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Possible death of calculators in education?
05-15-2017, 09:08 PM
Post: #1
Possible death of calculators in education?
https://www.engadget.com/2017/05/15/test...alculator/

The interesting tidbit is that this thing has been approved for testing.

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05-15-2017, 10:03 PM
Post: #2
RE: Possible death of calculators in education?
I guess it was inevitable, but I'm not discarding my beloved HP-35 anytime soon. Students today probably have no idea what it is, though.


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05-15-2017, 10:23 PM (This post was last modified: 05-15-2017 10:44 PM by compsystems.)
Post: #3
RE: Possible death of calculators in education?
Calculators with own hardware will not die if they evolve to touch screen only, without physical keyboards, they must also have Internet connection, Now calculators on an OS (i-OS, android, windows, etc) will exist forever
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05-15-2017, 11:33 PM (This post was last modified: 05-16-2017 08:28 AM by Vtile.)
Post: #4
RE: Possible death of calculators in education?
Touchscreen will not be a solution it is lesser format in so many ways. It will be that way until someone manages to invent touchless 3-dimensional Tactile stimuli to it. I'm not worried calcs wont go anywhere. There is always some butique on Zyrich where I can get analog wristwatch and programmable calculator.

I couldn't read that article as a whole since this worlds best device for everything called smartphone refuges to show it proprly, but if that calculator service is hooked to exam databases etc. with internet I promise to laugh when first ddos campaign strikes in national exam week.
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05-16-2017, 08:53 AM
Post: #5
RE: Possible death of calculators in education?
I expect that calculators will evolve (at the end calculators or smartphones are computers, just optimized for different things) from the current interface to a smartphone interface only when the keypress precision will be good enough, and this means tacticle simulation plus space between buttons because fingers won't evolve quickly.

It is like saying that a PC dies for coding or gaming, no way one could emulate the precision of a keyboard or a mouse with touch controls (at least not yet). Or cameras. Sure smartphones replaced cheap cameras, but not even all of them.

So to the clueless student, a calculator app will be enough I guess, as many students use an overkill grahing calculator just to store compressed cheatsheets. I remember when I wrote a guide how to solve an exam with a sharp 506w and at the exam 6 people showed up with the same calc because they read my guide (and one wanted even to know how to solve the stuff, he did not even bother to read the guide).

For a "power user", that maybe will use the device outside, I guess the calculator won't be easily replaced. Have you ever tried to take a picture with a smartphone with wet fingers? With a camera it is easier because there are buttons.

The same for a calculator.

Heck I see people with a pc (of the power of a supercomputer) in from of them using those big simple calculators because it is just easier than opening the calculator app.

Instead with a properly sized tablet, I would say 8 or more inches (8 may be too small though), then a calculator app, at least on the desk, starts to be interesting.

And indeed I do remember using droid48 in 2010 with my 10 inches ZTE180 (cheap but working), was not much worse than the real 50g. I have good hopes for the HP prime application actually, but still I did not use it.

Instead with my smartphone 5.5 inches , free42 fits neatly (the best layout that I encountered so far, the other two good ones were hypercalc and handycalc, but not as neat as free42) but it shows that cramming more buttons in an already large smartphone is difficult.

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05-16-2017, 10:22 AM
Post: #6
RE: Possible death of calculators in education?
Also note that the exams are likely being done on PCs or similar, which gives teachers the ability to control the test environment even more, if all outside calculators are forbidden.

That really could be the death of anything more expensive than a basic non-programmable scientific calculator in education... but it could be possible for TI to actually decide to compete in that environment, and start giving the profits back to the customer.
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05-16-2017, 11:35 AM
Post: #7
RE: Possible death of calculators in education?
(05-15-2017 09:08 PM)Han Wrote:  The interesting tidbit is that this thing has been approved for testing.

Interesting. Around here, smartphones are strictly banned from all kinds of class tests because students could use them for getting help form outside. Therefore a smartphone app will not easily replace a physical calculator that has no wireless connectivity.
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05-16-2017, 11:41 AM
Post: #8
RE: Possible death of calculators in education?
While the article shows an Android phone running the app, I think that for exam situations, it will be running off of a locked-down computer with screens monitored and keystrokes possibly even recorded.

