Thursday, May 19, 2011

Why I Nspire? Part 5 - The List

Features that I find worthwhile about the TI-Nspire CAS include:
  • CAS stands for Computer Algebra System. This is great for exploration & discovery of mathematical concepts. It can serve as a ladder to help student reach new mathematical heights.
  • Resolution – it has more pixels than any other TI graphing calculator.
  • The grayscale was nice (color on the software), but now the TI-Nspire CX CAS includes color! This really is extremely helpful for engagement and enhances understanding. With color graphs I've seen freshmen exploring some advanced transformation, and seniors creating amazing 3-D shapes and animations.
  • Images can be inserted.
  • Geometry is integrated. No more going to the computer lab for those geometry classrooms. Now dynamic geometry can be in the hands of of every student! This also means lots of great simulations can be and have been made.
  • Animation and sliders!
  • Notes - makes it so much more of a teaching and learning tool.
  • History preserved. Where did a student go wrong? Copy the history.
  • Computer short cuts, like CTRL C, V, X, S, Z. (There are more shortcuts listed for "Dummies" here.)
  • Content, content, content! There are many inquiry activities that have been written. See or Also there are textbooks that integrate the use of the TI-Nspire, or as in the case of the Pearson/Prentice Hall textbooks for Algebra 1, Alg 2, and Geometry that now also address the Common Core Standards, the book is on the TI-Nspire.
  • Incredibly easy to use data collection. There are so many Vernier probes that automatically work. There is no better way to learn slope or develop an understanding of derivatives and integrals than with real-world applications, like actually walking and seeing data in real-time with a CBR2 motion detector.
  • Demonstrations – powerful visuals & multiple representations
  • Graph function, polar, parametric, implicit, DE slopefields and more on the SAME screen at the same time!
  • Exam acceptance. The TI-Nspire CX CAS is permitted on the AP, PSAT, SAT exam. The TI-Nspire is also allowed on the ACT, IB, and many state end-of-course assessment exams (including Indiana where I'm from). See part 3 blog entry.
Learn more about these, like how to make and use sliders, in the Getting Started or Intermediate Users High School Math workshops this summer. Currently I know I'm hosting one in Indianapolis, and I may be called upon to be the instructor for a workshop near Orlando, Florida in the middle of June.

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