I almost wish I could go back in time and attend high school.  Almost. If I were involved in math classes, I’d have to have the new Texas Instruments TI-Nspire, the next generation of more-than-a-calculator. This new model is the worthy upgrade from the very popular and industry leading, still-available TI-84 Plus Silver Edition which can be found for only about $8 less.

This new (retail) $150 graphing gem just has to help students with the all-important math classed today.  It’s no argument that students do better in math when they use a graphing calc both in school and at home.  This new model is more versatile than past models because it features computer-like functions that will take students through high school and into college.  The math comes to life on the display with movement. Students can actually grab and move the math. Seeing it in motion on the screen helps their understanding, really helps them “get it.” Yes, very “computer-like.”

As with the predecessors, the TI-Nspire is permitted on SAT, ACT, AP and many state math exams, and it is likely to help students do better on these tests, an important consideration in today’s way-too-competitive college admissions game.

Look, I’m certainly no math genius, but I can tell you even from my own limited hands-on time with a TI-Nspire that its capabilities are the real thing. I put it in the hands of someone who really knows, a high school AP math teacher.  I had to wrestle it from her hands to retrieve it.  She was in love with this new model, immediately seeing its potential in the classroom and for students at home.

She indicated to me that students are going to love it and that teachers will also want to have it for all the same reasons they love the TI-84 series.  The screen displays the math not as you would expect, as on earlier calculators, but truly as they would be seen in a textbook or as someone would write it, a much more satisfying experience for all users.

I will not attempt to pass myself off as anything more than a spectator with this product.  However, the endorsement I saw in the person of that teacher said it all.  This is the MUST-HAVE new back-to-school calculator for math students.  It’s available for only about $10 more than the TI-84 Plus Silver Edition, so why not get the one that is going to do the best for our students?

Learn more starting here. On that page you will see several links that will take you to so much information your head will feel like exploding (in a good way, of course).  As a parent, you will marvel at all of which this device is capable.  Several features knocked me out.  One was the ability to grab and move graphs and geometric figures on the display.  Another was the ability to rescale graphs and that multiple work items can be on the screen at the same time.

Let us not forget that this device comes with cables to link it to computer as well as built-in applications.  In addition, each unit ships with an interchangeable TI-84 Plus Keypad for full backward compatibility with the TI-83 and -84 families.  Even more productivity software is available, as well.  Access to replace the four supplied AAA Duracells is under the keypad, by the way.

 Currently, software is only compatible with Windows, though they are working on the Mac compatibility.  Fortunately, all Intel-based Macs can also have installed and run either Windows XP SP2 or Vista, so if Windows compatibility is important to your user, you can still use the superior benefits of the Mac, yet work in a fully Windows environment if absolutely necessary.  To be clear, if the Mac is running Windows using either Apple’s Boot Camp or a third party solution such as Parallels, then from within Windows running on the Mac, the TI-Nspire is compatible on the Mac. Let’s just hope that TI moves quickly to provide Mac compatibility since more students are switching to Macs than ever before.

You may wish to start your info journey at http://www.MomsBTSGuide.com or call 1-800-TI-CARES (1-800-842-2737).  Retailers include Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Radio Shack, Staples, Fry’s Electronics, and more, or visit here to see them all online.  OR, go directly to Amazon.com.

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