Online lessons: Teachers concerned about children sneakily using calculators

With the resumption of online classes, teachers complain that students rely too much on digital calculators to do their calculations.

Math needs practice to be successful. But even middle schoolers use calculators for simple addition and multiplication, teachers say.

“If this continues, our future generation will lack growth in cognitive and intellectual development,” says primary school teacher Chandrakala ML, explaining how useful and essential learning numbers are for everyone.

“The left side of our brain is wired to read, write, calculate, analyze and solve complex problems. If they are addicted to a gadget, they will never be able to fulfill their potential,” she explains.

Kids these days struggle with single-digit multiplication tables, says private tutor Sandhya TC. “Little kids are so used to solving multiplications on the calculator that they have a hard time memorizing even tables from one to 10,” she says.

She observes that this was not the case before the pandemic. “It will only slow down their problem-solving and time-management skills,” she laments.

Teachers have noticed that many students turn off their cameras during tests to use mobile calculators to solve problems. “It’s the parents’ responsibility to make sure their kids don’t use calculators,” Chandrakala says.

We will lose great potential mathematicians, physicists and scientists if this trend continues, she warns.

According to Aloysius D’Mello, principal of a private school on Sarjapur Road, only ninth and tenth graders should be allowed to use hand calculators, and no one below. “If they don’t learn the basic skills, it will have a big impact on them when they go back to school,” he says.

Teachers have additional challenges when teaching math online. “They have to check if everyone is
by paying attention and answering the multiple questions of the children,” he observes.

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