Implementation of Tool-Based Mathematics Lesson: A Duo of Material and Digital Tools

  • Huey Lei
  • Yip Cheung Chan
  • Allen Leung
Conference paper
Part of the Educational Communications and Technology Yearbook book series (ECTY)


This paper reports a case study on the implementation of a tool-based mathematics lesson. The design of a tool-based task and the implementation and evaluation of mathematics lessons were analyzed in the lens of a theoretical framework underpinning a duo interplay of material tools and digital tools serving as teaching and learning aids. It was found that material tools and digital tools serve different functions in the manipulation processes. The tools played different roles in the tool-based learning environment where students develop mathematics senses with interplay of the tools.


Duo of material and digital tools Tool-based task design Tool of semiotic mediation 



This study is supported by General Research Fund (Project number GRF12404614), University Grant Committee, Hong Kong SAR.


  1. Arzarello, F., & Robutti, O. (2010). Multimodality in multi-representational environments. ZDM – The International Journal on Mathematics Education, 42, 715–731.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bartolini Bussi, M. G., Corni, F., Mariani, C., & Falcade, R. (2012). Semiotic mediation in mathematics and physics classrooms: Artifacts and signs after a Vygotskian approach. Electronic Journal of Science Education, 16(3), 6.Google Scholar
  3. Bartolini Bussi, M. G., & Mariotti, M. A. (2008). Semiotic mediation in the mathematics classroom: Artifacts and signs after a Vygotskian perspective. In L. English, M. Bartolinin Bussi, G. Jones, R. Lesh, & D. Tirosh (Eds.), Handbook of international research in mathematics education (2nd ed., pp. 746–805). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  4. Haspekian, M. (2005). An “instrumental approach” to study the integration of a computer tool into mathematics teaching: The case of spreadsheets. International Journal of Computers for Mathematical Learning, 10(2), 109–141. Scholar
  5. Leung, A. (2015). Designing tool-based task in the teaching of school mathematics. International Journal for Cross-Disciplinary Subjects in Education, 5(1), 2458–2462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Maschietto, M., & Soury-Lavergne, S. (2013). Designing a duo of material and digital artifacts: The Pascaline and Cabri Elem e-book in primary school mathematics. ZDM: The International Journal on Mathematics Education, 45(7), 959–971.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Norman, D. A. (1993). Things that make us smart: Defending human attributes in the age of the machine. New York: Perseus Press.Google Scholar
  8. Rabardel, P. (2002). People and technology: A cognitive approach to contemporary instruments. [English translation of Les hommes et les technologies: une approche cognitive des instruments contemporains]. Paris: Amand Colin.Google Scholar
  9. Trouche, L. (2005). An instrumental approach to mathematics learning in symbolic calculators environments. In D. Guin, K. Ruthven, & L. Trouche (Eds.), The didactical challenge of symbolic calculators: Turning a computational device into a mathematical instrument (pp. 137–162). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Yin, R. K. (2012). Applications of case study research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huey Lei
    • 1
  • Yip Cheung Chan
    • 2
  • Allen Leung
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Education StudiesHong Kong Baptist UniversityHong Kong SARChina
  2. 2.Department of Curriculum and InstructionThe Chinese University of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina

Personalised recommendations