TI-Nspire™ CAS

When it comes to rating educational calculators, this calculator is always near the top of this list. Now it's available as an app. There is a lot of calculator power wrapped up in this app. Not only is this a fully functioning calculator, it is also a computer algebra system (CAS). 

8th - Higher Ed Math 21 Views 3 Downloads
CCSS: Adaptable
App Overview

The TI-Nspire CAS app has the same features as the TI-Nspire CAS handheld calculator and uses files that are compatible (.tns files). With the CAS capabilities, you can symbolically solve equations, find exact values for solutions in irrational forms, symbolically simplify, solve variable expressions, factor, compute limits, etc. 

One way to think about the differences between the handheld version and the app version is to consider the different parts of keyboard on the handheld and how it is implemented in the app:

  • The navigation keys are now largely replaced by the ability to touch the tablet screen. Moving between features, selecting objects, and zooming, etc. are all controlled through the intuitive touch screen interface.
  • The handheld's traditional math and numeric keys are available to use, as well as the option to press and hold to see expanded keyboard options
  • The alphabetic keyboard is replaced with the tablet's QWERTY keyboard 

As with the handheld, types of files or documents (can be arranged in folders) and can be easy shared. The app has built-in features that allow for the use of Dropbox or e-mail. 

Major Features:

  • Calculator
  • Graphs
  • Geometry
  • List & Spreadsheets
  • Data & Statistics
  • Notes

An extensive list of all of the built in functionality can be found on the TI website. 

The high-resolution screen of the tablet makes it possible to work with graphs of greater detail. It has the same multiple representation and dynamic linking capabilities as the handheld so users can see how equations, graphs, geometric, and numeric data relate and change together. 

 

 

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Instructional Ideas

  • While CAS calculators are typically associated with higher-level mathematics courses, when used deliberately, a CAS calculator can be a great learning tool for algebra learners. Aiding learners make important connections between symbolic and exact representations with numeric values or even in helping to increase confidence in ones own ability to do symbolic manipulation, can help achieve overarching practices of using tools strategically as called for in the Common Core standard. 
  • Having this app on the tablet allows every member of the class to display his results through a media receiver such as Apple TV. Learners can share their ideas and describe their mathematical thinking. 
  • Sharing and printing results is also easy using the tablet's built-in camera sharing features. Consider using these photos as input to a video creation app or a presentation for learners to explain and justify their thinking.  
  • Explore the many math and science Common Core-aligned activities and lessons on the Texas Instruments websites, or search on Lesson Planet for reviews and links to these activities. 
  • Have pupils document real-world explorations in the context of solving math problems. For example, have young mathematicians take pictures of slope, and overlay the graph on top of the photo to explore linear equations. Compare other types of equations similarly.
Classroom Considerations

  • While this app seems expensive in comparison to other apps, it is a relative bargain compared to the price of the same capabilities in a handheld calculator. 
  • Learners familiar with tablets may find the interface of the app more intuitive than the handheld. The ability to select objects, move graphs, zoom, and change equations and data lists all through the standard tablet gestures seems like a natural fit for most learners. 
Pros

  • This is a fully functional TI-nspire CAS calculator with the added high-resolution screen, sharing capabilities, and wireless computer power of a tablet. The possibilities for a math and science classroom are extensive. 
  • This is inexpensive in comparison to the price of a handheld TI-Nspire CAS calculator
Cons

  • The handheld model of the model of TI-Nspire CAS is accepted by many standardized test organizations for exams such as the SAT and AP exams. The app version is not. 
  • Relativiely expensive for an app
  • No USB connector for Vernier EasyLink support
Common Core

MP5