If you were wondering what could be done to improve upon the graphing calculators TI-83/84 or the TI-89 that I've been using to teaching math and science for the past 10 year+, well the answer is the TI-Nspire CAS. Yes you could just get the TI-Nspire, without the CAS, and that device is like getting two for the price of one. The Nspire keypad comes off and it can become an 84 with an even larger font than you were used to. But the CAS, computer algebra system, just makes it so much more of an exploration and discovery tool.
In the most recent edition of the Nspiring Times magazine (sign up here for this free newsletter for those who use TI-Nspire) there was information about a "cool competition" at http://timathrocks.com/cool/
I hope some of my students are among the first 250 to submit and SHARE their design with the word "Cool" added to the title. Then we can get some more TI-Nspire slide cover stickers to replenish the ones we've been using.
Last Friday, on the last day of calculus, we learned how to put GraphiTI on these stickers so the students could personalize their technology. We created a couple of excellent designs. Then today, on the last regular day for the underclassmen in my 1st year AP physics class, I showed the students how to make designs and print their creations. Several of those students got their TI-Nspire CAS handheld learning tool (it is called that because it is so much cooler than just a graphing calculator) in preparation for next year's calc class.
If you make some be careful to follow the instructions about the margins. To adjust a margin, go to File, Page Setup. Hopefully some that we made will appear here soon. But until then, here are a few examples of cool fractals and sunsets with a character made from math symbols. The one that says, "Sarah's Nspire" has Leviticus 19:11 at the bottom: "Do not steal ..." One of Covenant's best math students helped put that one together.