As a future math teacher, it is important to know technology since the students will be using graphic calculators which as a form of technology. In the math regent exams, it is mandatory for high school students to use graphic calculators. During the semester, I attended a Math Seminar in the math department room, where the professor spoke about the uses of the graphic calculators. From this, I read an article about the use of graphic calculators called Factors leading to the adoption of a learning technology: The case of graphics calculators (http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ926494&site=ehost-live)
In this article, the researchers stated that technology allows students to enhance their “spatial-visualization” skills, connect mathematical concepts, and bring a greater understanding in certain topics such as functions and graphing. In their study, they created a questionnaire to see how the teachers reacted in involving graphic calculators in the classrooms. As a result, the researchers concluded that the teachers are aware of calculators and how those can be used to create visual learning (ex: graphing) but some don’t believe in using them as a tool for students because it will decrease the students thinking process or basically “dumbing down”. Moreover, the study shows lack of faculty support and training in order for teachers to be adapted to graphic calculators.
From this article, I agree that graphic calculators should be used, but with certain modifications. As a high school student, there are ways of misusing a graphic calculator. Some graphic calculators have programs that you can store information like say the questions and answers to a test, and it will appear on the calculator. For the traditionalists’ point of views, meaning how the teachers who learned without calculators see it, graphic calculators will cause the student to be reliant on it to answer any problem, no matter if it is simply or not. I do agree with this statement, but isn’t that why teachers are there to help adjust the use of technology in their classrooms? If you see a high school student doing a 15+15 problem, then you know that you will need to limit the use of calculators.
The purpose of the graphic calculators is to broaden the students’ perspectives in mathematics. The student may want to see how the equation would look like and therefore use the graphic calculator to show the particular equation. I remember as a freshman in college, who was taking Pre-calculus, the teacher would show us how to use the calculators and how to draw the equations. When we draw the equations, we notice a certain shape and it may form into a smile face or a stick figure. This way of teaching attracts students to learn something new and may apply it for future use.
Example of Graphing an Equation: