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# Enhancing education or hindering learning: The Impact of Calculators in Exams

Are calculators the superheroes of education, swooping in to save us from complex calculations? Or are they secretly villains, robbing students of essential learning experiences? The debate over the use of calculators in exams rages on, with passionate arguments on both sides. In this thought-provoking blog post, we delve into the impact calculators have on education and explore whether they truly enhance or hinder learning. Get ready to challenge your assumptions and embrace a lively discussion that just may change how you view these tiny yet powerful devices.

## Introduction to the use of calculators in exams

As more and more schools provide students with access to calculators during exams, it is important to consider the impact that this tool can have on learning. While calculators can be a helpful resource for some students, they can also be a hindrance for others.

Some argue that calculator use during exams can lead to cheating, as students can simply look up answers instead of working out problems on their own. Others say that calculators can give some students an unfair advantage, as those who are better at math will be able to use them more effectively than those who struggle with the subject.

There is also the concern that calculator use will lead to a decrease in critical thinking skills as students will rely on the calculator to do the work for them instead of using their own brain power. And finally, there is the worry that calculators will simply make things too easy for students, leading to a lack of challenge and engagement in learning.

So what is the reality of calculator use during exams? Are they enhancing education or hindering learning? Let’s take a closer look.

### The pros and cons of using calculators in exams

When it comes to using calculators in exams, there are pros and cons to consider. On the one hand, calculators can be a helpful tool for students who need assistance with mathematical calculations. On the other hand, some educators believe that allowing calculators in exams can hinder learning and lead to dependency on technology.

The Pros:

1. Calculators can help students who struggle with mathematical calculations.
2. Calculators can save time on lengthy or complex calculations.
3. Using a calculator can help reduce stress and anxiety for some students.
4. Some studies have shown that using calculators in exams can actually improve test scores.
5. Calculator use can encourage greater engagement with mathematical concepts and problem-solving.
6. For students who are comfortable using them, calculators can be a valuable tool in exams.
7     It is important for students to learn how to use a calculator properly and understand its limitations; this is a skill that will be useful in further education and in the workplace.

The Cons:
1. Allowing calculators in exams could lead to more dependency on technology; students may become reliant on calculator use and lose their ability to do mental math or simple calculations without one.
Calculator use could also encourage cheating; if students are allowed to share or have access to multiple calculators during an exam, they could pass information between each other or copy answers from previous tests stored on

#### Impact on Education: Does it Enhance or Hinder Learning?

The use of calculators in exams has been a controversial topic for many years. While some believe that it enhances learning, others believe that it hinders it. So, what is the impact of calculators on education?

There are a few different ways to look at this issue. First, let’s consider the impact of calculators on student learning. There is no doubt that calculators can be helpful in certain situations. For example, if a student is struggling with simple arithmetic, a calculator can be a useful tool to help them get the right answer. However, there are also situations where calculators can hinder learning. For example, if a student relies too heavily on a calculator to do their math, they may not develop strong problem-solving skills. In addition, if students are allowed to use calculators on tests and exams, it may give them an unfair advantage over students who don’t have access to one.

Another way to look at this issue is from the perspective of educators. From this standpoint, there are both positive and negative impacts of calculators in education. On the positive side, calculators can save educators time by allowing them to quickly check answers and solve problems. On the negative side, some educators worry that too much reliance on calculators will make students less capable of solving problems on their own. In addition, some educators believe that using calculators on exams gives an unfair advantage to those students who have access to one.

So, what is the overall impact of calculators on education? Ultimately, it depends on how they are used. If used properly, calculators can be a helpful tool for students and educators. However, if not used responsibly, they can be detrimental to learning.

#### How should calculator usage be regulated?

There is no one answer to this question, as it depends on the opinions of educators, students, and parents. Some people believe that calculators should be banned from exams altogether, as they give an unfair advantage to those who are better at using them. Others argue that calculators should be allowed, but their use should be regulated, for example, by only allowing them during certain sections of the exam or by capping the number of calculator-allowed questions. Ultimately, it is up to individual schools and teachers to decide how to best use calculators in their classrooms and exams.

#### Is there a case for banning calculators from exam halls altogether?

There is a case to be made for banning calculators from exam halls altogether. The main argument in favor of this ban is that calculators can be used to cheat on exams. While it is true that students can use calculators to calculate answers to questions on exams, it is also true that they can use them to double-check their work and catch mistakes.

Another argument in favor of banning calculators from exam halls is that they can be distracting. If a student is allowed to use a calculator during an exam, they may be tempted to use it for non-academic purposes, such as checking the time or playing games. This distraction can take away from the student’s focus on the exam and hinder their performance.

The final argument in favor of banning calculators from exam halls is that they give some students an unfair advantage. Students who are more comfortable using calculators may have an easier time completing exams than those who are not as comfortable with them. This advantage could lead to higher grades for those students, which would not be fair to the other students taking the same exam.

While there are some arguments in favor of banning calculators from exam halls, there are also arguments against it. One argument against a ban is that calculator use can promote active learning. If students are allowed to use calculators on exams, they will be more likely to engage with the material and try to understand it rather than simply memorize answers. Additionally, using a calculator can

#### Conclusion

As we have seen, calculators can be both a help and a hindrance in exams. They can help students check their work and overcome mistakes, but they can also encourage dependence and lead to errors. The best way forward is therefore to use them wisely, as a tool to support learning rather than as a crutch.

When used correctly, calculators can enhance education by helping students develop their skills and understanding. However, when over relied upon, they can hinder learning by preventing students from developing their own problem-solving abilities. The key is finding the right balance—using calculators when they are helpful but not letting them take over.