
Re: Sketchpad and technology
Posted:
Jun 14, 1995 8:23 AM


I'm following this discussion on whether using technology could possibly be conveyed as cheating. I have a dishwasher, a car, and a vaccuum cleaner. I know that the dishwasher is best used for cleaning eating utensils and the vaccuum for cleaning the floor. As long as I don't confuse these roles and try to use the dishwasher for cleaning the floor, I feel as if I have a sufficient handle on the technology. I do NOT need to know HOW the dishwasher works..beyond what buttons to push to set it into motion for it to be effective. I think there is an analogy to technology here.>I'm satisfied if students know that the quadratic formula is a way to generalize the solution to where a quadratic function crosses the xaxis and to know when they might want to know where the function crosses the xaxis. It's fine with me if they want to program the quadratic function into their TI82. In fact, I'll even use the linking cord and transmit the program on my TI82 to their TI82. I don't think that students have to demonstrate that they can derive the quadractic function from ax^2 + bx + c = 0 in order to be able to use it anymore than I think consumers have to prove that they know the mechanics behind a dishwasher before they are allowed to operate it to wash their dishes. I do expect consumers to be responsible and recognize that using a dishwasher to wash one glass at a time is not energy efficient. Likewise, I expect students to recognize that using the TI82 quadratic formula to solve x^2 = 25 is not efficient.
 Linda Dodge Math Consultant Frontier Regional High School South Deerfield, MA

