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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: Apr 30 2006
On Apr 29 2006, Si wrote:
> Such packages will stretch the
> students imagination and thinking for math s problems  in ways never
> ever seen before (compared to traditional way of teaching maths).
> This allows the capability for students to self learn maths with
> minimal help from teachers. If students can do  that (self-learn) ,
> it means that they do  understand the concepts.

Thanks for the information.  I hope I haven't opened Pandora's Box here, but you
may gather from my initial query that I am not averse to the use of good
software, but I'd not have the same expectations for all students, as you seem
to imply.  Certainly, the very good students would benefit as you say, but that
won't represent the average or be of similar benefit to the less than average.
Learning is, after all is said and done a personal matter, but not all have the
capacity, good software or not, to teach themselves.  Some stare hypnotically at
computer generated changing patterns, but have not learned the underlying
principles that generate them.

I guess, being a bit older, I have a thing for "traditional maths", and have
more than once shown the advantages of that in discussion elsewhere.  The
software certainly has its advantages especially in college and university, but
I'd shy away from it being a magic pill at the high school level, of benefit to
all who imbibe.  I'm reminded of an older gentleman [going on 80] I met in my
travels in Northern Ontario while staying at a hotel.  The hotel was clear of
snow, and when I asked who did it, he said he did.  "How do you do that?", I
asked.  I'll not forget his reply, "One shovel full at a time."  A message that
slow and certain gets the job done.


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