Importance of Calculators

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In todays time, calculators in schools are just as widely used as computers are. Since its invention nearly forty years ago, the electronic calculator has evolved from a machine that could only perform simple four-function operations ( addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) into one that can now also execute highly technical algebraic symbolic manipulations instantly and accurately. Each new generation of calculators builds on the previous one, with heightened speed and more advanced capabilities. At the same time, the cost of a basic calculator has dropped so low that virtually that every household in the U.S. can easily afford one.

Calculators are a big help when doing mathematical equations correctly. They are also a useful tool in learning different ways to do mathematics. The use of them plays a big part in excelling in math. With extensive availability, a full range of sizes and styles, and a price range for just about any budget, there really shouldnt be any excuse for not owning a one. There also shouldnt be any restrictions, as far as Im concerned, for the use of calculators in classrooms. I agree with this rule only when the level of math is above learning the four basic operations. Its not about the tedious math involved thats important, its about learning the fundamentals and concepts of how to problem solve. The advantage of this technology is so helpful for students. However, the use of calculators does have a bad reputation for some people who didnt have the technology we readily have in school while they were growing up.

There are some current myths that block how beneficial calculators really are. They make students more efficient, in my opinion. We live in an evolving world of technology. Todays technological generation has made a complete turn around from past generations. Just about everything we do nowadays requires the use of technology in some way or another. For example, doing something so simple as going to WAWA to order a sandwich, requires you to have to use a touch screen computer to place your order! We are wrapped up in a world of technology. Calculators are useful for a means of learning, but because of false information, some educators and others still believe they are harmful for students. It is very important that these myths be dealt with so that the truth will be known.

The first myth is that calculators are used because the students are too lazy to do the computations manually, and so their calculators do all the work for them. This is a completely false statement. Because of their speed and accuracy, calculators lend themselves to complicated problems that can easily be computed once the question is fully understood. They increase the students motivation by being able to solve the problem more simply. The most important part of a math problem is to read into the question and understand what the question is asking. However, this may not be as simple as it sounds. Being able to set up the problem and then determining whether or not the answer makes sense comes next. Its more or less, like a puzzle where you have to plug numbers in. Most math has letters instead of numbers. The most difficult part of doing these advanced problems is figuring out which number to replace the letter with to solve the equation. After that is done, the rest of the problem is just using an operation to complete the problem. These operations can take up a lot of time. We learn how to do operations in our elementary years growing up. When you get into college level math classes, its not about seeing if a student can successfully add, subtract, multiply or divide. Its the application of all of those skills that have been learned and mastered in our previous years. Calculators aid the student in the calculation part of the math problem and allow more time to understand, instead of doing tedious work that is sometimes involved in problems. The calculators expand the students ability to solve...
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