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05-16-2017, 12:26 PM
Post: #9
RE: Possible death of calculators in education?
Yeah, ultimately, this is a web app. So, the testing solution can simply embed a MSHTML control (or Chrome Embedded Framework, or one of the Gecko controls, or if it's already web-based, just an IFRAME) and get a calculator embedded into the test.
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05-17-2017, 05:45 AM
Post: #10
RE: Possible death of calculators in education?
The real physical hardware calculator will still be here for an extended period of time no matter of how newer generation will try to change or of the technology advancement. Newest generation of calculator today implement the touch screen with push button key stroke and faster CPU computations. Like the HP Prime it is a more advance mix of computer like interface wit CAS, Numeric and RPN with these options older and newer generation can learn with all of this formats. Real calculator is a better machine to learn math than using a computer.
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05-17-2017, 01:39 PM
Post: #11
RE: Possible death of calculators in education?
Droid 48 works fine on my 5" phone, sure the 'buttons' don't feel the same as the real thing but people anymore are used to a touchscreen so they don't care.

I can also run apps such as maxima or gforth no need to buy anything special.
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05-17-2017, 02:51 PM
Post: #12
RE: Possible death of calculators in education?
Call me a dinosaur but I much prefer the tactile feel of a real keypad. For that reason alone I'd much rather have a real calculator in my hands than a phone or tablet-based emulator.
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05-17-2017, 04:02 PM
Post: #13
RE: Possible death of calculators in education?
Same here, but I'd bet that 99.99% of kids in school don't.
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05-17-2017, 08:22 PM
Post: #14
RE: Possible death of calculators in education?
<rant> Due to human inertia, most (all?) calculators on tablets and smart phones have "keys" which stay the same size all the time, because they are trying too hard to pretend to be like physical calculators. When Oh When will SOMEBODY think outside this self-imposed BOX, and develop a touch-screen calculator which uses auto-resizing and auto-arranging TILES for function access, so that with each tile tap, the tiles not only change their nomenclature but even their size and position? If done right, using such a calculator could be MUCH more efficient than the current idiotic practice of ALWAYS showing ALL of the SAME dozens of TINY "keys", most of which are never pressed. Having larger and fewer tiles would make the calculator easier to use, and rebuilding them as needed (context-sensitive) would allow very rapid access to all functions. None of this scrolling down long alphabetical lists of cryptic names, either!

Brand new technologies often tend to slavishly imitate older technologies (partially due to the human inertia of the developers, and partially due to the human inertia of the consumers), thus missing out on many potential benefits of the new technology. For example, "GarageBand" software can imitate hundreds of already-existing physical musical instruments, but it offers NOTHING for pure music creation unshackled by physical reality, which is precisely what software OUGHT to excel at.

As long as tablet-based calculators have the same user interface as physical calculators, then physical calculators will remain superior to them, because of their physical keys. But as soon as we break free of our human inertia and invent better user interfaces that can only work on tablets, then physical calculators will become obsolete.

I suspect that this idea will be rejected just as was my earlier suggestion that the ubiquitous design of same-shaped keys in a rectangular grid is an idiotic thing to have on calculators (I think that the keys having different shapes and colors would be a much more efficient user interface). But I understand why: it's human inertia that I'm pushing against. "But Joe, that LOOKS funny, so nobody would buy it!" Even if it's faster and easier to use? *sigh* </rant>

X<> c
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05-17-2017, 08:59 PM
Post: #15
RE: Possible death of calculators in education?
^^ Someone give that man a cookie. Smile

I would take one of those out-of-the-box calculators, though there is still time and place for POCKET-SIZE calculators (ie. 35S is NOT one on that size range), that run smallish graphics capable (for ie. UI and other informatic reasons) display. There is ie. places where the phones are no-go (mainly for camera etc.) or places where you can get easier with calculator. Also if the device is done correctly, which is ultra-low power it will outlive the other "swissknife" mobile devices just because of it most often is fully in charge. Will the physical calculator die in education, propably yes, since the persons directing the education will want something "better" and modern ( while teaching 2400 years old Pythagoran Big Grin ) with even older number base system.

