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Discussion: All Activities in Calculus on Computer Algebra System
Topic: Intigration

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Subject:   RE: Intigration
Author: Mathman
Date: May 2 2006
On May  1 2006, ihor wrote:

> Obviously, the students with "less capacity" as you call them do
> need more support. And technology can be a big help if it's used
> appropriately. I just have problem with those people who are
> concerned about the inappropriate uses of technology and try to
> restrict their use for all below certain grade levels. Technology is
> part of the real world and should be available at all times.
> However, we as educators should help students to understand and know
> how to use them appropriately.

I also think that it should be used appropriately.  unfortunately it is not.  It
is the decided *lack* of restiriction that I would object to, it being seen as a
panacea, which it is in fact not.  Students rtoo often arrive in higher grades
well versed in coputer opreation skills [how to Google], but lacking in those
skills which would require time for practice and introspection and absorption
through variety of use.

A simple example, but admittedly not necessrily totally representative: A young
lady "hate"ed geometry.  She had been taught by an individual using Geometer's
Sketchpad, an awesome piece of software.  She simply didn't get it.  It took
just under a couple of hours of one-on-one, using her old tests, and the old
tin-box geometry set [most today have not the slightest idea of the enormous
amount of math available in that little tin box ...why those two triangles in
particular?] and some "traditional" teaching to have her say, finally, "Is that
all there is to it?"  She aced that part of her upcoming exam.

It is not the use of the technology, but the then higher expectations that are
often out of line with reality.  "Technology" is a much more encompassing term
than usually admitted to.  No-one would consider using an electron microscope
in grade 1 to give those students a better perspective on the reality of life in
the miniature.  Neither is a powerful computer any great advantage at that
age/level.  Yet, it is considered by many to be a "must have".  I just don't see
that; perhaps my age, perhaps not.


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