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Technology In The Mathematics Classroom Essay

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
2
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.”
3
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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