In a message dated 95-06-29 08:48:19 EDT, Kent wrote:
>I happen to believe that graphing calculators are the greatest invention >since, well, the scientific calculator. However, I noticed a disturbing trend >at the AP seminar I attended this year in New Orleans. When looking at >samples of actual students answers to the free response section, I noticed >that not one of the students could sketch a graph--they all plotted eight to >ten points and connected the dots. These were routine functions like y = >(1-x)^0.5. > >I think that the ability to analyze the behavior of functions is critical. >How can you even use a graphing calculator if you don't have some idea of >what to expect? > >Any comments? > >Kent > >
I think graphing calculators are great and I have learned alot from fooling around with them - but too much of a good thing can be deadly. I believe that calculators are over-used in the entire school system and that students would be better mathmeticians if they had never seen a calculator.
If you understand math, you can quickly figure out how to manipulate a calculator. Unfortunately many of our students learn to manipulate a particular calculator and never learn the concepts.