Thursday, January 29, 2009

Storage and traveling with TI-Nspire

The question has arisen, "How do you easily store the TI-Nspire in your classroom?"

I remember my grandfather and my dad saying, "A place for everything, and everything in its place." While I don't always live up to this standard, I think it is a wonderful idea. In fact, 1 Corinthians 14:40 similarly says, "Let all things be done properly and in order."

So earlier this semester I described to my wife what I was looking for. Using some of her superpowers, for under $10, she picked up a shoe organizer at Target for me. It is made of a nice canvas-type material with mesh pockets.

It holds 24 TI-Nspire's and I can look over and easily see if one is missing at the end of the period. Each student is assigned a number that corresponds to their book number. Some classes it is their book number minus 20 or some other number.

If you click on the above picture you may notice that I did not start with the number 1. Our school has a cart with 25 laptops in it. Students' TI-Nspire number corresponds with their computer number. The numbers of the laptops began with 11. I can see some value in having all the numbers be double digits. For example, no one will write a number in front of a 4 to make it seem like you have two number 24s. By the way, for reasons I can't go into right now, if I had to choose between laptop computers for my math and science students or TI-Nspire handheld technology, I would opt that each student have a TI-Nspire CAS.

As you can see, each student has a protractor and a ruler in their pocket too.

For traveling to give training with the TI-Nspire, a friend gave me a Top Rhino suitcase on wheels as pictured above. If you click that picture it will link you to a store that sells them. The model I have has special compartments for the blue TI-Nspire's 84 faceplate. It is like getting two different devices for the price of one. However, I prefer the computer algebra system capabilites of the TI-Nspire CAS for its scaffolding and exploring possibilities. (Check out the links at the bottom of this website for more info on CAS.)

There are other alternatives for storing and traveling with the TI-Nspire. It would be great to hear more about what you have tried. Okay, I'll share one more that I have enjoyed... The TI-Nspire Carry Case has captured the attention of several of my students. This canvas material is well constructed with a place for a business card (or other identifier) and a pocket that can be used for the TI-84 faceplate. I jokingly told some students the only thing I can think of that would make it any better would be if we were to sew a loop so it could sported around on a belt. Batman would definitely want this.

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