|The TI-Nspire with Touchpad is a new handheld, graphing calculator from Texas Instruments that helps people to visualize math and science concepts to make it easier to explore math equations, see patterns and understand the concepts behind the formulas. The new graphing calculator includes an easy-glide touchpad, which functions and feels like a laptop’s mouse touchpad.
It’s an ideal gift for math, science, engineering and technology professionals and for middle school, high school and college students who wish to improve their performance in school.
When the TI-Nspire arrived in the mail I was amazed at what a detailed piece of equipment this was. My oldest is in college and has expressed a possible need for a graphing calculator for her math class. When she came home and saw this particular calculator on the counter she gasped and asked me if I knew what I had (apparently she had been browsing and pricing calculators). She excitedly removed it from the packaging. We were expecting a monster of a calculator based on the sheer weight of the entire package.
The TI-Nspire comes with a cable to connect to your computer and several pamphlets and an instruction manual. The size of the screen is impressive. After flipping through the manuals we found that it is great that the screen is large. The display is unique that it features a split-screen to display math problems four ways – as a graph, equation, table or geometric figure – to adapt to a person’s learning style.
Some of the features that impressed me about this calculator are:
The TI-Nspire with Touchpad is the only graphing calculator on the market with touchpad technology. The touchpad feature feels and reacts like the mouse/touchpad area on a laptop.
- It features a scratchpad that lets users perform quick calculations without opening a new file
- It has a streamlined keypad with alpha keys, like a smart phone, located at the bottom for easier entry of text or word problems
- It also has an enhanced home display with menus and clickable icons for easier navigation
So, now you are thinking… “Why a graphing calculator?”
Graphing calculators help people to visualize math and science concepts and make connections between them. In particular, they make it easier for students to explore math equations, see patterns and understand the concepts behind the formulas.
Independent research shows that students who regularly use handheld graphing calculators understand underlying mathematics concepts better than students who do not. This improves student performance in school, which results in higher grades and increased self-confidence. It’s a key tool for middle school, high school and college students who need to understand math better or improve their performance in school.
How would a TI-Nspire calculator benefit your student?
Software that allows students to transfer work between the handheld and a laptop or home computer, so they can see and work on problems on a larger screen
Access to online math tutoring, SAT preparation, educational games and apps
They are permitted on many standardized exams, including the SAT, ACT, AP, IB, PSAT/NSMQ and Praxis, as well as many state tests
My final say… I am not a math whiz by any means. I do know that with advanced math students need the proper tools to understand and perform their best. I was very impressed with the capabilities of the TN-Spire and am very grateful to be able to provide this calculator for my college student. If I were in the market for a graphing calculator and placed this side by side with other comparable items, I am certain I would have brought this particular one to the check out.
TI-Nspire with Touchpad calculators can be purchased at most major retailers such as Office Depot, Wal-Mart and Best Buy for around $150.
Dealer and retail prices may vary. A list is available on the TI website.
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