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Del Cecchi To me, that depends on what you mean by basic arithmetic skills. A calculator is no subsbreastute for understanding what it means to add, subtract, multiply, or divide; it is...
Right... and that isn't caused by the use of calculators.
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says... However, schools-teachers allowing children who should be learning the basics (by wrote) to use them is exactly the problem. They will not learn the basics if the crutch...
Something much deeper is wrong there.
When I was a fairly young kid I used a calculator (still expensive for a kid in the 70s) to check my math, and often used my math to check my calculator.
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K Williams ^^^^^ Such as homonyms? The word is "rote" In a word, bullpoo. You can teach the process of finding roots of polynomials and maxima-minima to a reasonably intelligent 6th grader...
That's how I found out that calculators, especially some of the ones out in the 70s, made errors.
In junior high, despite hating repibreastious math problems, I did things like this on paper:
9999999 9 9 9 9
...until the number was quite small, and then multiplied by 9 to go back.
Not just this sequence, but others which were easily reversible, to catch your own errors.
Of course, like a lot of other people, I did the same thing the first time I got a calculator, and later on computers.
The first time I saw the computer-calculator make an error, I thought it was me, so I redid my math a couple of times. That's how I found out that computers-calculators make errors.
One of my math teachers had told me, after I was asking about computers in grade school, that computers were not useful for education. She said something like "The machines never make mistakes, so you don't learn anything from them."
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Not to the extent you might like, but that is what is happening, at least...
I remember the first few times the schools used computers for teaching, and most of the time it was useless because it was just duplicating what the teacher did on the blackboard, on the screen. It did cause some students to show more interest, but wasn't really using the computer to its potential as a teaching tool.
Also, when I first started programming, math was the only thing I could think of to do with it, even though I didn't really like math at the time.
I think I learned more by trying to translate math to code than I would have learned about either alone.
The myth of machine infallibility certainly died a quick rest.
I remember some of my friends saying things like, "Um, if it makes mistakes, when why do you bother with it?" They had a point I guess, especially back when I didn't have a disk drive for the machine.
Of course, when it *did* finally work it felt good even if it had taken you ten times longer than just doing the math on paper.
Plus, you then had a tool to use for the future...
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