Do Calculators Have a Negative or Positive Effect on People’s Brains?

by James Lee, age 11
Do Calculators Have a Negative or Positive Effect on People’s Brains?

“Calculators have a negative effect on people’s brains. It causes kids to not know basic math facts.”

I have seen many kids use calculators who don’t understand what they are doing. They don’t understand the consequence of their actions. The handheld calculator was invented in 1967. Even by 1986 (29 years ago), calculators represented an estimated 41% of the world’s general-purpose hardware capacity to compute information. Calculators have a negative effect on people’s brains. It causes kids to not know basic math facts.

Calculators were invented as a tool for adults to use in their jobs. Adults use calculators to figure out their rent and issues like that. It is used to calculate money so they don’t pay too much or too little money. Calculators are not supposed to be used by kids who just want to get their math homework done quickly. It is better to take time and learn the basic facts. It is important for kids to have a base in math just like a building that needs to grow bigger and bigger, just like how the math is going to get harder and harder when you get older and older. Math is hard enough. Not learning basic math facts would make it even harder. Adults are supposed to use calculators because they have already learned how to do their basic math facts. They also need a calculator for their jobs, unlike kids.

The consequence of calculator use is that kids do not get to learn their basic math facts in calculator use. The USA is under average at math and science. This is because of calculator use. The USA also gives less school hours and days in the year.  The USA has less than 180 days in a school year. People in the Singapore curriculum can use calculators because they know how to do the basic math facts. What is the point of teaching someone how to do math if they forget how to do it later? It is like the story where the guy catches fish for the man, but the man still doesn’t learn how to catch fish. Christina L. Sheets Wallace, in her NE Math in the Middle Institute Partnership Action Research Project Report in partial fulfillment of the MAT Degree Department of Mathematics University of Nebraska-Lincoln July, said that her students between 7th and 12th grades had lowered their grades on tests because of excessive calculator use.

Calculators have a negative effect on kids who don’t know their basic math facts.  It makes math harder than it needs to be. Calculators are mostly for adults to use in their jobs. Next time you see a kid use a calculator to do their homework, stop them.

4 Comments

  • Edward Lara says:

    I agree that computers are not just a play-thing for children. They are tools for adults to compute large numbers quickly. There are many obvious perks to getting kids to solve equations and problems with either a pencil and paper, or in their heads. Hopefully, more people will recognize this fact.

  • Ethan Horton says:

    i think calculators are a tool that dose help but kids should learn to do math without calculators only use if you realy need help

  • Joshua says:

    If we are around calculators more often than paper, why is it important to learn things like long division or long multiplication? They don’t teach us how the operations actually work!

  • none yah says:

    i like calculators, thank you very much!

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