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Topic: RPN-Cabri-Sketchpad
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John A Benson

Posts: 85
Registered: 12/3/04
Posted: Jun 21, 1995 11:19 AM
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With regard to RPN et. al.

I too think RPN is much better than algebraic for many reasons, but many of
my students do not. If I can convince them to spend the time necessary to
get comfortable with RPN, they never turn back, but most would rather plug
along with the familar if awkward notation they have learned over the years.
It reminds me in many ways of student's resistance to learning how to solve
systems of linear equations in any other than the first way they learned.

That brings me to the point I would like to make about Cabri, Sketchpad and
RPN. Presumably, the software conventions will be new to the students, so
they will learn whichever comes first. There is nothing intrinsically
difficult about selecting the objects before the operation, so it should be
just as easy to learn one as the other. I suspect the critical variable is
which computer the students usually use. Mac and Windows students will
probably be more comfortable with Sletchpad, since it emulates the MAC way
of operating. Those who grew up with DOS will probably find Cabri easier at
first. Either way, I don't think it is a big problem and certainly think it
would be sort of silly to abandon the Sketchpad becuase HP abandoned RPN.
(They really did not abandon it in the high level machines, only the 32)

Have a good day.

John Benson
Evanston Township High School 715 South Boulevard
Evanston Illinois 60204 Evanston IL 60202-2907
(708) 492-5848 (708) 492-5848

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