Thursday, June 10, 2010

Press-to-Test

[Update: I have posted a new video to youtube, click here]
Writing a good test is a challenging task. Helping students obey Leviticus 19:11 - "Do not steal, do not lie, do not deceive one another" - can be an even more challenging objective. As teachers, we want to assess what students know so we can help them learn, provide accountability, and see what it is that we need to teach better next time. Therefore it is of no values if a student steals a neighbor's answers and plays it off to be their own work and knowledge.

The TI-Nspire CAS now has an LED. So what is so interesting about that?
Teachers can use the Nspire's built-in Press-to-Test feature to clear out any 'cheat sheets' and make it so that they don't carry all their calculations with them out of the classroom when they leave. For teachers who have a class set of these learning tools, they would probably prefer for all the answers to NOT be on the screen when the next student comes in and gets their graphing calculator.
This becomes an even more important issue with the new Scratchpad Calculator and Graph. The only easy way to clear Scratchpads and current document is to use Press-to-Test.

Here are pictures of the LED blinking. These videos will be linked to in a powerpoint (4MB) that explains how to use Press-to-Test.
video video video
With the TI-Nspire Navigator or TI-Nspire Teacher Software, use Transfer Tool (end class if needed) to send "Exit Test Mode.tns" (this can be a blank tns that is called Exit Test Mode) to the Press-to-Test folder.
1. Click ‘Add to Transfer List’ and find Exit Test Mode.tns
2. Click that file, then click the ‘Edit destination Folder’ field
3. Click the ‘Change’ button and then ‘Start Transfer’.

For more details, check out the Press-to-Test Guidebook. Similarly you can use the TI-Nspire Computer Link software to transfer any file called "Exit Test Mode" to the "Press-to-Test" folder.


Update regarding the TI-84: To enter Press-to-Test hold down both left and right arrows while you press ON. With OS2.55MP and 2.56 (when the 84 keypad is on the Nspire), there is now the ability to disable logbase() and summation.

See this link for 84 screen shots and explanation.