PLEX86  x86- Virtual Machine (VM) Program
 Plex86  |  CVS  |  Mailing List  |  Download  |  Computer Folklore

Where should the type information be 198

Where should the type information be 199
A few years back there was a popular scheme involving gasoline pumps, mostly at no-name "shop and go" stations. Some custom logic was installed in the metering counters. The idea was that...

They did plenty of that, too. But in the time it takes to graph a couple of variations by hand, you can do dozens on the calculator. Clbutt time is limited. Homework time is limited. Math is only a small part of the curriculum. An effective mathematics pedagogy tries to reach as many students as possible by using a wide variety of methods. Computer-buttisted graphing is a fundamentally different educational activity from graphing by hand; it's not a question of one being superior to another.

I have no idea what the high schools in the Urbana-Champaign area are up to, so I couldn't say. I will suggest, though, that they were wrong then. Computers don't "do math": they do arithmetic, and they can be programmed to solve a variety of math problems, but doing math is a great deal more than that. That's one of the things that a good math curriculum conveys to its students, and a computer (or calculator) is a useful tool in that process.

I started using computers in fifth grade (which in my age group was very young), and while it may have led to my forgetting what scales are on a slide rule (heh), it certainly didn't impede my ability to do math. I'm no mathematician, but I do better than most of my peers, judging from the clbuttes I took, how I performed in them, my standardized test results, and so forth. And most of my peers had less exposure to computers, starting later.

I've yet to see anything like actual evidence from the anti- calculator lobby. It's not the tools - it's the curriculum that counts.


Painful lark, labouring to rise! The solemn mallet says: In the grave's slot he lies. We rot. -- Basil Bunting

List | Previous | Next

Where should the type information be 199

Alt Folklore Computers Newsgroups

Where should the type information be 197