A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Ed Popko
Date: 2015 Jul 8, 17:03 -0700
Your comments about USPS students and signs of the time with addition and calculators find raw spots on me after teaching JN to middle-agers and retirees. Teaching Law of Cosines, a required topic, eventually gets around to dealing with calculators. Sure enough, you can bet you will loose at least one entire class to simply dealing with the mechanics of calculators. There seems to be an age gap where certain folks just can't seem to relate to calculators doing more than add, subtract, multiply and divide. Even dismissing SIN and COS etc. the concept of converting degrees and fractional minutes to decimal and vica versa, or worst yet, storing their values in registers A, B, C... for handy access are guarenteed to be killer topics.
Usually, I have to write out the complete stroke sequence as many do not want to actually learn what the calculator is doing. Some get it but many do not internalize it. Not good! I do have some sympathy however. The low end scientific calculators (under $20US) are quite amazing but come with very large fold out sheets of instructions, usually in two or three languages, and printed in 6 pitch type.
Sure wish I knew how to overcome this speed bump in class. I would be interested in NavList member experiences and comments.