Product: TI-Nspire CX Handheld

9/27/2011 By: Henry Thiele

www.education.ti.com Retail Price: $165 MSRP; retail prices vary.

Texas Instruments Education Technology has unveiled the color-display TI-Nspire CX handheld. Using the 16-bit, 320 x 240 pixel calculator with TI-Nspire Software, Version 3.0 allows students to view color images, photos, animations, and rotating 3-D graphics to understand mathematical and scientific concepts better.

Quality and Effectiveness: The TI-Nspire CX handhelds have become a standard piece of equipment in many of our classrooms. This device includes everything you need in the standard TI calculator—such as the full suite of scientific and graphing functions, the ability to connect and download data to a computer, and graphing functions—and takes those features up a notch. Stand-out features include large readable screens, fast processors, protective slide case, usb ports, and a “Press-to-Test” feature. The TI-Nspire CX also adds a rechargeable battery, full color back-lit screen, document management and editing, full keyboard, and touchpad features to improve upon the traditional TI scientific calculators.

Ease of Use: Those already experienced with a TI-Nspire or TI graphing calculator will have no problems using this device. The added features mentioned above are helpful in the classroom, however the key size is on the small size and several users were not comfortable using them at first.

Creative Use of Technology: Jill Sweetwood, the Math Department Chair at Maine East, says, “The backlit screen has good resolution and is so much easier to see than the regular graphing calculator. T he colors are a big help in distinguishing multiple graphs on the same axes.” Also, the battery lasts more than two weeks on a full charge and the 3D graphs make this device stand out.

Suitability for Use in a School Environment: Although the price for a single purpose device can be high for individual students, this device is superb for students or teachers to create and view their work. Students can add real images to their work in several digital formats to reinforce concepts or increase understanding. These devices also interface with the TI-Navigator software, allowing for wired or wireless network connections, question and polling capabilities, collaborative activities, document transfer, screen captures, live presentations, portfolios, and auto-grading features.

Top Features

• The back-lit screen makes it easy to see.
• The TI-Nspire CX builds on the TI line of calculators, so teachers and students are familiar with using the technology.
• The handheld has impressive color and 3D graphing functions.

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