The Instigator
officialkwade
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Ramos-7
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

We should be able to use calculators more than we already do in higher level mathematics

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/17/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,375 times Debate No: 65350
Debate Rounds (3)
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officialkwade

Pro

In the past, teachers would reply to the question of "why can we not use a calculator?" with "you may not always have one." But today, especially with the availability of smart phones and the Internet, it almost seems impractical to not use them.
Ramos-7

Con

I accept this challenge, I will begin my argument against your proposed idea.

So you claim a calculator should be basically used more often than you claim it to be in math class. A calculator is a device that is programmed to be able to conduct mathematical/arithmetic calculations such as adding, multiplying, taking the square root, graphing etc. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
If you were to be able to use a calculator "more than we already do in higher level mathematics" (this statement needs defining, as we can only assume how much you use a calculator in your math class as opposed to other education systems), that in many cases would remove any need for the student to actually learn the math being done and simply type the problem in the calculator possibly without even knowing how it was done. If you had to solve a problem (like the one in the link) where you had to analyze a graph in order to figure out what the equation for the graph is without knowing anything or understanding the material, you will most likely fail the assignment/test (assuming you had no calculator, the test was not multiple choice and you (if you wanted to cheat) were not able to because you were the only one being tested over the material.

http://www.mi2f.com...

officialkwade, what kind of math are you suggesting a calculator should be used for, specific topics or all types of math? Because math like solving linear equations or matrices for example could be done by hand as well as by calculator. An issue I have with your proposition is mainly the ambiguity of your argument title. If you mean a calculator should be allowed for everything then that would ruin the purpose of teaching mathematics to people since people could simply type it into a machine instead of actually exercising their problem solving & logical reasoning skills like what math can help you improve on. Could you elaborate on your position?
Debate Round No. 1
officialkwade

Pro

I would like to apologize for being so vague, this was my second post so I was new to formatting. Please excuse my error.
Let me also define my situation: I am currently enrolled in AP Calculus. I have received an A average in my other math classes as well. I include this to assert the stance that I am far from a 'slacker' and truly understand the material.
Since I am in AP Calc, I have yet to take the more advanced classes reserved for yet I believe that this will still apply, but correct me if I am wrong.
Now let me clarify my argument.
I believe that calculators should be used more frequently than they are, which occupies about 30% of an AP test, (Observational statistic). From what I have heard from many friends I have in college, is that once there it is rare to use one at all. (Again, this cannot be proved as fact, but still does not dilute my point.)
You misread my point, I do not think that we should focus less on teaching math, just change our focus from redundant analytics to more of a conceptual approach.
And saying that calculators would ruin mathematics is like saying cars would ruin travel.
Ramos-7

Con

I never suggested calculators would "ruin mathematics", what I was trying to type in my argument was that in assuming your position of using calculators more often, I asked how often do you use them etc. What I typed was that if people became more used to using calculators instead of solving problems, defining, simplifying etc. manually, that would not require a lot of work (depending on the complexity of the calculator being used) and the student to simply plug in the problem into the calculator to get an answer at a quicker speed than most problems when completing them by hand. What reason(s) have you to advocate for more calculator usage availability during your AP Calculus class? Are the units in that class covering material that can only be done by calculator or are you seeking to find a short-cut aka an easy way of getting a good grade without having to work as much as if you had to manually solve problems.? The only argument proposed by you for your case is that you believe calculators should be used "more frequently" and from the looks of the remainder of your statement, because of some AP test that which 70% of it is non-calculator based.
Debate Round No. 2
officialkwade

Pro

My point is this, why learn how to analytically solve hundreds of problem and waste countless hours on this when in the 'real world' a majority of professions will in fact use a calculator:
Say if someone's life was on the line, and some formula would save them, would you rather waste time and risk error on human ability to solve the problem by hand, or use the calculator to solve the problem correctly and efficiently. As far fetched as this may sound, it its a valid point: http://unews.utah.edu...
What about an economist? Do they hand write every problem? Would you trust your $100,000 to the company that uses cutting edge computing software (which is essentially a calculator in itself) and typical calculators, or the one that has 500 notebooks filled with hand written problems? It makes no sense.
Do you think that Chevy or NASA trusts its engineers to hand solve Problems?
It boils down to innovation. We build these amazing devices for a reason, yet wait until the 'real world' to use them. Why wait? I understand the argument, where kids will lack the computational skills needed and will fail to fully grasp the scope of the problem. Yet if someone does not understand the problem without a calculator, they most likely will not understand the problem with one. Moreover, the ability to use the device to do the arithmetic seems quite logical does it not? One would still have to understand the problem, the parts, and what it is asking. They would not be arbitrarily punching in number into a box as you so make it sound. All the calculators would do would be saving time on the arithmetic.
I take the "easy way out" in the sense of efficiency. I take the "easy way out" in the way Ford's assembly line was taking the easy way out of building the cars by hand. It is the 21st century, things have and will change, those who wish to not be a part of that change should not inhibit those that do. Therefore if it is an established rule for students to not use calculators, why? This should be treated like any other innovation, and we should use the resources that we have been given.
To me this is common sense.
I rest my case.
Ramos-7

Con

From reading the title I thought this debate would be about only in a school/college setting, I didn't know you would have involved real world examples, but nevertheless I shall post my final response.

The case of using a calculator in a Race-Against-Time scenario is understandable but do not forget human error is very well possible there as well. But if was in the situation I would use the calculator as a quicker method to assist the person in danger. If they do not have access to a calculator (yes situations where a calculator malfunctions or isn't available occurs) then I would assume they hand write or solve the problem in their mind. Like being asked a question at a conference for some business meeting just to see how good their math is or some other issue. Lol @ the scenario of a company with over 500 notebooks. No I would not imagine that, but while you make points I never addressed (because the original argument was regarding to school/college mathematics not real world) they have nothing to do with the original question/argument. Yes Chevy, NASA or any other corporation do expect you to solve problems being hand written or another method in absence of a calculator when one is not available. In math if hand solving problems is a non-possible scenario then use a calculator because that's one of your only options besides cheating to pass the test for that unit (assuming you take one), but to use a calculator to solve things that can be otherwise solved by hand (assuming you do not understand the material & rely on your calculator to do the math for you) shows you're incapable of solving higher level math problems, but if you did understand the material and did it for the sake of time (like you suggested you were) then that is understandable. People with a calculator can be taught how to apply the question to the calculator in order for the device to solve it for them, they don't need to understand how it is solved by writing the problem in order to push buttons on a calculator to get the correct answer, and if they follow my example in the previous statement I made but had to explain how they got their answer and why it is correct, I'm fairly certain "my calculator's right" or some similar excuse shows they're incompetent and in a lot of cases will not receive credit for just the answer alone. An explanation for how the answer was achieved is also important because it shows whether your work is credible or not. For manufacturing products or using real world examples, calculators are great for speed and accuracy, but it's also beneficial if you know how to solve the problem without a calculator if that calculator one day is unavailable. This is my argument.
Debate Round No. 3
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