# Technology use in education?

1. Jan 7, 2017

### houlahound

I know I could do a bunch of integrations correctly long before I could visually inspect slope functions and reconstruct the actual functions with just eye and a sketch.

The latter is way more important I think in analysing problems than following a set of calculations that give the correct answer with no intuitive insight.

2. Jan 7, 2017

### Staff: Mentor

I agree, to a point. One should be able to set up an integral correctly, but it's also important to be able to complete the calculation and arrive at the right answer, including at times, without the use of technology.

3. Jan 7, 2017

### houlahound

OTOH few calculations, if any, in the real world would ever be trusted in human hands in terms of a manual calculation.

That cuts both ways, the local radiotherapy unit here requires by law that all treatment plans simulated on a computer must be eye-balled by a human with a few point calculations done.

The computer can optimise the plan but also fry a spinal cord in the process leaving the patient a paraplegic.

4. Jan 7, 2017

### Staff: Mentor

Right, but we're talking about tech use in education, not the "real world." As someone said earlier in this thread, students should know how to do relatively simple problems by hand (i.e., paper and pencil) first, and once they are proficient, then they should be allowed to use the available technology.

8. Jan 9, 2017

### Andy Resnick

Can you expand on this a bit? Specifically, why you consider education disjoint from the 'real world'.

9. Jan 9, 2017

### Staff: Mentor

When students first learn some technique, such as finding the factors of a polynomial, or solving a differential equation, or calculating the trajectory of a thrown ball, there are assumptions usually made to make the calculations simpler. After the students attain some proficiency at the particular technique, some of the simplifying assumptions can be relaxed, so that the problems can at least approach those of the real world.

10. Jan 9, 2017

### Staff: Mentor

You're repeating yourself. The argument here seems to be that quantity trumps quality. Either that or you're just trolling.

11. Jan 9, 2017

### Andy Resnick

I hear what you are saying, I would reply that "when learning something new, try to deal with a simplified situation before dealing with the full mess" is a common and important real-world situation. In the context of STEM classroom technology, the processes of simplification and complexification can be clearly demonstrated.