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Well, if you ever taught science and math, you will hate TI for pushing their graphical calculators for decades to kids as young as 12 maybe 10. They just made a new one, finally.

http://education.ti.com/en/us/products/calculators/graphing-calculators/ti-nspire-cx-cas-handheld/tabs/overview#tab=overview

The spec is not nearly as good as a raspberry pi but has keyboard and color screen. Too bad it runs proprietary OS so not linux and probably not in a million years will it run arduino. So why complain now instead of decades ago?! I actually talked with one TI rep during a meeting (AAPT) and he seems to know pretty much the answer to any tech question I threw at him. He told me the calculator was designed with proprietary OS so that it can't be easily hacked by anyone and added capabilities that some national testing agency and ETS won't approve. Bunch of retards! If they don't want any feature on a calculator, don't tell students to bring calculators! Can kids not add subtract on paper?! TI, as the rep told me, is bending backwards to comply with these agencies and for-profit testing services so they can sell their calculators and students will be able to use them in standardized tests. They could easily design a linux based calculator but that would be too easy to hack or add wireless that those agencies don't approve.
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I've always hated that secondary mathematics texts are written around TI's products (here in the US anyway). Not sure if students are really learning the subject matter or are just being trained to run the machine. I've always liked RPN calculators which makes it twice as bad, but having any manufacturer's products so prominently featured in the texts is just wrong. From a business standpoint, it's quite a coup for TI, and unfortunately it's a situation that would be extremely difficult to change at this point.
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Ti calculator has institutionalized math teaching in the US. It can sustain itself until all current teachers die and some of their students that become teachers again also die. This takes a lot of time considering average life expectancy. I am always amazed at how some of the residents in MN think they are getting a very good education compared to others. If they peeked outside the boarder, like to the other side of the globe, all they see is the huge gap. So much money invested in education and so little gain. I had a lab session yesterday. One student didn't know speed is distance over time, even not nodding after my teaching assistant used the 30 miles in one hour driving example. That's state college student for you. I know of business school graduates from here that end up working retail. Huge waste of time and our money (50% paid by tax payers). I didn't go through any grade school or high school in the USA but I'd be unable to enter college and take a hard science major if I did. I have a calculator when I am lecturing to check some answers and do some trig. But without a calculator I should be able to hand calculate basic arithmetic and some more with tricks. I didn't have this much proficiency or confidence especially in front of crowd live audience but that took time to gain. I think it takes some courage and push for college students to do arithmetic by hand. I'll give it a try for a quiz or something. Say everything is nice and integer. Just get them to feel confident doing some math. BTW the 200-level college physics I'm teaching are standard required stuff in high schools for graduation where I went to school. There's little freedom in what classes I took but I'd rather not have that freedom just to become useless after graduation. Where is hope?
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I've always liked RPN calculators

My old HP-67 given to me in college still functions, although the card reader roller turned to mush many years ago.  Remarkable device.  Rugged.  RPN is just the procedure needed to manage technical problems.  I once tried a TI my daughter had in high school, entering all those parenthesis wore me out.

Ray
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I usually use Excel to do long and repetitive calculations. Students aren't used to the notion that they can type up formula only once and keep supplying different numbers to the same formula from say 10 trials. Instead, they just type the formula on calculator say 10 times. They don't understand the difference of algebra and arithmetic so they prefer numbers than formulas. The use of TI calculators has very obvious adverse effects. They should be taken out of curriculum but how would US math teachers teach without them?!
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I usually use Excel to do long and repetitive calculations. Students aren't used to the notion that they can type up formula only once and keep supplying different numbers to the same formula from say 10 trials. Instead, they just type the formula on calculator say 10 times. They don't understand the difference of algebra and arithmetic so they prefer numbers than formulas.

Opinion: U.S. education in science, math, physics are all geared to repetitive learning... a proper process, maybe not the best, has been accepted and published and students are simply required to utilize the process as presented.  When my child was in high school, I had several serious meetings with teachers over errors or gloss-overs by educators and my belief is that the teachers are simply not competent to break away from the teaching model... perhaps it is fear they will show their ignorance or perhaps it is fear of administrative punishment... but clearly educators are comfortable with real thought provoking teaching.  TI and their products fit nicely into this paradigm...  Once entrenched in the text books, teachers will NOT make any effort to deviate.

