Original Research

Prospective teachers’ cognitive engagement during virtual teaching in the time of COVID-19 using ICT: the case of GeoGebra and Desmos

Solomon A. Tesfamicael
Pythagoras | Vol 43, No 1 | a691 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/pythagoras.v43i1.691 | © 2022 Solomon A. Tesfamicael | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 March 2022 | Published: 04 November 2022

About the author(s)

Solomon A. Tesfamicael, Department of Teacher Education, Faculty of Social and Education Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway


This article focuses on teacher educators’ reflections on prospective teachers’ cognitive engagement in the teaching and learning of mathematics during the pandemic. Using three interacting aspects that can foster learners’ cognitive engagement as a lens, observations and reflections from two teacher educators and anonymous screenshots of students’ work were gathered and analysed by a mathematics teacher educator. The prospective teachers’ self-regulated learning, engagement in solving tasks, and participation in productive discourse were positively surprising, showing the cognitive presence of the learners during virtual teaching. The influence of digital platforms like Blackboard and digital tools like GeoGebra, Desmos, Padlet, Google Docs, Google Forms and Google Sheets in teaching helped us observe the learners’ cognitive engagement in real time.

Contribution: The GeoGebra Class function and the Desmos Teacher feature helped us to observe the prospective teachers’ cognitive engagement during the online teaching. However, continuously and rapidly creating digital content on said digital platforms can be demanding for educators.


Cognitive engagement; prospective teachers; digital platforms; digital tools; virtual teaching


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