Unfortunately, we have become way too dependent on calculators. The general population is unable to calculate what once appeared as basic mathematics.
Think you’re in the upper mathematical elite? When was the last time you went to a restaurant and was successfully able to calculate the tip you should leave based on the final price of the bill?
It’s not that we’re becoming dumber, it’s just that we’re becoming lazier when it’s so easy to use helpful tools like the built-in calculate on your cell phone.
JSYK recently chatted with Dr. Robert Horton, a professor of secondary math education at Clemson University to find out if using calculators are a good or bad thing.
“I believe teens can, and should, begin using calculators at very young ages,” Dr. Horton noted. “We live in a technological era and they should have access to the technology.”
“What is also important, however, is for students to learn when calculators are not appropriate,” he added. “Too often students are given calculators, but are not taught when to use them and when not to use them. Having seen high school students use a calculator to multiply six and one, I am only too aware that many students have not developed the number sense they need to thrive in school and society.”
Do you agree with Dr. Horton?