Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Review ~ TI-Nspire with TI-84 Plus Keypad Math & Science Calculator

I have been extremely lucky in the product reviews I have been able to do the last couple of years through this blog.  I am so thankful to be doing this review on the TI-Nspire graphing calculator from Texas Instruments today.  This little powerhouse is going to help my 7th grader for years to come.  I remember when I was in school I had the TI-83 and loved it.  It was one of the more expansive calculators at the time, and I was one of the lucky few that had one.

I remember my first scientific calculator was the TI-36{TI-36X II}  I loved that thing.  It was so exciting hitting middle school and being allowed to use calculators, lol.  Someone even stole my first one, just left me the case with my name on it, so my poor mom had to buy two of them.  Now though, I have noticed that my kids elementary school had the cheaper of the scientific calculators right in the classroom for everyone to use.  It is amazing the way technology has progressed over the years.

Anyway, through the Family Review Network, I was one of the extremely lucky bloggers that had a middle/high school student to be sent a the TI-Nspire to test out and review here.  When I got my package, I was pretty amazed at all the improvements and new features on these calculators.  Not only do you get the Nspire, but you also get an interchangeable keypad to chance it to the TI-84 version of the calculator.

Using the TI-Nspire handheld as a TI-84 Plus will give you access to these built-in calculator software applications (Apps):
Cabri Jr.
Inequalities Graphing
Periodic Table
Probability Simulations
Science Tools
Transformation Graphing
Vernier EasyData
With the TI-84 Plus keypad inserted, educators and students can continue:
Using the TI-Navigator classroom learning system, version 3.0 software or later.
Collecting data using TI’s CBR 2™ motion detector and CBL 2™ data collection device, as well as Vernier Software and Technology’s EasyTemp® temperature sensor and EasyLink® sensor interface.
Transferring data back-and-forth between student TI-Nspire handhelds and the teacher’s classroom computer using TI Connect™ software.
Some unique features of TI-Nspire technology let you:
  • View multiple representations of a problem on a single screen
  • Grab a graphed function and move it to see the effect
  • "Link" representations: Manipulate the properties of one and observe instant updates to others without switching screens
  • Create, save and review work in electronic documents, like a computer
  • Activate the handheld's Press-to-Test feature to block access to certain geometry features not allowed on state exams
  • Experience identical functions on the handheld and TI-Nspire Computer Software (Windows© or Mac©). Your students can use the software independently or in tandem with the handheld for work in and out of class
  • Project a full interactive handheld alongside a large handheld screen to demonstrate concepts to your class usingTI-Nspire Computer Software - Teacher Edition
There are just so many benefits to buying this model, if you can budget it, I wholeheartedly recommend it to your high school students.  It will last many years, if taken care of ~ you should be able to use it for more then one child.  I know, I still use my TI-36 from years ago.  I sadly lost my graphing calculator, but no longer have to worry about that {thank you  Family Review Network and Texas Instruments}

I was also send a nice big fat TI-Nspire For Dummies (For Dummies (Math & Science) book to help my daughter use the calculator.  That is a godsend because she struggles in school.  The easier to understand Dummies book will be lifesaver for her as the years go on.  

That TI-Nspire handheld is unlike any math tool you’ve ever seen! Much more than a calculator, it’s a learning aid for mathematics from pre-algebra to calculus. TI-Nspire For Dummies walks you through every amazing feature, showing you how to use this remarkable learning technology. In plain English, you’ll learn everything from how to load the batteries and create a document to how to perform geometric calculations and construct statistical graphs. You’ll be able to:
  • Set up your TI-Nspire, get familiar with the keypad, use the d, e, /, x, c, and b function keys, and configure system settings
  • View graphical, algebraic, numeric, geometric, and written formats
  • Grasp mathematical concepts more easily through multiple and linking representations
  • Recognize how different concepts are linked by watching how a change in one representation appears in others
  • Work with the calculator menu, tools, forms, and variables
  • Create documents, add problems, configure page layout, and save your work for assignments or class notes
  • Use the graphing functions in the analytic view and work with geometric objects in the plane geometry view
  • Create and manage lists and spreadsheets and use this application with others for statistical calculations
  • Install the corresponding software on your computer and connect the handheld device to your PC
Written by a math teacher, TI-Nspire For Dummies helps students and educators alike take full advantage of this outstanding tool for teaching and learning math.

From the Back Cover
You'll be inspired by this low-stress guide to a high-tech math learning tool!
Your TI-Nspire is unlike any mathematical tool you've ever seen, so you'll really appreciate this plain-English guide to what it can do and how to do it. From loading the batteries and creating a document to performing geometric calculations and constructing statistical graphs, you'll see how to use the TI-Nspire alone and with your PC.
  • Start here — set up your TI-Nspire handheld, get familiar with the keypad, use the function keys, and configure system settings
  • You need representation — grasp mathematical concepts more easily through multiple representations and linking representations
  • Document problems — create documents, add problems, configure page layout, and save your work for assignments or class notes
  • Be calculating — work with the calculator menu, tools, forms, and variables
  • Graphic or plane — use the graphing functions in the analytic view and work with geometric objects in the plane geometry view
  • List the spread — create and manage lists and spreadsheets and use this application with others for statistical calculations
  • Link up — connect the TI-Nspire handheld to your computer
Open the book and find:
  • How to connect your TI-Nspire handheld to your computer
  • Basics of entering and evaluating expressions
  • How to conduct data collection experiments
  • How to use CAS (Computer Algebra System) in algebra and calculus
  • Different methods of graphing a function
  • How to construct geometric objects
  • Steps for creating dot plots, histograms, box plots, and scatter plots
  • What the Notes function provides and how to use it
You can purchase the Texas Instruments TI-NSpire Math and Science Handheld Graphing Calculator at Amazon, along with many other office supply stores.  It currently retails for $179.99 and is being sold for around $140 on Amazon at time of posting. 

This post was written as part of a program for Family Review Network and Texas Instruments, who supplied the product for review
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Nicole said...

Wow! That is way better than the Casio I've been using. I really that you can view multiple answers on one screen feature and that you can also access the periodic table too.

Juan said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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