983 words - 4 pages

Technology in the Mathematics Classroom

In today’s society, technology is advancing at such a

rate that on can hardly stay ahead. Technology surrounds

every person in civilization. To not use the technology

that is readily available would be absurd. The same idea

applies to technology in the classroom. Calculators, in

particular, are becoming more readily available in the

classroom, but technology should not stop there. Many

inspiring computers programs, such as Geometer’s Sketchpad,

Math Success, Fathom, Maple, and Minitab greatly enhance

the mathematical teaching and learning that can take place

in a classroom. With these types of programs, teachers can

cover required more in-depth, and addition material more

closely related to the students’ lives. In agreement with

Bert K. Waits of Ohio State University, I believe

technology, specifically “calculators[,] in conjunction

with mental, paper-and-pencil, and estimation skills when

appropriate, comprise the tools to help students work

through the computations and manipulations necessary for

solving problems” (p. 8). Many people are skeptical about

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using quality technology in the classroom because they

believe it decreases the student’s ability to complete

mathematics problems without the technology. In my

opinion, in agreement with the National Council of Teachers

of Mathematics (NCTM) Principles and Standards for School

Mathematics, “technology is essential in teaching and

learning mathematics” (p. 24). Even though many people are

apprehensive about using technology in the classroom, I

feel confident that students can and will use the provided

technology wisely and greatly appreciate the ideas and

concepts that can be discovered by using technology.

First of all, many people are cynical about technology

in the classroom for many reasons. In Waits’s article “The

Role of Calculators in Math Education” clearly identifies

five myths about technology in the classroom that need to

be dispelled in order to ease the minds of those parents

and teachers. The myths include:

1. “Calculators are a crutch: They are used because

students are too lazy to compute the answers on

their own; they do the work for the student.”

2. “Because calculators do all of the work for the

student, he/she will not be stimulated or challenged

enough.”

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3. "If I didn't need to use technology to learn math,

then neither does my child. After all, I turned out

just fine."

4. “The use of calculators prevents students from

effectively learning the basic mathematics they will

need when they enter the workforce.”

5. “People will become so dependent on calculators that

they will be rendered helpless without one. (e.g.:

What if the battery dies or the student has to

perform a computation when no calculator is

available?)” (Waits pg. 6-8)

Waits gives reasons why these myths are in fact false and

why it is important for the myths to be overcome by the

public in his essay. In...

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