Results

Choice

Votes


Percent

No, performance is not decreasing.

49

14.8%


No, other causes are to blame.

97

29.2%


Maybe, more study should be done.

77

23.2%


Yes, calculators promote blind calculations which precludes mathematical intuition and deeper understanding.

69

20.8%


Yes, burn the calculators!!!

18

5.4%


I don't know.

22

6.6%



Re: Do you believe that graphing calculators are causing the decrease in math knowledge and performance of university students?

Choson

It is the way math is taught in High School. My teachers wont let us use our 89's to do problems when we are learning how to do it by hand. That seems to be the simplest way to make students learn rather than letting them use their calcs all the time.

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29 March 2001, 07:34 GMT


Re: Do you believe that graphing calculators are causing the decrease in math knowledge and performance of university students?

Wouter v.d. Put
(Web Page)

No, performance is not decreasing.
Why don't we all use calculators? Much faster then brains (most times).

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29 March 2001, 11:02 GMT


Re: Do you believe that graphing calculators are causing the decrease in math knowledge and performance of university students?

Rimo

in my case, my calc (ti89) has helped me in understandig deeper than any book and teacher because with the calc I can explore quickly a huge amount of cases, small changes in coeficients, etc that wouldn't be possible to write in a book nor to be explained in class. I believe that the best way to learn math is to play around with it, try to plot strange functions, and so on. Anyway, the calc will only do calculation, it will never substitute the human mathematic 'fantasy'. I do believe that calc can do some harm if used in early courses, where the calc can do the work that is supposed to be done by the student, but this does not happen in college, at least in Italy. (i'm currently on my last year of aerospace eng. at the university of PISA, Italy)

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29 March 2001, 16:56 GMT


Re: Do you believe that graphing calculators are causing the decrease in math knowledge and performance of university students?

Jack Lau
(Web Page)

I am wishing to study Computer Engineering next year at University. That's when I will need my TI86 that I bought 'two years early' because I initally had a really crap TI81 where as everyone else had a TI83! I am currently revising for my ALevels and hope to get good results in Physics, Maths and IT.

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29 March 2001, 18:45 GMT


Re: Do you believe that graphing calculators are causing the decrease in math knowledge and performance of university students?

James Marshall
(Web Page)

I voted for maybe because calculators may or may not be (part of) the cause but it probably depends on the individual students. It's the difference between using the caculator as a crutch or as a tool. If you're using it as a tool, you're learning the material properly first and then using the calc to save you the time and effort of doing all the calculations by hand. But the thing is you've learned how to do it and so you understand basically what the calc is doing for you. If all you're doing is making the calc solve problems for you without learning the material first, so you don't know what the calc is doing, then it has become a crutch. The calc is then a black box, you put stuff in and answers come out, but you don't know how to get the output from the input. Take a test where calculators aren't allowed and you're in trouble. If used incorrectly, as a crutch instead of a tool, then yes, graphing calculators like TI's can contribute to a lack of mathematical knowledge and understanding. But when used correctly in conjunction with (and not instead of) learning the material, it's a useful tool in saving time and effort and there's nothing wrong with them. Just my opinion.

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29 March 2001, 18:49 GMT


Not at all.

Knight/Rocket

The reason people believe that calculators ruin math knowledge is very simple. They (our predecessors) did not have calculators to use, so any change in the instruction of math is an evil thing which will ruin learning.
There are always those who will work hard at math, regardless of their using a 89, 30xIIS, or an abacus. The instruction in math is becoming far more computation driven, almost requiring a calculator in order to perform well. Even classes as different as Chemistry have large amounts of mathematical calculations required, and a calculator is necessary to complete the exam in the given time.
One problem in the "dropping" of math knowledge is the changing of tools. I used an 83 and 83+ all through high school and learned them to the point I could almost work them blindfolded. However, in college, no graphing calculators are allowed. Thus, a large amount of time and energy is wasted figuring out how to perform simple calculations on a different calculator.
I can swear to this being true. I started with a simple 83 and mastered it, then I was forced to use a scientific. That scientific was RPN, a fact I was not aware of and which was not printed on the case.
If teachers want the grades to rise, allow more time for exams. Most errors can be caught easily, provided a little time to look.
Knight/Rocket's 2c.

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29 March 2001, 23:15 GMT


Re: Do you believe that graphing calculators are causing the decrease in math knowledge and performance of university students?

