Calculators

Though many people would beg to differ, I find quite a few benefits that come from using calculators in the classroom. One of the biggest benefits of calculators is that they are great aids for solving very detailed math problems. For example, if a student had 20 questions on a test and only ten minutes to complete it, having a calculator can help solve problems in seconds that may take a lot longer by hand. Being that they are used correctly, high-tech calculators can help assist in learning how to make graphs and charts, and also help when it comes to lessons dealing with solving sin, cosine, and tangent problems. Some of the arguments against calculators are that they become enablers to students, and decrease the learning that takes place. In an article by Lynne Diligent, a math teacher, entitled “Why So Many Elementary Students Aren’t Mastering Basic Math Facts” she discusses how many college students today enter college knowing having mastered very little math skills. She explained how she used to teach third grade math and students were using calculators to solve problems as simple as 5+3. She also stated that calculators should be banned until the eleventh grade, where students enter higher levels of math. I personally think that there is not a problem allowing a student to use a calculator, as long as there are limits on what it is used for. For simple math problems, I do believe students should have to leave their calculators in their book bags, and parents should keep their children under supervision at home to make sure the use of calculators is not being taken advantage of. The key is discipline. If students are informed that becoming dependent on a calculator does nothing for them in the long run but weaken their math skills, they will become more determined to learn the skills they need to solve math problems.

Diligent, Lynne. (July 2011). Why So Many Elementary Students Aren’t Mastering...