Middle School3 more
Math

If a calculator can do it, then why are you making me?

Regardless of level, teachers of math seem to cycle around the the conversation, "When is it 'safe' to allow a student to use a calculator?" The following resources provide some material to spark conversation around the use of calculators in the math classroom.
A Collection By Juan Gomez
  • 8 Collection Items
  • 8 Collection Items
  • Discussion
If a calculator can do it, then why are you making me?
  • nctm.org
    nctm.org

    Making Calculator Use Add Up

    Article
    Juan Gomez says:
    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.
  • Juan Gomez says:
    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.
  • Juan Gomez says:
    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.
  • Juan Gomez says:
    This study, posted on the Texas Instruments webpage, uses research to dispel common myths attributed to calculator use.
  • Juan Gomez says:
    This article from the Wall Street Journal draws the lines of debate on calculator use as either a "computational crutch" or a "tool that helps them conquer complex problems".
  • Juan Gomez says:
    A longitudinal study on the use of a variety of calculator types (four-function, scientific, and graphing) and the effects on student basic skills.
  • nctm.org
    nctm.org

    Debunking the Calculator Myth

    Article
    Juan Gomez says:
    In this article, the author simplifies the argument of calculator vs. no calculator by simply pointing out that "calculators only do what you want them to do".
  • edutopia.org
    edutopia.org

    Rethinking How We Use Calculators

    Article
    Juan Gomez says:
    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?"