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The calculator debate (fwd)
Posted:
Oct 19, 1997 12:57 PM


 Forwarded message from Bob and Trish Parker 
I was very concerned to hear from two former students today that they are not permitted to use graphing calculators in freshman calc classes at a major universtiy in va. they also stated that scintific calculators could only be used for in class work and not on tests. Is this common at college and if so should we be emphasizing the calculator so much in ap stat
 End of forwarded message from Bob and Trish Parker 
I have a colleague who banned graphing calculators from Differential Equations last year. This year, I am teaching it and NO technology is banned. (Well, I did rule out using a communications device to connect to another human.) On the other hand, I had resistance from students to REQUIRING a TI85 or 86. (About half already have 85s. The 80 through 83 do not do much for differential equations.)
Even at PSC I have never heard of anyone banning scientific calculators in any math. class or graphing calculators in any statistics class.
College professors have a tremendous amount of individual freedom in these matters. This makes anecdotal information unreliable as an indicator of what MOST college professors are doing. As a class, they are way behind high school teachers and students in the use of technology. I don't think it would be wise to limit your use of technology to what old college professors can handle!) Even so, I think a stats. package such as Minitab, DataDesk, or NCSS would be a MUCH better choice for teaching STATISTICS.
Disclaimer: I use graphing calculators in most of the math. courses I teach. I use Minitab in all the stats. courses I teach. I don't make any money off any of this!)
_   Robert W. Hayden   Department of Mathematics /  Plymouth State College MSC#29   Plymouth, New Hampshire 03264 USA  *  Rural Route 1, Box 10 /  Ashland, NH 032179702  ) (603) 9689914 (home) L_____/ hayden@oz.plymouth.edu fax (603) 5352943 (work)



