ANSWERS: 31
  • Mixed feelings...children should be taught the basics, how to use mathematics without electronic aid. They may not always have access to a calculator in life. But it is a sign of the times with everyone having a cell or pda, you have everything you could need at your fingertips. Shoot, kids come on these sorts of sights looking for answers to their school questions, a dilemma for sure for teachers and parents alike.
  • I think its great. Some will love it some will use it as a way to get answers, others may even grow to like math because of it, i'm just thrilled anytime children use anything to learn.
  • In our modern times children have to learn to use the calculator, but my opinion is that in the first 4 classes they should calculate "by foot" - zu fuss - as the Germans say, to be able to calculate simple numbers in their adult life, when they don't have access to a calculator. It gives them a natural understanding of quantities and numbers.
  • I spoke to a woman who has a degree in accounting but can't add in her head or on paper. What it tells me is we are producing a lower quality student and or form of education.
  • It's the reason kids that work as cashiers can't make change when the register breaks down and they have to do it non electronically.
  • It makes sense. While they should be able to perform simple arithmetic mentally (adding and subtracting money etc), it's rarely useful to be able to, say, divide fractions mentally. Today there are calculators on mobile phones and in all computers, so such skills are no longer useful in real life.
  • I think calculators are OK in high school. Before then, the math isn't complicated enough to justify needing 1.
  • It depends what level of mathematics they are learning. Simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division should be learned without a calculator, but when you're learning 12th grade calculus, logarithms, or astro-physics, a calculator is pretty much a must-have.
  • Well, my husband is an engineer and a math whiz .... but when we're both having to figure out answers to basic math problems in our heads or on paper, I can usually come up with the answers before or at least as fast as he can because I never relied so much on calculators. I do think there's a place for calculators in school ... but only after someone has learned manual math calculations adequately. (He even uses this cell phone calculator feature all the time lately!!)
  • I think that they should not be allowed to use calculators until the 9th grade ( uk system) . The childen should be able to do the basic of maths first, ask some children to do simple addition in their head and they are lost without a calculator.IMHO
  • i used to entertain myself by solving complicated calculations on paper. over the years, or decades, i became pretty fast at it, usually rendering an "initial" guess that was within 1 10,000,000th or less. then came along computer software (yea, even excel). in 2 minutes i could design a system for solving calculations that used to take me hours or days. now, i'm finding that setting up those programs is becoming intuitive and fast but the old ways of solving problems is slipping away. if i'd never learned how to do it all by hand, i would never have learned how to design more interesting mathematical problems. so, my final answer is: initially, calculators shouldn't be allowed, but, once a child has mastered the underlying process, then they're tools that can allow greater creativity.
  • They should only be used for checking answers thats all i was allowed to use them for when i was in school. people put to muchon the shoulders of a calculator. if it breaks they dont know how to do the math.
  • I'm against it for basic math skills. When I was in grade school, admittedly in the fifteenth century, basic math, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division were drummed into our heads. It may have seemed boring at the time, but proved very useful in life. Some of our young folks can not give correct change without the benefit of the cash register. That means shame on our educational system. I will admit I was a bit slow on math myself, and when I took Algebra in high school I had a very difficult time multiplying letters by letters. Perseverance prevailed, and now I understand Algebra. OTOH, Calculus and beyond still elude me.
  • in class appropriate subject matters (calculus, physics, etc) there is no other way ... but for basic math skills, i think a student should learn the basic skills required before using electronic aids ... my kids hated having to do multiplication, division, addition, subtraction by long hand for homework ... but it was only when i knew that they understood the principles that i let them use a calculator ... and it paid off as both of them are among the top students in their respective classes
  • As others have said, I think before high school there is no need for it and it is nothing but detrimental to the children actually learning math. The being said for a number of high school situations and above, it makes sense. In university we use them for even simply things that we should be able to do on paper, just because it saves a large amount of time that could be used for more important things.
  • Today I had to take a calculator off a child who was using it in my classroom. Whereas i can see that there is a place for some functions to be calculated on a calculator, and there is definitely a value in being able to use one well, this was a German lesson!
  • It's a tool. They have to be trained to use the tools they'll need later in life. Much like the slide rule a few decades ago. Schools SHOULD be teaching the basics of math, with challenges requiring manual/mental labor in order to get the basics down for math skills as well.
  • As long as the are being taught to do the math without a calculator as well, I'm fine with it. Lets face it...when they are grown and working, chances are they will use one anyway
  • I think it stifles their ability to think thru more complicated situations later in their lives.
  • Calculators create cobwebs in the human mind.
  • When I taught in the classroom, I never let my students use the calculator. This was a middle school classroom. Looking back, I think it might have been better to compromise. The best way might be to have students really learn how to do basic math (up to pre-algebra) longhand. Once they have the concepts, they can use a calculator, but I would still require them to do some of the problems longhand to show they understand how to do the math.
  • Bad idea. You need to understand numbers if you want to use them effectively in later life. You don't take the shortcut until you know you won't get lost in the woods.
  • Its OK as long as they are taught how to do calculations in their head.If they use them to pass examinations then I think its a different matter.
  • They are essential for math, physics, engineering.
  • Welcome to the 21st century. They are a necessity. I don't think it should be used in the early primary grades much until they learn basic mathematics.
  • my friend and i wer discussing this the other day. but nowadays, your probably gonna have access to a cell phone calculater more often than a pencil and paper to work stuff out.
  • What better place to have them?   Students should be taught how to do the math first without the calculator and then with. In real every day life a calculator is allowed. Many people take them to the grocery store to makes thing easier. The real problem comes when an intro. algebra class requires a certain brand and model of calculator ($120-150!). I had to drop out of my first college algebra course because I had a TI-85 and the instructor required an HP graphing calculator. So while one course requires one model another course requires a different one and that's just waaaay too expensive for the average student. THAT is when an instructor is too reliant on technology.   I don't agree with some of the answers here that say using a calculator is lazy. There is a big difference between being lazy and being efficient.
  • I think it depends on the type of problem and the complexity. Calculators in basic math might not be a good idea.
  • It's what they're for (the calculators, not the children).
  • I thought this became settled in the 70s-80s. There was considerable resistance to use of calculators at first since it would take out the self-sufficiency aspect. By the time I went back to school in the early 80s the use of calculators was standard. I cast my vote that calculators are supposed to be time savers, as were slide rules. Still, part of the curricula should include manual math, since in real high-skill jobs involving quick-changing tasks, one may be presented with on-the-spot calculations without benefit of a calculator. You can carry only so much with you when you move around a lot. I know, because I was fortunate enough that much of my employment happened to take advantage of much of my education and early experience.

Copyright 2020, Wired Ivy, LLC

Answerbag | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy