Today, more teens are taking higher-level math courses – the percentage of 17-year-olds taking pre-calculus or calculus has tripled during the last 30 years, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress 2008 report card. Because of this, Texas Instruments’ (TI) newest graphing calculator – the TI-Nspire with Touchpad, which hit shelves earlier this summer – has become a crucial back-to-school tool for students who are taking math, from algebra through calculus.
TI-Nspire Graphing Calculator Features
* Like a computer in your hand. The versatile graphing calculator has many computer-like features, including a large, high-resolution screen, drop down menus and a built-in cursor which helps students explore problem solving strategies in real-time.
* Save and review work. Thanks to electronic document capabilities and built-in 20 MB of storage, students can create, save and edit their work similar to the word processing and file storage of a computer.
* 2 calculators, plus computer software, in one. Interchangeable keypads allow students to use the calculator in TI-Nspire, TI-84 Plus and TI-83 Plus modes, and included computer software brings the TI-Nspire experience to a PC or Mac.
TI-Nspire Freebies and Accessories
* FREE access to AP*, SAT* and ACT prep questions from The Princeton Review, including AP calculus, biology, chemistry, economics and all-new 2009 physics questions
* FREE minutes of online homework help from Tutor.com for entering your graphing calculator id at http://www.tutor.com/ti/
* GraphiTI stickers for students to design and customize their calculator are available online for purchase
* FREE downloadable games and applications
Our take: (from “The Dad”) I’m an engineer I’ve had math classes up the ying yang and I used the same $25 Radio Shack calculator from 7th grade through college. So when my 7th grade daughter (taking Algebra 1 this year) said they needed a calculator for school I thought $25 would cover it right? Wrong! The math textbook actually recommends a graphing calculator and I wasn’t able to find any under $80 and my experience with these types of calculators is minimal because as an engineer I can’t get them to do what I want them to do.
So we come across the TI-nspire calculator. This calculator promises to satisfy all of her calculating needs for the decade. Not only does it add and subtract, it can do algebra, calculus, probability, statistics, linear algebra and finance. I started playing around with it and discovered the menus and screen navigation very logical and easy to follow. I was impressed with the avec Touchpad as a convenient way to navigate the screen. TI-nspire software allows you to work in unison with your personal computer to save print and store documents, it looks promising. And, I wasn’t surprised when after an hour of working with it, my daughter had the whole thing figured out! The interchangable keypad is amazing, this piece of technology is going to be great for my daughter’s future in math, and I may have to borrow it for myself often!