Object 1: TI-84 Plus CE-T
May 28, 2021
This object is a graphing calculator (image 1) manufactured by
Texas Instruments. I got it in grade ten at my school as we
began to study trigonometry and calculus. On this calculator, I
can enter various equations and even if it includes constants
such as in the formula, it is still able to solve it. This indicates
that it is more advanced than the previous calculator that I used
to use, which was simpler and had less functions. Although, the
previous calculator could do less, it has helped me when I used
TI-84 as I had gained knowledge and experience from it. For
instance, I needed to use 2nd key to draw graphs, but this was
no problem to me as I used them on my older calculator. From using these functions, I learned that there were multiple ways to solve questions.
This object enriches the exhibition as the use of graphing calculator is controversial. Graphing calculators have allowed the students to get to the right answer quickly. Though, some students do not fully understand why they got that answer as the calculator does it for you. This is called the instrumental understanding, which is when students only memorise the mathematical rules. However, without the graphing calculator you gain rational understanding, which can be obtained by understanding the logic behind it. Thus, graphing calculator has made it difficult for the students to gain rational understanding1, which indicates that current knowledge is not always an improvement from the past.
The graphing calculator is an example of current technology developing students’ thoughts. As it made me understand that mathematics does not necessarily have only one path to the correct answer. However, this has prevented us from going into depth. Hence, current knowledge is not always an improvement from past knowledge. Though, the calculators were invented after humans have come up with logics to program the calculator, so they were improved from prior knowledge.