Although calculators make the lives of students much easier, many schools are holding back on this decision. Calculators are devices that are created to simplify matters while schools are institutions that are created to teach new ways of coping with problems. Both these ideas contradict each other to a certain extent. Some people argue that children must be given access to calculators in order to accelerate the learning process. Others say that calculators must be banned since they restrict the capability of children. While both these arguments are true to some extent, the answer must not be decided without properly analysing the situation.
There is no need to rack your brain with complicated sums since they can be simplified through calculators. For instance, the HP 35s scientific calculator can be given to children to accelerate the speed of learning within the classroom. This calculator is not only useful for school students, but also for graduates who are studying and reading medicine and engineeringbooks as well. So getting used to such a device in school will enable the students to be familiar with them in the future too. With a calculator, you can solve a problem in an efficient and quick manner. This will give you enough and more time to understand the problem. Moreover, there is no need to repeat the same boring procedure over and over again. This alleviates the monotonous way of learning and makes education simpler and easier.
Many students – including the bright ones – make simple mistakes in addition and subtraction while solving a complicated sum. This minor error can lead to the entire problem being incorrect despite the student performing the rest of the steps correctly. There is no need to be subjected to such simple and careless errors when using a calculator. You can solve any large sum quickly and correctly since the basics can be solved with acalculator in seconds. This will help students who have a low mathematical capacity to get higher grades as well. There is no need to memorize the multiplication table or formulas since everything is available in a calculator. This will make the student feel more confident about what he/she is doing.
Although a calculator is highly helpful, the real case is much different. As much as it is useful, a calculator will not be able to operate without the assistance of the user. You need to give the right instructions and input the right numbers in order to get the desired answer. Thus, the user needs to possess some degree of mathematical knowledge in order to operate the device. Moreover, mistakes can be made in calculators as well. You will not get the right answer unless you feed the calculator with the right instructions. This is why it is important to double-check all instructions even though you are using a technological device. Such mistakes can happen in various scenarios. For example, the student can press the wrong buttons, input the wrong formula, forget to change the mode, etc.
When students continuously use calculators, they developa dependency to the device. Students will be able to solve even the most complicated of sums in seconds, but, this will not help them in the future. It reduces their capacity for mind arithmetic and decreases their mental capacity and problem solving skills. While being able to solve complicated sums in the classroom will be useful, it will not be productive in the outer environment. You will not be able to take out your calculator and solve a sum in emergency situations. You will have to calculate inside your mind and rely entirely on your mathematical capacity. A student who is not accustomed to calculators will be able to solve any problem at any time since he/she uses only his/her abilities and does not rely on a technical gadget.
When one weighs the pros and cons of the situation, the cons seem to outweigh the pros. Of course, using a calculator does not demoralize learning or simplifies the complexity of mathematics, but rather, it moves the problem solving procedure faster. Unfortunately, the effects of this behaviour can greatly affect the users on the long-term since a certain sense of dependency will be established. Therefore, it is best to avoid them, at least until the students have proved themselves to be mathematically capable and efficient.