High Tech Heretic: CRT for Tots, A Question of Balance, & Calculating Against Calculators

My latest excursion into the house of Stoll first explored the issue of exposing students in Kindergarten to computers.  He states that kids can pick up on things a lot quicker these days, especially computers.  We do not need to have kids at such a young age learning how to use them.  It is an age of learning how to socialize with their peers and exploring their imagination.  Stoll mentions an example in the chapter about art.  There is a big difference between playing with the application Paint on a computer and finger painting.  One, finger painting is so much fun.  Two, making a mess in an artistic manner develops a person’s creativity.  Three, the students will have a better time.  Also, students who create drawings about different things in an crude manner hold some sentimental value to them and are very original, instead of creating them on a program like Paint.  Save the computers for a later point in their lives.

A Question of Balance discusses the issue of balancing the amount of computing with the amount of interaction between students and teacher.  Sometimes we may want to put so much technology in our classrooms that we forget about the human element in teaching.  That part of education has always been there since its birth.  We have to know when we are over doing it with technology and consider how motives for its involvement.

Calculating Against Calculators discusses the use of computers in a Math class.  The calculator has become a crutch for most students and even college students.  I tutor college students as a side job to earn a little extra money.  Some of my tutees are so attached to their calculator they use it to solve simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems.  Kind of a sad thing really to see.  A calculator can handle those situations with ease, but what are those students going to do when a problem calls for a more complex approach where you cannot simply punch in numbers to find a solution.  I love what he says about how good algebra teachers always make their students show their work.  Made me feel good to read that because I always ask for my students to show their work.  I’m not a mindreader and I can not see what they are thinking without seeing it on their paper.  With their procedures wrote down, I can find out where the mistake is in their process.  Students should have a solid foundation in the basic aspects of Math without having to rely on a calculator.

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