Former NCTM President Lee Stiff reminds us that calculator use on its own is not good or bad. Mathematics teaching should involve estimation skills in concern with technology use and traditional math instruction.
Conrad Wolfram makes the case that math in the real world is used by people that are not mathematicians, namely, geologists, engineers, bankers, etc. A teacher, then, should not over simplify math. They should 1. Pose the right questions 2. Take if from real world into math formulation then, 3. Turn it into a computation. Lastly, 4. Turn it back into real world.
The author of this article published in the journal Practical Homeschooling, uses anecdotal evidence to take a firm stance against the use of calculators in the elementary school classroom. His take is that current textbooks do not think it is important to develop arithmetic skills.In his opinion, this makes it imperative to spend the time in elementary school to hone these basic arithmetic skills before conceptual understanding is made a priority in later grades.
The author finds central ground between the "old school" approach of no to limited calculator use to the new, tech as calculator approach. His major point lies in the answer to the question, "When else do students have the opportunity to find an exact answer?"