I wanted to respond to some recent negativity toward TI calculators. For 25 years TI has supported teachers and students to provide cutting edge technology that enhances student understanding of abstract math concepts. My first year teaching was 1994. I and other teachers in the early 90’s were “wowed” by the ability to enter a function into y= on that blue TI-81 and instantly see a numerical and graphical representation of any function we wanted – WOW!
If you think TI has not changed or evolved over the last 25 years, you are hugely mistaken. Perhaps what is more true, is the number of teachers and district leaders who have not evolved to support the new, dynamic technologies of Texas Instruments: the TI-Nspire, the Nspire Navigator, and the Innovator Hub. Texas Instruments has researched and developed these technologies to make the math classroom a truly STEM environment.
The TI-Nspire was my “wow” in 2007. It alone is a more powerful and complete learning tool than Desmos and Geogebra combined. Students today need the ability to program, code, create, and collect and analyze real data – all skills TI can help students develop, Desmos can not.
My TI wow in 2010 was the Navigator. TI heard teachers crying for a formative assessment device and they answered. My Navigator allows me to see every student’s calculator at one time and select a student to be the presenter/teacher and lead the class. I can send, collect, and resend work and do quick polls to determine student understanding. I just said yesterday, “I can’t teach without my Navigator.”
The 2016 wow is Texas Instruments’ Innovator Hub opening the door to programming and engineering, all governed by the TI technology that some are calling antiquated. This is not the same TI calculator of the 1990’s.
25 years of “WOW!” Thank you Texas Instruments for asking and listening and developing products for our ever-changing classrooms. TI’s future-thinking research team has been dedicated to teachers and students world wide for 25 years. Before we go all-in on the “new thing,” albeit free, let’s reflect seriously on what we might be giving up.