Texas Instruments empowers teachers to create their own interactive math classroom with the introduction of its TI-Nspire™ with Touchpad graphing calculator handheld.
The new TI-Nspire handheld, being unveiled this week at the NCTM 2010 Meeting & Exposition in San Diego, adds new touchpad navigation and computing functions, which teachers have said will help them better show math concepts in action while enabling students to take a more active role in their learning.
Many of the new features added to the TI-Nspire handheld were suggested by teachers using the earlier version of the TI-Nspire handheld. Some of these new features include:
- A streamlined touchpad keypad that gives the handheld the feel and function of a laptop computer touchpad.
- An alpha keyboard at the bottom of keypad that enables easier text creation.
- An enhanced home screen that makes it easier to access files and applications.
- The scratchpad feature that lets users perform quick calculations and create graphs without opening a new file.
- Extended battery life using the TI-Nspire Rechargeable Battery (sold separately beginning in summer 2010).
The new handheld retains many of the powerful features and functions of the original TI-Nspire handheld including the capability to show math problems four ways simultaneously on a single screen as a graph, table, equation and text problem. The dynamically linked representations all update each time one part of a problem is changed. This feature enables students to understand relationships among math concepts. Students also can create, save and edit their work similarly to the file storage of a computer. The handheld is compatible with the TI-Nspire™ Navigator™, the TI-Nspire Teacher Software and the TI-Nspire Student Software. The TI-Nspire with Touchpad handheld is permitted on SAT, AP, ACT, IB®, PSAT/NSMQT, and Praxis™ exams, as well as many state tests.
Sean Bird, a mathematics and science instructor at Covenant Christian High School in Indianapolis, Ind., has piloted the new TI-Nspire touchpad keypad in recent months. "I have been impressed that the new handhelds make it easier for new users, exhibit a lot of evidence that TI listens to the feedback of educators, and have kept the best features of the TI-Nspire graphing calculators – the large, high-resolution screen, interactive graphing capabilities and drop down menus – all while adding capabilities that make it easier to use the handheld to enhance classroom instruction," Bird said. "My students enjoy using the touchpad handhelds to manipulate math equations which gives them a deeper understanding of the concepts and helps them learn faster and retain more."
Ray Barton, a mathematics instructor at Olympus High School in Salt Lake City, also has piloted the new keypad. The updates, he says, make it more intuitive for students. "The new keyboard layout and touchpad allow my students to more easily interact with mathematical objects and discover important underlying concepts."
Pat Flynn, a mathematics teacher at Olathe East High School in Olathe, Kan., agrees. He has been using the TI-Nspire touchpad in his classroom since March. "The TI-Nspire with Touchpad is amazing. My students' interactions tend to be quicker and easier. The intuitive nature of these interactions lets my students focus on the mathematics and not 'How do I do this?'," Flynn said.
The retail packaging of the new TI-Nspire handheld, available in time for the 2010 back-to-school season, includes the TI-Nspire Student Software for home use. The TI-Nspire Student Software gives users the option of working on their handheld or on their own computer at school and home. With the TI-Nspire Student Software, users can view their work in more detail on their larger computer screens. The computer software also supports color for vibrant views of graphs and charts.
"With the original TI-Nspire handheld and software, we delivered a full suite of integrated applications, giving teachers technology tools to make math and science learning a more engaging experience," said Melendy Lovett, president of Texas Instruments Education Technology. "Since its introduction we've worked with educators to make the handheld and software more intuitive and easier to integrate into their classroom instruction, while adding new interactive learning tools such as the TI-Nspire Navigator wireless classroom network and digital content such as Math Nspired."
For students and schools using the original TI-Nspire handheld, Texas Instruments offers an easy and affordable way to update the handhelds they already own with many of the same features and functionality of the TI-Nspire with Touchpad handheld. Users can download the free TI-Nspire 2.0 operating system from education.ti.com to gain all of the major functionality found in the updated product. They also can purchase through TI's online store and instructional dealers the TI-Nspire touchpad keypad that easily snaps into previous TI-Nspire models.
The new TI-Nspire handheld is available through instructional dealers now. For more information on the TI-Nspire with Touchpad, visit www.ti-nspire.com.
Interactivity That Fuels Learning
With TI-Nspire technology, teachers are empowered to design and implement a classroom that fuels interactive math and science learning. Leveraging the family of TI-Nspire products, teachers can engage with students in innovative ways that address individual learning styles and enhance teaching capabilities. The TI-Nspire Navigator wireless classroom network system connects students' TI-Nspire handhelds to the teacher's computer, enabling shared learning experiences. For teachers, it is a potent way to gauge student understanding and foster student engagement. For students, it's an interactive tool that encourages them to become more engaged in learning.
The TI-Nspire Teacher Software helps the teacher create lessons and activities and then transfer them to students via the TI-Nspire Navigator. The software also enables teachers to create questions to help them quickly gauge student understanding. The built-in TI-Smartview™ emulator works with interactive whiteboards and digital projectors, enabling the teacher to present and demonstrate material to the class.
Texas Instruments also has developed a collection of free online lessons and tools, called Math Nspired, that enable teachers to leverage TI-Nspire technology with ready-to-use lessons that they can align with textbooks, state and provincial curriculum and assessment standards. These lessons, which focus on the topics research has proven students struggle with the most, help teachers quickly and effectively bring technology-based content into their math classrooms.
Texas Instruments rounds out its interactive classroom offering with Teachers Teaching with Technology™ (T3), a premier professional development program that helps teachers energize their pedagogy and keep their skills current on the latest TI classroom technology. T3 provides customizable professional development in a variety of formats, ranging from conferences and workshops to live and on-demand webinars.