Monday, October 05, 2009

The Texas Instruments Nspire Graphing Calculator: Amazing!

If you’ve got kids in high school or college, and they’re taking any sort of advanced math classes, chances are good they need a graphing calculator. I don’t know about you, but when I was in school, there was no such thing as a graphing calculator! So, needless to say, it is really tough to know what to buy.

My two oldest sons -- one is a junior in high school, and the other is in his second year of college studying engineering -- are now experts at using graphing calculators. So, when I got the chance to try out the Texas Instruments Nspire graphing calculator, I knew the perfect testers! I handed this very impressive-looking piece of equipment over to my future engineer and told him to start checking it out. When he was done, he came back and said, “Mom, there’s just one word for this calculator: AMAZING!”

I can’t even begin to describe all of the incredible features of this calculator. It’s really a hand-held computer. (It even comes with its own software.) In addition to the number keys, it has letter buttons so you can type in notes. It will save your work so you can come back to it later. (This is especially useful if you get started on a problem and don’t have time to finish it.) There’s a menu that makes it easy to go right to the functions you need. You can ask it to display your answers in decimal or fraction form. (My son loved the fraction feature.) And, for students who are accustomed to the TI-84 Plus calculator, it includes a TI-84 Plus keypad that you can swap out for the TI-Nspire keypad. Brilliant! And the Texas Instruments Nspire calculator has been approved for use with the ACT and the SAT. It even includes free downloadable test prep questions from The Princeton Review!

Yes, graphing calculators are an investment, but it’s one that will take your student all the way through high school and college. It can be used for classes such as Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 & 2, Geometry, Trigonometry, Statistics, College Math, Pre-Calculus, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Business, and Finance. My oldest son is now in advanced Calculus courses, which definitely require high-level computing capability like you’ll find in the TI-Nspire graphing calculator.

I also wanted to tell you about Texas Instruments’ efforts to motivate teens to take more math courses. To do this, they’ve developed the Count Me In! pledge. Students who sign the pledge challenge themselves to take higher-level math courses to broaden their college and career options. By signing, students, parents and teachers are saying that math illiteracy is unacceptable and that teens should take as much math as possible to succeed in tomorrow’s job market. The pledge has already drawn more than 7,000 teens, parents and teachers since its launch in July. If you sign up before October 15, you become eligible to win prizes worth more than $9,000, including a customized Math Rocks! Guitar autographed by the Jonas Brothers and back-to-school prize packs that include TI-Nspire graphing calculators. Go to to sign the pledge.

In the meantime, if you’re in the market for a graphing calculator, you’ll be totally impressed with the TI-Nspire. My son couldn’t have put it any better: It’s amazing!

You can learn more about the TI-Nspire at

DISCLOSURE: I received the Texas Instruments Nspire Graphing Calculator to facilitate this review.

1 comment:

  1. I seriously don't know what my kids would do without these. They each have one and then we have another one which stays at home (just in case). They're fantastic!


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