Learning Curve

1970: Handheld Calculator.

Marketplace Contributor May 14, 2014

Viewed by teachers as a threat to one of the basic skills, the calculator wasn’t welcome in many classrooms when it first appeared.

If you’ve tried to figure out a tip, lately, you know the teachers were right. The first calculators cost around $400, or about $2350 in today’s terms, and all they could do was add, subtract, multiply and divide.

Now for $28.49 (on Amazon.com) you can buy a calculator that can do all that, as well as financial functions like amortization, bond, depreciation, and compound interest.  And teachers have something new to worry about: that students will be using technology to glide through higher math.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.