Friday, November 1, 2013

Calculators, thoughts and a student question.

This morning I explained to my Algebra II class that beginning next week I will be assigning a set of projects for part of their quarter grade.  At the end a student raised his hand and asked if he could do the projects on his own mobile devices rather than on the class iPad set.  This shows me that he would like to be able to work independently and work outside of class.  I said I'd let them know on Monday but I was beaming inside at his question.  I think I am going to allow it.
When I was growing up we learned our math facts and could do them in our sleep.  Now there are all sorts of calculators for students to use including equation solvers.  Even our state tests will allow calculators that they provide as part of the online test.  My concern is that most students accept the answer they get as the correct answer.  They do not take a min to check to see it is reasonable.  Almost like the idea that if they find it on the internet, it is the total truth. 
I am thinking of having students use the equation solvers when we do systems of equations to show their work.  They will show their work but may check the answers for problems that are not in the book.  If they provide answers only, I do not plan on accepting the assignment.