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Topic: fractions and technology
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Eileen Schoaff

Posts: 39
Registered: 12/3/04
fractions and technology
Posted: Jun 21, 1995 5:51 PM
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Loved to hear Katherine G. Harris' description of her experience using
the TI-82's. I have often heard the argument that students must learn
all their number facts before they can even start algebra.

If that were the case in all subjects, we would never have Little League
teams. Anyone with kids knows that you learn the rules as you play, not
before. If everyone had to know the vocabulary before they picked up
a book, we would all be at the 3rd grade reading level. We learn most
of our vocabulary through reading after the 3rd grade -- or so I have
been told. (Took courses on reading in subject area many years ago in
NJ.) So I believe that letting students go on, even though they haven't
mastered all the basics, is appropriate.

Technology dependent? I certainly am. I need my word-processor and
spell-checker. Why is it okay to use a computer to do word-processing
but not okay to use a calculator? We let students use slide-rules, which
were calculators of sorts. Was that okay because it was so *#@* hard to
do? In real life the important thing is to be able to solve the problem,
not that you do it without a calculator. Use whatever tool is required
and appropriate. Your students could not find a graphical solution with-
out figuring out domain and range, and then understanding just what a
"solution" was. If they'll work twice as long and hard with a calculator,
then go for it!
Eileen Schoaff
Buffalo State College

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