Benefits of using calculators
Calculators are crucial because they enable students to cover the syllabus in time. This is because with the use of calculators it becomes fast to solve mathematics problem in less time and by use of little energy. Students are enabled to solve problems within given time. Students are able to practice a lot making them perfect problem solving.
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This makes teachers and students to cover their course work in time. Calculators ensure accuracy is achieved in calculation. Students are relieved worries about mistakes which result in multiplying, dividing and carrying out of other operations manually. This ensures that the answer they obtain when using calculators is correct one. This boosts their grades making them achieve their future dreams.
A calculator makes mathematics to be enjoyable. Tedious paper work makes students hate mathematics but with the use of calculators students are able to solve mathematics easily. This makes them have a positive attitude towards mathematics which makes them perform well in this subject. Use of calculators makes students focus on steps needed to solve a problem which is believed to be important as the actual answer.
Some calculators such as graphical calculators in the classroom extend problem solving and mathematical comprehension by combining both practical and possible a crucial theory referred to as multiple linked representations. With calculators students are able to work with large numbers and decimals with ease and get accurate answers.
Teachers can use resource from the everyday life such as figures from supermarket sales and ask the students to solve. This makes students well equipped to face challenges found in real life. It also makes them see the relationship between calculations in class and real life situations. This cannot be possible without the use of calculators (Joseph, 2008).
Disadvantages of using calculators
Calculators are considered to encourage student laziness. Many students take their calculation with little seriousness due to use of calculators. Students are aware that calculators are fast and; therefore, they spend most of their time idling instead of concentrating in grasping the concepts needed to solve problems.
Calculators simplify calculations a thing that make student with a disability to solve mathematics without difficulties. Visual nature of calculators’ display enables students to develop their own mental portraits making them recall how to solve a certain problem easily.
Calculators make students be used to them; this makes the students unable to solve mathematics in the absence of calculators. Students become fully dependent in calculators that they are unable to solve even basic problems without using calculators. This is not a pleasant thing because students do not always have calculator wherever he goes.
Calculators are not accepted in all exams this makes students who rely on computers fully to fail in these exams. Since not all schools allow use of calculators, incase a student who has been using calculator is transferred to this school he is unable to get the points got by other students.
This leads to frustration and development of negative attitudes towards mathematics which affect student career in the future. Some calculators can store numbers as well as formulas which students can use during examination time (Pomerantz, 1997). This may lead to students being expelled from schools and if he is not caught he would have an advantage over his fellow students.
This is unfair because he would get marks which he does not deserve. Calculators are expensive to buy this increases financial burden to parents and guardians. They are also small in size a thing that makes some students to hide and steal them. This may lead to constant loss, which is a burden to parents.
Joseph, Y. (2008). Exploring Beliefs and Practices toward the Use ofCalculator among Singapore
Heads of Mathematics Department. Mathematics Education Journal , 11-13.
Pomerantz, H. (1997). The Role of Calculators in Math Education. Mathematical Journal , 22-24.