Anyone who has gone to school knows what a math calculator is and what a calculator can do. However, in recent times it has come under hot debate as to how reliant we are becoming to our old school friend, and so the question about calculators hurting our innate mathematical ability has come into play. In this article we will look at the facts and see if they really are hindering rather than helping.

What is a calculator?

A calculator is normally a rectangular shaped device with a magnitude of buttons, that are often in different colors, it has a small screen at the top that is normally dark with black lettering. The first calculator was invented in the 1960s but it wasn’t until the 1970s that they became more widely used when they became pocket-sized. Nowadays, you can find them in a range of sizes, ranging from small bank card sized ones that can be used for simple math, up to big calculators that can be used for more complicated mathematics. However, a calculator nowadays comes inbuilt into many mobile phones, often resulting in the decline of independent calculators in the modern day world.

Their use in math

As stated in the above point, calculators can be used for a wide range of mathematical operations. This can range from simple addition, multiplication, division and subtraction to more complex things such as sin and tan operations. This all depends on the users need at the time. It is normal for schools to ask that their students have at least a basic calculator for when they attend class, but recently there has been a debate regarding this stating that the easy access to calculators for simple math has made the students lazy and less able to do math operations.

Calculators and technology

In the modern day world, you don’t need to go to a stationary store to buy a math calculator. It is now more common to find one already installed on your phone or tablet when you get them. This means that you are only ever a few moments away from having a very powerful calculator in your hands. The result of this is that people now use their phones calculator for even the simplest of sums. A group meal for 5 friends with a total of £50, how much does everyone have to pay? It is a promise that at least one person here will resort to using the calculator on their phone.

To round up, when used for more complex math the calculator can be useful. However, we cannot fall into the habit of overusing it too much for simple math can be easily done in our heads. The idea put forth that children should not use math calculators in school until a later age seems like a good one that could stop us from becoming over reliant on this technological device. Check more in this math article: http://www.math-towers.ca/problem-solving-in-math-why-our-kids-dont-like-it/.