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I have a question related to the one on graphing calculators, especially
since the posts also mention computers and inexpensive scientific
calculators for statistics.

I require the latter type of scientific calculator for my statistics
classes.  At my four-year college, students are comfortable with
calculators and if not for the expense I would be willing to try
out graphing calculators with them.  In contrast, at my community
college, where all the students are "graduates" of remedial math,
there is a great deal of technophobia and even when I have them
all buy the same calculator and I show them how to use it, there
are students who get nervous in class, can't listen, and say they'll
just do the formulas by hand, even though the calculator is the
simplest I can find for them.  This leads to two points:

1.  If you are going to use graphing calculators in *developmental*
math, you may need to consider whether technophobia will be a problem
and you may need to allow plenty of time and individual attention
for students to learn them effectively.

2.  Can anyone on the list offer suggestions for ways to deal with
this technophobia?  When I try to teach them a computer package like
Excel, there is even more resistance and I end up ragged and fatigued
because so few students can learn it without my personally coming to
their desk and showing them (despite simple written directions and
classwide demonstration).  They are afraid to experiment.
That is the one area of teaching these students that still has me stumped!

Annette Gourgey
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