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Concerning the use of calculators in education

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posted on Jun, 21 2011 @ 04:37 AM
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As an autodidact studying math, I have mixed feelings concerning the use of calculators. I think that all basic classes up till vector calculus should not permit calculators. The reason is because there are students who cannot do proper arithmetic or algebra. Calculators take out most of the most of the understanding, because some skills can only be learned with much practice. Students are allowed to use calculators too early in the US education system. At least until college, students should stay away from calculators.

But later on when doing courses that require tedious, mechanical computations, like solving systems involving matrices of order 4 or more, or numerical integration, calculators should then be permitted. It teaches no understanding to compute such things on paper. It's just about following a very tedious algorithm that requires no thinking of the concepts.

What do you think? In my opinion the use of calculators too soon is one of the reasons for the decline in math, and therefore science, skills in the US.




posted on Jun, 21 2011 @ 05:04 AM
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reply to post by 547000
 


i must admit i agree with you, i am awfull at math and i think alot is down to the fact i used calculators rather than work it out properley in my head :-)



posted on Jun, 21 2011 @ 05:05 AM
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reply to post by 547000
 


I am fully with you on this. Although my maths level is far below yours, i still use pen, paper and my brain to calculate almost everything, yet people i work with, both younger and older, are lost without a calculator, even for simple addition. Its exactly the same with spell-checking a document using a computer, instead of learning how to spell, punctuate and use grammar on your own. Dependence on computers is the future of man, but for some, it's already here..



posted on Jun, 21 2011 @ 05:33 AM
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I am a mathematical genius when it comes to arithmetic but it has no use in todays world as a guy with a calculator is always quicker unless its a relatively easy equation. The schools of today should be spending more time teaching IT, politics, science,languages and even things such as construction, and less time teaching kids how to comment on a Shakespear play or about previous wars in completely biased ways.

I do think algebra can be very useful and i agree completely when talking about younger children.



posted on Jun, 21 2011 @ 05:35 AM
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I am currently 27 years old. Back in my high school days, calculators were never once allowed. If you even got caught with one, they would take it away from you, and give you detention.

Now, in that very same school system, grades as low as 6th are allowed to use them, even during tests! So how can they possibly learn anything when they can just use a calculator for the answers.

I am in the U.S. and I feel they are truly dumbing down the next generation.



posted on Jun, 21 2011 @ 05:39 AM
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When I was in highschool, we had dickly little calcumalators. We never used them really.

and I suck at maths.

To say using a calculator is wrong, is akin to saying flying is wrong, when there are perfectly good boats.

Technology creates things that benefit everyday life.

In fact, looking at the new scientific style calculators, they should have a subject dedicated on just how to use those damn things.

I do agree that kids today need math skills, sure. But you would rule out perfectly great minds from certain aspects of employment should you base it solely on their ability to multiply.

We need basic maths for every day things. That is a given.

We don't need to know how to be a chef in order to bake a cake however.

Having said that, I have tried to better my mathematical skills over the years. I may as well find myself a rosetta stone and start from scratch...

oO



posted on Jun, 21 2011 @ 05:43 AM
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Originally posted by digitalbluco
I am currently 27 years old. Back in my high school days, calculators were never once allowed. If you even got caught with one, they would take it away from you, and give you detention.

Now, in that very same school system, grades as low as 6th are allowed to use them, even during tests! So how can they possibly learn anything when they can just use a calculator for the answers.

I am in the U.S. and I feel they are truly dumbing down the next generation.


And with this, thesauruses and dictionaries should be condemned also, because how can someone learn if they have such resources.

?

Checkout persons should not have tills?

We advance only to denigrate the technology we achieve?

I dunno, I don't see it as a problem - if the teaching is sufficient and the student has a basic grasp of maths, which is easily determined by GOOD TEACHING, then calculators should not be a problem.

I mean 1+1 = err if you can't use a calculator too.



posted on Jun, 21 2011 @ 06:48 AM
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Originally posted by badw0lf
When I was in highschool, we had dickly little calcumalators. We never used them really.

and I suck at maths.

To say using a calculator is wrong, is akin to saying flying is wrong, when there are perfectly good boats.

Technology creates things that benefit everyday life.

In fact, looking at the new scientific style calculators, they should have a subject dedicated on just how to use those damn things.

I do agree that kids today need math skills, sure. But you would rule out perfectly great minds from certain aspects of employment should you base it solely on their ability to multiply.

We need basic maths for every day things. That is a given.

We don't need to know how to be a chef in order to bake a cake however.

Having said that, I have tried to better my mathematical skills over the years. I may as well find myself a rosetta stone and start from scratch...

oO



Nothing with employment--feel free to use any tool you wish there. But many freshmen in college lack basic algebra and arithmetic skills, something that can only be developed with much practice. I think introducing calculators too soon hinders more than helps.
edit on 21-6-2011 by 547000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 21 2011 @ 10:28 AM
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I dont think they should allow calculators upto the 12th grade (high school). Regardless if a person uses his/her mathematical skills in real life or on the job, it is important to know the process and a workaround should technology fail you.

The honing of mathematical skills really helps the brain fortify numerology and logics. It is more so a brain exercise similar to any other physical exercise to build muscles to be performed at the right age and time. Beyond the 12th grade, it should be allowed to use if TIME is a concern during exams/tests (not during homework assignments).



posted on Jun, 21 2011 @ 11:05 AM
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I remember arguing with my college algebra teacher because I didn't want to use the graphing calculators. I could do it easier in my head. He did not like that at all.


I never saw the point, if I can do it in my head and get the same answer each time why force me to use a calculator? I am not cheating in my head!

People didn't always have calculators and did fine! Why push them now!



posted on Jun, 21 2011 @ 02:45 PM
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I can only shake my head when a cashier cannot even count the change back to me.



posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 01:38 PM
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Originally posted by tinker9917
I can only shake my head when a cashier cannot even count the change back to me.

Its amazing how stupid and dumb some of the kids are becoming. All due thanks to the wonderful education system.



posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 01:50 PM
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Calculators are just a tool for performing what you already know how to do more quickly. Once a student has mastered a skill there's no problem with letting them use a calculator. Pre-algebra there's really no need to use one IMHO but after that point they greatly decrease the time needed to solve problems.

Unless you guys are okay with looking up values in log tables then I support calculators.



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 01:32 AM
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Originally posted by dbates
Calculators are just a tool for performing what you already know how to do more quickly. Once a student has mastered a skill there's no problem with letting them use a calculator. Pre-algebra there's really no need to use one IMHO but after that point they greatly decrease the time needed to solve problems.

Unless you guys are okay with looking up values in log tables then I support calculators.


I don't support log tables. They're stupid and don't teach much. If you ever need log tables you might as well use a calculator.

But for most of math theory you do not have to use numbers. Instead of using a number 3.06e12 you represent it by the symbol "a" and use it in equations. That's pretty much how pure mathematics is studied.



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 07:10 AM
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My main point was them being allowed to use calculators during tests. Do teachers allow you to use a dictionary when taking a spelling test? Never. So why would they let you use a calculator when taking a math test (as low as 6th grade)?

All they learn from that is how to use a calculator. If they got a simple fraction question, and weren't allowed to use a calculator, they would be lost.




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