Digital education leadership mission statement (EDTC 6101)


My mission, as a digital education leader and future college mathematics instructor, is to be a resource of knowledge about technological tools and ethical considerations regarding technology for my colleagues and students. To do this, I need to be fluent in both the common and research-based technologies used in mathematics education, and in the research and debates surrounding the ways in which we – as people – use (or don’t use) technology. Digital citizenship is a concept that relates respecting, educating, and protecting yourself and others while in an online world (Ribble, 2013). Increasingly, technology is integrated into our lives, and I believe that being a thoughtful digital citizen is as important as being a thoughtful citizen of the physical world. Since digital citizenship doesn’t start or end with mathematics-related technology, it will be my ongoing mission to model being a good digital citizen and to keep my eyes open for opportunities to promote critical thinking about digital citizenship in a global, online community (ISTE, 2016, 5c).

Guiding Principles

Equity and equal access: As the mathematics community works towards equity in the classroom, it is important to understand if and how the technologies used in the classroom advantage some populations of students over others. While equal access to classroom technologies is a must (ISTE, 2016, 5a), it is imperative to also consider if the technologies promote equal access to the mathematics. For example, there is a large body of research around whether or not the use of calculators and other mathematical software disadvantages the performance of female mathematics students. The literature shows mixed results: often males outperform females (e.g. Forgasz & Tan, 2010), sometimes females outperform males (e.g. Lyublinskaya & Tournaki, 2011), or no difference is found (e.g. Munger & Loyd, 1989). As a future mathematics instructor, it is my goal to know what research has been done on equity and the use of technology in the classroom, and to think carefully about the technologies I choose to use in my own classroom.

Ethical use: As calculators and computers become better at symbolic computation, educators must think carefully about how to address the use of tools like WolframAlpha and Photomath. Copying mathematical solutions from a source like WolframAlpha is not technically a copyright issue, but it does fall under the ethical issue of presenting unoriginal work as your own. James’ research shows that while many young people don’t consider the ethical issues around presenting unoriginal work as their own (instead, focusing primarily on the consequences of such actions), they are capable of considering the moral and ethical dilemmas, but “need support from adults in order to do so” (James & Jenkins, 2014, p. 71). As a mathematics instructor, it will be my goal to use this opportunity to engage students in a conversation around the ethical use (ISTE, 2016, 5b) of computation software, and to promote the value of the learning process over and above “the right answer.”

Interactive-engagement: In physics, there are many names for instructional strategies that don’t look like “traditional” instruction; e.g., Hake’s (1998) term “interactive-engagement,” or Henderson and Dancy’s (2009) term “research-based instructional strategies” (RBIS). It is well documented in physics education that interactive-engagement methods and specific RBIS often lead to equal or higher gains in student achievement on conceptual understanding inventories of physics topics like the Force Concept Inventory and the Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation (Crouch & Mazur, 2001; Finkelstein & Pollock, 2005; Hake, 1998). Two of the most common RBIS, Peer Instruction and Just-in-Time Teaching (Henderson et al., 2009), make use of technology to reform their curriculum. Peer Instruction uses clicker questions to encourage students to work together on conceptual questions throughout lecture (Mazur, 1997), and Just-in-Time Teaching uses online pre-class reading assignments to allow the instructor to adjust the day’s lesson to meet the needs of the students (Novak, 2006). It will be my goal as a mathematics instructor to know what technologies and RBIS can be used to implement interactive-engagement instructional strategies in a mathematics classroom.


Crouch, C. H., & Mazur, E. (2001). Peer Instruction: Ten years of experience and results. American Journal of Physics, 69, 970-977.

Finkelstein, N. D., & Pollock, S. J. (2005). Replicating and understanding successful innovations: Implementing tutorials in introductory physics. Physical Review ST Physics Education Research, 1(1), 1-13.

Forgasz, H., & Tan, H. (2010). Does CAS use disadvantage girls in VCE mathematics? Australian Senior Mathematics Journal, 24(1), 25-36. Retrieved from

Hake, R. R. (1998). Interactive-engagement versus traditional methods: A six-thousand-student survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics courses. American Journal of Physics, 66, 64-74.

Henderson, C., & Dancy, M. H. (2009). Impact of physics education research on the teaching of introductory quantitative physics in the United States. Physical Review ST Physics Education Research, 5(2), 1-9.

ISTE: International Society for Technology in Education. 2016. 5: Digital citizenship. ISTE standards for coaches. Retrieved from

James, C., & Jenkins, H. (2014). Disconnected: Youth, new media, and the ethics gap. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Lyublinskaya, I., & Tournaki, N. (2011). The effect of teaching and learning with Texas Instruments handheld devices on student achievement in algebra. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 30(1), 5-35. Retrieved from

Mazur, E. (1997). Peer instruction: A user’s manual. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc.

Munger, G. F., & Loyd, B. H. (1989). Gender and attitudes toward computers and calculators: Their relationship to math performance. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 5(2), 167-177.

Novak, G. (2006). What is Just-in-Time Teaching? Retrieved from

Ribble, M., & Miller, T. N. (2013). Educational leadership in an online world: Connecting students to technology responsibly, safely, and ethically. Journal of asynchronous learning networks, 17(1), 137-145. Retrieved from

Rourke, L., Anderson, T., Garrison, D. R., & Archer, W. (2007). Assessing social presence in asynchronous text-based computer conferencing. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education, 14(2), 50-71. Retrieved from

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