Post Reply 
Now available on iTunes: HP Prime Graphing Calculator iOS app
02-22-2016, 04:18 PM
Post: #61
RE: Now available on iTunes: HP Prime Graphing Calculator iOS app
(02-22-2016 09:57 AM)m@x Wrote:  
(02-11-2016 06:18 PM)dbbotkin Wrote:  ...

Does that mean that 'the answer' is more important than the underlying principles? Of course not! If a class involves "integrals and differentiation" it is likely that the job opportunities for students in that class will NOT require them to work them out from memory or use a slide rule.


Lest anyone think this is a recent problem, consider these:
1900--lookup tables versus slide-rule;
1971--slide-rule versus h/p 35.

Now we have a tech-tool that puts the power of a big computer in the hand of science student. Why not let them use it?


As I understood it, strict calculator requirements (disqualifying new powerful models, and smartphone apps) are not there to force students to use old technology, but to ensure that everyone has actually learned the correct procedure.

If there was no such limitation, everyone could solve the test even without having knowledge to, if he has results written in calculator/computer, if he can communicate with somebody else outside of the classroom who can help him solve the test, or if he knows how to solve it by using calculator (and that knowledge is less comprehensive then knowledge to solve it using your own brain with a little help of calculator).

Cheating is unfair to all, so no one would advocate the use of "stored information" or "outside-assistance." That pretty much rules out a phone app or anything with wireless capabilities. "Standardized tests" might justifiably require a common base of technology.

The issue here is not new: there was a time in living memory when students were taught (and tested) on the method to extract a square root. The slide-rule was the excluded 'high-tech' item. Prior to that, tables of logarithms were the common tool. I don't believe anyone would support testing in engineering subjects with nothing but a simple "4-banger" calculator, nor would tables of constants or even formulae be denied access.

Yes, learning "first-principles" should be a feature of education, but as a concept, not a methodology. Isn't the deciding factor the 'real-worldliness' of the problem-solving technique; not the cost of the calculator? True, the clever student with an HP Prime will have mastered its use before being tested and simply giving everyone a Prime will only widen the gap in test scores, but we need more "clever students" don't we?
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 

User(s) browsing this thread: