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 totally going in the WRONG direction. If I were TI, I’d be designing the nSpire software to run on an iPhone, the Android platform, and the Palm platform. When these student’s phones all have a slightly larger screen and wi-fi access, they will want their calculator in the device too.

See that Sony Palmtop in the left of the last picture? That would’ve been a better design … and would fit in a pocket.

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