Since fall 2007 Symbolic calculators (CAS-calculators) have been allowed in
national tests in Upper Secondary mathematics in Sweden. But their usage
in Swedish mathematics education is limited. One research question is: Are
modern CAS-calculators difficult to learn, for final year Science students in
Upper Secondary school? A second question is: What does the students think
about using CAS-calculators? I have observed mathematics students, a 3rd
year Science class, with theories according to Nielsen (1993). The five subquestions
that are measureable are: 1) Is the CAS-calculator easy to work
with?, 2) Is the CAS-calculator efficient to use?, 3) Is it easy to remember
the commands?, 4) Does the students make few errors?, and 5) what does the
student think about the CAS-calculator, is the experience pleasing?. When
collecting the material I used both observations of the 11 students, and questionnaires.
The two CAS-calculators that were used were the Casio Classpad
330 and the Texas Instruments TI’Nspire CAS.
The main results are that the CAS-calculator itself is easy to learn and
that the students are satisfyed with their experience with the calculator when
solving exercises in mathematics.