 399–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Loucks-Horsley, S., Stiles, K., Mundry, S., Love, N., & Hewson, P. (2011). Designing professional development for teachers of science and mathematics (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Corwin.Google Scholar
  31. Merriam, S. B. (1998). Qualitative research and case study applications in education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  32. Ministry of Education. (2008). Book 7: Teaching fractions, decimals and percentages, Revised edition 2008 (Draft). Wellington: Ministry of Education.Google Scholar
  33. Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: a framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017–1054.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Op ‘t Eynde, P. (2004). A socio-constructivist perspective on the study of affect in mathematics education. Paper presented at the 28th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. Bergen, Norway.Google Scholar
  35. Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  36. Pierce, R., & Ball, L. (2009). Perceptions that may affect teachers’ intention to use technology in secondary mathematics classrooms. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 71, 299–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pottier, P., Hardouin, J.-B., Hodges, B., Pistorius, M.-A., Connault, J., Durant, C., & Planchon, B. (2010). Exploring how students think: a new method combining think-aloud and concept mapping protocols. Medical Education, 44, 926–935.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Serow, P., Callingham, R., & Muir, T. (2014). Primary mathematics: capitalising on ICT for today and tomorrow. Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Williams, S. R., & Ivey, K. M. C. (2001). Affective assessment and mathematics classroom engagement: a case study. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 47, 75–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Williamson-Leadley, S., & Ingram, N. (2013). Show and tell: using iPads for assessment in mathematics. Computers in New Zealand Schools: Learning, Teaching, Technology, 25(1-3), 117–137.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Inc. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naomi Ingram
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sandra Williamson-Leadley
    • 1
  • Keryn Pratt
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Otago College of EducationDunedinNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations