Debate and argument centred on the projected display of a graphics calculator: Examples of instrumented activity

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences


School of Education




Forster, P. A. (2002). Debate and Argument Centred on the Projected Display of a Graphics Calculator: Examples of Instrumented Activity. In Multimedia for the advancement of mathematics: Proceedings of Asian Technology Conference in mathematics.


This paper considers ‘instrumented activity’ in relation to the introduction of vector calculus in a Year 12 class. The first lesson on the vector topic is described where the display from a student’s graphics calculator was relayed onto the whiteboard via an overhead projector and other students used their own calculators. An episode of whole-class discussion from the second lesson is presented during which the teacher connected his own calculator to the overhead panel. Students referred to the display as they suggested a variety of approaches for solving quadratic equations and argued about the efficiency of calculator and calculus methods. The paper identifies appropriation by students of their graphics calculators for effective problem solving and identifies how the projected display from a calculator can enhance learning.

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