Learning math requires the mastery of concepts for long term benefit.
Does the calculator inhibits this process of learning?
It may be used to obtain numerical answers without true comprehension of the computation analysis, or does it speed up learning?
It depends on the user's intention.
If he chooses to short change his own learning by doing a "short-cut" in math solving, he is lessening his chance to master an important subject.
When his intention is to reduce his tedious numerical steps to exchange time for more focus on understanding what the problem is about, then the calculator becomes a useful tools.
Nowadays, we cannot do away with calculators as they are cheap and easily available. It has formed part of our life. It reduces our workload and has is deemed a necessary skill to have.
Math learning, for that matter, cannot do away with calculator in the long run.
It has to be phased in at the appropriate time during the educational process.
When understanding of math calculation is the objective of the lesson, calculator can be withdrawn to ensure that the computational analysis is driven into the brain.
Only upon achieving the objective, can the teacher allow them to use back the calculator to move forward to other topics. This ensures that no part of the math education is missed out.
Thus, calculator, though may seem detrimental to math studies, can be beneficial when the intent of usage is proper.
It saves valuable time for productive learning, especially at a higher level where the basics has been mastered, and more emphasis is placed on concept understanding.
Knowing what is the focus saves you time and effort. Create time and not waste it doing the improper thing.