I hope the future is not like it is now in lectures held in computer labs when looking from back-row 50% of class is reading 4chan or other "educational" resource from the web and hiding behind the monitor if the subject is even slightly dry.

..That said if some new invention in calculators proves to be more efficient and competitive (the always on your pocket is not one) compared to physical GOOD calculator, I'm all in.

.... Were it education, yep I hope future generations could also have a good modern pockets calcs not educational tools as the educational tools deserve to die .. sooner the better.
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05-17-2017, 09:02 PM
Post: #16
RE: Possible death of calculators in education?
I'd have to see it, having a changing interface sounds too much like the changing menus introduced in windows xp or the ribbon of Microsoft office both of which helped drive me away from Microsoft products. having a changing menu was just too much as habbits made me hit the wrong things all the time.

Part of me having buttons that look like my hp48 was because i wanted it that way. Its easier to carry one phone rather than a calculator plus phone plus camera, etc but I wanted the same interface as the real thing.

But it you want to its trivial to download the tools and make a new calculator app.
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05-17-2017, 09:10 PM (This post was last modified: 05-17-2017 09:11 PM by Maximilian Hohmann.)
Post: #17
RE: Possible death of calculators in education?
Hello!

(05-17-2017 08:22 PM)Joe Horn Wrote:  Having larger and fewer tiles would make the calculator easier to use, and rebuilding them as needed (context-sensitive) would allow very rapid access to all functions. None of this scrolling down long alphabetical lists of cryptic names, either!

I would like that! But I can't think of a way this could be implemented without some kind of "clairvoyancy" of the calculator about his master's wishes. For example: I am pretty much certain that 98 percent of calculations use either +,-,*,/,Enter(=). So after finishing the entry of numbers, those five keys could fill the entire screen and most users would be happy with that in most cases. But how can the calculator know the the user doesn't want to key in more numbers?
For a start we could do away with triple labeled keys in emulated calculators and only display labels which make sense in the current context (i.e. no programming functions displayed when not in programming mode).

And regarding Garageband you are spot on. An electronic music instrument which does not contain an electronic music instrument (sythesizer) is very incomplete.
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05-18-2017, 12:22 AM
Post: #18
RE: Possible death of calculators in education?
(05-16-2017 11:35 AM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  
(05-15-2017 09:08 PM)Han Wrote:  The interesting tidbit is that this thing has been approved for testing.

Interesting. Around here, smartphones are strictly banned from all kinds of class tests because students could use them for getting help form outside. Therefore a smartphone app will not easily replace a physical calculator that has no wireless connectivity.

The argument that this will save students $150 is disingenuous -- after all, smartphones can run into the several $100s even before monthly connection and data fees. And as you suggest, connectivity to the internet is a double-edged sword.

One might argue that it's more useful to train students how to use a powerful calculator that will help them all the way through college and into the workplace (where, for the most part, they might need more in the way of statistical and financial calculations than graphing exotic equations!) I'd much rather have a real calculator, with real buttons, than a phone application. At least the newer CAS models seem to have higher resolution screens, with backlighting (HP Prime?!) that add to the visibility.
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05-18-2017, 04:32 AM
Post: #19
RE: Possible death of calculators in education?
(05-17-2017 08:22 PM)Joe Horn Wrote:  <rant> ... </rant>

Off topic: someone really needs to propose the <rant> tag for the HTML6 specification.

Ok, everyone back to the original topic, already in progress.
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05-18-2017, 12:34 PM
Post: #20
RE: Possible death of calculators in education?
Ha, my kids don't get $150-$200 phones, they get our hand me downs.

Actually we do have tablets, son and I have Dells that were $200 each and wife and daughter have Kindles that were $150 each.

My son had a teacher who kept showing him all these ipad exclusive apps so my son would come home from school wanting an ipad. I kept having to remind him that we could spend $500 on one ipad and he would have to share it with the rest of the family or we could take the $500 and buy 4 tablets, one for each so when he wanted to play Minecraft networked with someone else we actually could.

I asked that the <homer> tag be added to html5 but they didn't accept my request.

<homer>Doh!</homer>
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