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Calculators

How have calculators changed your classroom? Everyone has at least a TI-84 it seems...now that technology can do most of the more difficult calculations - has your teaching changes? For better or for worse?

wood_drow

Calculators allow for more advanced concepts to be reached but I question how beneficial they really are. Teaching at a higher level, I am able to demonstrate concepts quickly and visually, but what happens if a student can't graph y=x or a quadratic without a calculator? I am spending extra time with students to grasp concepts without a calculator as well. The unfortunate situation is that as we grab onto technology so quickly, I'm curious how much we are leaving behind. It is a dependency that has plagued me since I started teaching.

The probe options for the TI-83 are great and I hear the TI-85s are able to load information into the computer easily. Calculating annuities are made to be a breeze.

I can't really say that the technology has changed teaching in that we still have to be concerned about understanding and retention in the same means. The positive about technology is the approach changes. I am attempting to place all my courses through websites. I've been learning flash and java in order to create visuals and animations to help demonstrate concepts. I'm seeking balance to concept understanding and hands-on applications.

A great segment of CBS News was on this Technology Generation, GenTech maybe. One show discussed the overkill on information and the lack of the creation of future technologies. As we embrace computers, skills that require DOing are ignored. The lead in was to advocate robot building competitions, like FIRST and others.

To conclude, I have concerns. As I feel I am very knowledgeable of technology, I still question how quickly we embrace it.

[ report as inappropriate ] August 9, 2006, 12:00 am


George Warriner

I agree,

The key question always has to be what do you want technology to do? How can it help you learn (or your students)?
Deeper learning of concepts is what I have noticed students usually lack at the end of higher (or any) math classes.

But what actually would happen, if a student couldn't actually graph a quadratic without a calculator? Would it restrict her performance in some way?

[ report as inappropriate ] August 11, 2006, 12:00 am


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