Math or Technology: Take Your Pick

Sarah Natividad:

Recently Utah schools have been given an F for technology use in the classroom (or lack thereof). This is one area I hope Utah continues to fail in. Technology has been touted as a fabulous tool for teaching math and other subjects, but it’s not. Technology teaches technology; you still have to learn math separately if you want to know math too.

I agree. The basics come first – technology, which changes frequently and may not always be appropriate (see Powerpoint, and here.)

3 thoughts on “Math or Technology: Take Your Pick”

  1. Jim, the article that Mrs. Natividad links to doesn’t have a single reference to math instruction, let alone calculator use in math. Yet, she uses that as a springboard to criticize the use of calculators in math instruction. The practice of using a news item as a justification to write on a very different topic is sloppy blogging, IMO. When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail…
    It was interesting to read this along with the Douglas Kern and Ken De Rosa pieces earlier this week on who is to blame for the state of engineering education in the United States, however.

  2. Her comments are quite relevant.
    The Education Week rating on which this article was ultimately based, though supposedly about administration, teacher , etc access to data for making data-driven school improvements, does include ratings of computer access by students, and computer access by teachers for classroom instruction, and teacher qualifications to use the computer — as though these are relevant to quality education. (I suppose they are but likely be negatively correlated).
    The author points this out correctly.
    I’m amazed that my daughter has to use a calculator. If, as some point, she asks for a little help, while she’s clicking keys on her calculator to “get the answer”, I’ve already performed the calculations in my head. I get done a lot faster. While I know that the answer is, say 3/4 pi, she gives me answers to 4 decimal points, pi having been eliminated into the useless number 3.14159.
    Please. Understanding algebra, trigonometry, physics requires NOT using a calculator.

  3. Hello!
    I’d like to point out that in high school math classes, it is the student’s choice whether or not to use a calculator. Just about everyone in my geometry class uses one, but I haven’t brought one to class all year, except for the unit on sine, cosine, and tangent. My geometry class teaches one how to do the math on their own, and it is the student’s decision whether to use a calculator, or do the math longhand or in their head.

Comments are closed.