Exploring grade five learners’ perceptions on the use of technology when learning fractions in one grade five class in the iLembe District of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.
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Teaching and learning that incorporates the use of a digital device is becoming popular at institutions of learning all around the globe. This research study examined the perceptions of one class of Grade 5 learners on the use of technology when learning fractions in mathematics. The socio-constructivist theory was used as a framework to frame this study. The study employed the qualitative research approach so as to generate rich, descriptive data. The qualitative research approach was ideally suited to this research study, since the involvement and experiences of the participants formed the core structure of the research itself. Answers to the research questions, analysis of data and conclusions drawn at the end of the study were all constructed from the interpretations and experiences of the learners who participated in the study. By linking this study to the interpretive paradigm I was able to further probe into the perceptions of the participants by asking a series of questions based in a focus group interview schedule. From the focus group interviews and observations it became apparent that the use of technology had a positive impact on the learning of fractions. Learners seemed to be unanimous in their conclusion that the intervention of technology had prompted learners to become more interested in the task and their engagement in the activities was deeper, thus making fractions seem easier and more accessible. As we embrace the infiltration of the fourth industrial revolution, it is imperative that teaching styles at schools are transformed to incorporate an innovative, technological dimension to the learning process.