If you love Excel, you'll love this selection of ever-growing Excel templates:
http://www.excelcalcs.com/repository/
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In a classic picture of education, teachers create content to teach to students. It's hard work to create new content especially when someone has been on the job for a number of years. If Arduino as a platform (or something else) can help shift content creation partially to students (they have a lot of untapped brain cells), then this may change how teachers teach. One time I assigned an extra credit problem to my college students: to simulate cycloid motion, one of them created an android app. It was cool and correct. I have it on my phone. So every time I go over the same content, I show the app to my students as a demonstration. That student was not even a programmer. He got interested in app programming and my assignment gave him a goal and he achieved it. This is a lot better and easier on me than me trying to create one myself smiley

Believe or not, ed colleges like the one in my university, stress a lot more over pedagogy than content. Our ed grads fail content exam to a point that their parents are complaining to the ed professors that their kids aren't getting jobs. I get the same complaints from ed students I interacted with. Trust me, these science ed majors don't know enough science to teach science. That could be a reason teachers hang on to old content even wrong ones. My state is considered as top 4-5 in US science engineering preparedness for college but I simply don't see it. Graduation requirement for high school is still geared towards finding a job as HS grad, not towards entering college. 1 year of physics or chemistry WILL be required in 2015 grads. Before then, it's OK to keep taking biology! I had 5 years of each, all required! That's from 3rd world country.

By the time these engineer-wannabes enter college without physics, it's too late. They could have done it in high school for free.
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The spec is not nearly as good as a raspberry pi but has keyboard and color screen. Too bad it runs proprietary OS so not linux and probably not in a million years will it run arduino. So why complain now instead of decades ago?!
i like this device. I think it is very useful as for students as for teachers as for scientists. All on One Handheld.
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I've never used one.  Did they exist when I was in college (early 80s)?
My son had a couple going thru high school, graduating last spring. Don't know if he uses it at school now; probably not with all students required to purchase a Lenovo 14" laptop preconfigured with most software needed.
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Very useful?! I can't say. I have in my class, students doing basic arithmetic with a graphic calculator, sad. The device I'm talking about is not allowed to be connected to the internet or any network so how can it be more useful than a phone?
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My son says he doesn't use his at all in sophomore classes at RPI.
I don't recall calculators being all that useful, everything was all dealing with variables, deriving stuff and making substitutions to solve equations.
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If Arduino as a platform (or something else) can help shift content creation partially to students (they have a lot of untapped brain cells), then this may change how teachers teach.

I used my HP67 lots in college, usually correcting the prof's errors!  But, much can be learned by programming the equations into a programming language because the programming exercise helps one understand the relationships of the variables (A kind of personal bonding.)  For Arduino, one could take my Arduino Calculator and extend it with function verbs and a stream of variables for the equations.
http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=147550.0

Ray
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 10:21:18 pm by mrburnette » Logged

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I've always liked RPN calculators

My old HP-67 given to me in college still functions, although the card reader roller turned to mush many years ago.  Remarkable device.  Rugged.  RPN is just the procedure needed to manage technical problems.  I once tried a TI my daughter had in high school, entering all those parenthesis wore me out.

Ray

I started at uni 40 years ago this year, and HP was just making the 35 available here in SA. There was a mad scramble to run and get one each time they got a small batch in. RPN rocks.

So I spent about half of first year with a log-book and a slide rule. To this day, my kids are suitably amazed that I can get rough answers to fairly complex calcs in my head. At least I know where the decimal should go.
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I had 5 years of each, all required! That's from 3rd world country.

And THAT's why those so-called 3rd world countries are becoming the 1st world, very very quickly.

Other 3rd world countries otoh, not to be named, are doing it exactly the opposite and are ending up as 4th or 5th world countries/
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