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Discussion: Roundtable
Topic: Graphing Calculators


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Subject:   RE: Graphing Calculators
Author: reese
Date: May 9 2007
I have read this discussion with great interest.
It mirrors discussions I have heard with teachers all around Illinois.

First, I must say this: I believe all students should know the multiplication
tables and the common algorithms for multiplication and division independent of
the calculator.

That said, I agree with Dorey on all points, and I think calculators, and other
technologies, are important tools.
All too often they are given only to the advanced students.

I also believe that there is a significant problem with the way we talk about
calculators as though they are somehow an independent good or bad thing. It's
really all about the teachers. If students have calculators, even 4-function
calculators, the teachers need the ideas and professional development to be sure
they're used as a ladder and not a crutch.

The issue, to my mind, is insuring that teachers are well trained for the new
age. We can't pretend kids shouldn't have access to something that is fast
becoming ubiquitous. Instead, we should find the best ways to get them and use
them. Included in any budget for technology should be an equal or larger budget
for training with that technology.

-George Reese

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