Category: Calculators

TI Calculator featured in SNL

Just in case you don’t always watch SNL, here’s the video from Saturday’s show, which included two brothers, being really excited to get a TI calculator. I wonder if this qualifies SNL with points for the TI-Volume Purchase Program? Possibly Related Posts: Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens Add Graphs In The World to Courses Taking the Algebra Out of College Algebra Group Exploration in Math Elaborations for Creative Thinking in...

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Math Warriors

Math Warriors: An extra assignment that got a little out of control. Possibly Related Posts: Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens Add Graphs In The World to Courses Taking the Algebra Out of College Algebra Group Exploration in Math Elaborations for Creative Thinking in...

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Students confront the TI-nSpire

Did I mention that I won a TI-nSpire calculator at ICTCM? (also I won free registration for ICTCM 2009 … but I was really hoping for the Wii … drats!) I brought it to both my calculus class and my algebra class today to see what my students thought about it. First reaction from the calculus students: It’s almost as big as my tablet PC … well not quite, but close. Second reaction from the calculus students: Let’s compare it to things we carry in our pocket. (note – the TI-83 does fit in a front jeans pocket according to my students) Reaction #3: While the viewing window is bigger (a plus), the actual viewing size of the graphing area is roughly the same. And finally, from my algebra class … “what do you mean it doesn’t have a color screen?” “what … no wi-fi?” Several of them tried to interact with it by touching the screen. Suprise! No touch screen either. I asked them to pull out the devices that they normally carry with them and we took a picture. To be fair, two of my calculus students got the TI-nSpire to the point of actually finding an integral or graphing a function. And one of them says I should give it a fair chance … mathematically … and I will. I’m just saying that this design is...

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Microsoft Math?

Okay, I’ll admit it… I had never ever heard of this product until today. Nada. Nothing. Zilch. Apparently Microsoft Math launched quietly in June 2007… here’s the link to the article. I was complaining to my Calculus class today about the fact that graphing calculators have always cost around $100 and don’t appear to be dropping in price like everything else with microchips, and one of my students said… well, you could use Microsoft Math… for the record, I think my student learned about it because he was home-schooled for most of his life and his math skills may have outpaced his parents. The program costs $19.95 and includes, not only a graphing calculator for your computer that is capable of graphing 3-D, but also has Solver features that show students the steps to work through algebra problems. Hmm. Of course, it won’t work on a Mac… which is a problem. But could it be a viable alternative to a $120 graphing calculator? (you may remember my calculator rant from a few weeks ago) I have mixed feelings about these “solver” features. On the one hand, it was a very good student that is using this, so he obviously finds the step-by-step features helpful. However, I can see the possibility of misuse in the hands of less conscienscious students. What is cool, however, is that you can write your...

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Maria’s Calculator Rant and throwing down a challenge

Here’s my little graphing calculator rant… it started as a P.S. to the previous post about the free Casio and grew into something much larger than a P.S. Anyways, don’t read if you don’t want to hear me whine about graphing calculator politics. I’m quite sick of calculators doing more and more stuff that is really not welcome in the classroom. Honestly, I won’t be surprised the first time a student’s graphing calculator picks up a pencil and takes their test for them, showing all the proper work. Surely, it’s not that far off! Can’t anyone just begin making graphing calculators that DON’T do more and more but get cheaper instead? Every other technology has come down in price: cell phones, MP3 players, desktops, laptops, etc. Somebody please make a basic graphing calculator without all these ridiculous frills that really just help a few students cheat better on tests. The students aren’t going to use the “calendar” feature on the calculator (they’ve got cell phones for that). They aren’t going to responsibly use the CAS that’s built in to many of the calculators now. It’s just a way for them to forget any algebraic skill they might have learned at some point in time. Which of the frills do the students use? They download notes from the internet to their calculator, they download games to play in class, and...

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