I a
(Web Page)

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29 March 2001, 23:16 GMT


Re: Do you believe that graphing calculators are causing the decrease in math knowledge and performance of university students?

onefastfiveoh

Although there are many causes for the "dumbing" of college students these days, like what the first comment said, beer (my case), I believe that the use of calculators if a major factor. From the classes that I have taken, there seemed to be a strong correlation between the use of calculators and the intellectually ignorant.
I have completed several coarses in mathematics and in all the use of calculators was highly discouraged. Sure, I used one every so often, one can not be expected to double intregal of 25x^5*ln(32y*x^y) bounded by y=x, y=ln(x^5), x=0, and x=100 in their head.
Anyway, using a calculator to do most of the work for you, opperately conditions you by negative reinforcement, escape conditioning to be exact. I think.
Using a calculator will cause you to not elicit any learning, except in the area of the functions of the calculator.
Am I making any sense?
onefastfiveoh

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29 March 2001, 23:28 GMT


Re: Do you believe that graphing calculators are causing the decrease in math knowledge and performance of university students?

nick_2x

I think the teachers are the one to blame for our failures.

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30 March 2001, 01:17 GMT


Re: Do you believe that graphing calculators are causing the decrease in math knowledge and performance of university students?

acr34
(Web Page)

Without calcs solving simeltanious equations by matricies would be pointlessWhy solve two simeltanious equations instead of just solving it?

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30 March 2001, 01:57 GMT


Re: Do you believe that graphing calculators are causing the decrease in math knowledge and performance of university students?

jpd2000

The ability to use a calculator in practically every situation has led students into a subconscious mentallity of laziness because of the advancement/capabilities of them.

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30 March 2001, 02:18 GMT


Re: Do you believe that graphing calculators are causing the decrease in math knowledge and performance of university students?

Recneps

It is the calc making people stupid it is making them smarter and therefor when the stupid people get smarter the smart people don't look as smart.

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30 March 2001, 04:30 GMT


Re: Do you believe that graphing calculators are causing the decrease in math knowledge and performance of university students?

Jim Haskell
(Web Page)

I think that graphing calculators should be used for prerequisities. For example, in calculus, you should do the integration yourself, but one should be allowed to use a graphing calc for the algebra involved in Calculus. Nothing is more annoying than losing 15% on a test because you forgot a negation or added wrong =p

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30 March 2001, 19:27 GMT


Re: Do you believe that graphing calculators are causing the decrease in math knowledge and performance of university students?

Aaron Povolish
(Web Page)

Personally, I use my TI92+ on all of my homework. But, when it comes to test time, I RARELY rely on my calculator to give me answers. I always do well on tests this way, and I retain more of what I learn. Just something for you all to think about.

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30 March 2001, 23:48 GMT


Re: Do you believe that graphing calculators are causing the decrease in math knowledge and performance of university students?

sammo_21

I own a TI89.
I take geometry.
I use my TI89 for homework.
I use my TI89 for tests.
As I said in another message board, my teacher does not allow me to use the 89 for her tests. She does not even know how to turn on my TI89.
She does not like it how the TI89 can do things.
She offers me a TI82 to use for the tests.
That is my story.
Oh yes, I use my TI89 for helping me learn stuff. I never use it to supply me the answer.

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31 March 2001, 03:42 GMT


Re: Do you believe that graphing calculators are causing the decrease in math knowledge and performance of university students?

torbid

I have gotten a 5 on the BC and Physics C exams, taken multivariable and differential equations and currently am participating in an correspondence contour integration course, in addition to some elementary quantum mechanics and fluid mechanics (although the former does not lend itself easily to calculator assistance). I have yet to experience 'true' college math/physics, being stuck in high school for a few more months, but has a calculator hurt me? I would say not. For most of my precalculus career I had a TI83, until it was stolen, and have used a TI89 ever since. The TI89 is a godsend; I can check integrals and easily retrieve numbers, which is especially useful for physics, if you don't want to write down 10digits every step of the way. I personally feel I am doing fine. Who are calculators hurting? The art of mental arithimetic is a dying one, thanks to calculators (see Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman, a partial autobiographical account by the late Richard Feynman, if you want to see the beauty of calculating cube roots and logarithms in your head) but who gains such extensive skills in mental math? Only the truly gifted; the 'masses' ignore(d) such problems. The truly gifted instead now switch their energies towards different areas, and those without the ability to do large product multiples in their heads can still participate (although it can still be fun as a parlor trick; demonstrate a 5th or 6th partial sum for e to the 1 or 2 and amaze your friends!) Calculators *can* be a crutch, but in most cases are not fully abused, whether by ignorance or choice. They open up the mysterious realms of mathematics more fully.

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31 March 2001, 21:10 GMT


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