Q&A #405

Are calculators beneficial?

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From: Loatman & Eisenberg
To: Teacher2Teacher Service
Date: Jul 04, 1998 at 20:01:35
Subject: Calculator use and mathematics assessment

We are planning on performing a project in which we will analyze the effect of calculator use while learning a mathematics topic. The idea is to see whether the calculator is a beneficial addition to the learning environment or hinders the educational process by allowing the student to use the calculator as a "crutch" or merely learning shortcuts to finding the answer and in the end lacking a solid mathematical foundation. We plan to teach 2 groups with each group having a lesson using the calculator and the other group not using the calculator during the instruction. The topic will be something no student will have had prior access to. We will administer a test to see how well the students have learned the material. We have received information from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics on this topic. If you have any information or know of any related research we would appreciate a response from you. Any information you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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