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Re:Technology in the classroom
Posted:
Mar 9, 1995 10:54 PM


Before I begin, I need to say that I am a proponent of calculator use beginning in very early grades. In our district the calculator's primary usage is as a tool to explore number. The calculator is also used as a computational tool when it is appropriate. We (as Cindy described) take time to help our students decide when it is appropriate to use a calcualtor as well as a computer, much like when would it be better to use a pencil rather than a pen.
I have been "listening in" on the discussion regarding calculators and the "idea or fact" that students (both young and old) do not seem to posess number sense. This is not a new issue, Number sense has been missing long before the calcualtor became an issue. Number sense does not seem to be present in great quantities in classrooms where calculators are never used or ever been used. Number sense does not come from learning methods of computation. Number sense comes from creating connections about number from experience and in the context of the world. Those connections or opportunities for creating the connections can be as void in a classrooms that promote the use of the calculator as well as those who forbid the use of the calculator.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I think we need to look for something else to explain the lack of number sense in the world. I don't see the calculator as being the culprit. my $0.02 worth....
For those of you who have access to old editions of the Arithmetic Teacher you might want to look at the February focus issues from a few years back, one issue focussed on Calculators and another focussed on Number Sense. Anyone interested in the exact issue years, drop me a message and I'll look it up.
later.....
Linda Coutts email address: lcoutts@bigcat.missouri.edu Coordinator Elementary Mathematics Columbia Public Schools Voice: (314) 8862233 1206 E. Walnut St FAX: (314) 8862078 Columbia, MO 65201



