September 3rd, 2013 by Dan Meyer
The tenth of Hans Freudenthal’s “Major Problems Of Mathematics Education“:
I am obliged to say something about calculators and computers. You would protest if I did not. I could refuse because I can prove I am incompetent. I know almost nothing about calculators and computers. It is a lack of knowledge that prevents me from tackling any minor problem of calculators and computers in mathematics education. It does not prevent me from indicating what in my view is a major problem.
Technology influences education. The ballpoint, Xerox, and the overhead projector have fundamentally changed instruction. But this is as it were unintentionally educational technology. Programmed instruction, teaching machines, language laboratories, which were intentional educational technology, founded on big theory, did not fare as well, to say the least of it.
Calculators are being used at school, and they will be used even more in the future. Computer science is taught and will be taught even more. How to do it – these are minor questions. Computer assisted instruction has still a long way to go even in the few cases where it looks feasible.
What I seek is neither calculators and computers as educational technology nor as technological education but as a powerful tool to arouse and increase mathematical understanding.
Thirty years ago.