Calculators are a tool, and overreliance on a particular tool indicates a deeper problem, not a problem with the tool. There's nothing wrong with calculators. I'd expect that every person on this board would find it much quicker and easier to use a calculator to figure out the price of 24 books which cost $3.95 apiece, even if we are perfectly capable of solving it in paper, or even in our head (let's see... $4 times 20 would be $80... another 4 $4s would be 96... then take away a dollar for $.05 times 20 gets us to $95, then 20 more cents gets us to $94.80). I have my third graders use 4-function calculators on occasion... particularly when we are extending certain patterns... because frankly, my concern at the moment is their understanding of patterning, and not their ability to repeatedly multiply by 4. There's a time and a place for everything.