Saturday, September 8, 2007

Calculator: Friend or Foe?

One of my classmates in another education course made a comment that got me thinking. She said that basic math isn’t as important as it used to be because students of all ages have calculators available to them. She proceeded to say that she would much rather just give her students calculators and have time to teach them other things, than concentrate on simple math which they don’t really need to know.
I completely disagree. Even though, calculators will most likely always be available, it is still important that everyone be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide when they have to. Just like people are expected to be able to read and write, they should know simple math. Not to mention that math is a very vertical subject. If you want to do any kind of higher computation, you must know the basics. I think calculators are a great tool to make things easier AFTER you have learned the math, not in place of it.