A student’s life these days has become more and more dependent on technology and new software. Technology has more or less taken the place of pen and paper in today’s world. Take, for instance, Mathematics – first came the simple calculator then came more advanced ones like the scientific and mixed fraction calculators. Finally, we have computers which use math software for more advanced calculations in mere seconds.
Benefits of using Math software –
Math software is said to help students in learning mathematics and also develop their confidence as well as motivate them. Not only does it add confidence, but when you use math software as a part of the curriculum, it brings in more enthusiasm to want to learn more and better. This could be because larger problems or so-called real world problems can be solved easily. Many students might even be using this in the future; maybe in their careers. So it could also be thought as a career-related move.
It has also been seen that a Graphical demo of math software helps students understand math problems better. It improved and enhanced their numerical and graphical understanding. Also, such math software is a savior when a student is stuck with some complicated math homework or is running short of time.
Math software not only finds its place in the Mathematical arena but also in other subjects like say Chemistry, physics, and programming.
The use of math software actually manages to add a flavor to studies. It makes it more enjoyable and more relaxing for a student. We all know how stressful academic life can be. Such software just gives you a little support and makes it a little less taxing. It gives students more time to spend on understanding the core matter and allows the software to do the simpler and unnecessary number crunching or plotting.
Cons of using math software-
However having told about the good points of such software, one should take care that they do not become totally dependent on these. They still need to understand the basics and follow how the software comes up with the answers that it does. They should not be using it as a crutch. This should not deter students from not learning the fundamentals and the applications and lose interest in pure math.
Students can use math software to make their math homework easier and maybe faster. But they should not be relying on these completely to the point of cheating.
All paths taken by technology can have negative and positive sides. It is up to us to embrace the positive, harness them and learn from them as well. Essentially it comes down to this – whether math software can be thought of like a power tool or a learning tool. Well, if you use it to solve maybe real world problems and for number crunching then maybe it can be called a power tool. And if a student uses it to better learn mathematical concepts and connections then it is very well a learning tool. So the merit goes both ways.