Wild About Math! Making Math fun and accessible

19Apr/090

Cool calculator contest – We have a winner!

Last month TI and I announced a contest whereby TI was giving away a couple of TI-Nspire CAS state-of-the-art computer algebra system calculators.

Well, response was quite underwhelming, to say the least. We had one entry and, fortunately, I really liked it so ... drum role, please ... Zane Montgomery is the winner of the Cool Calculator Contest!!! Zane, Congratulations! Please send me your mailing address so that I can get you your cool calculator!

Zane has a background in teaching test prep. (I did some of that myself, for the Math SAT, many years ago.) Zane thinks the Ti_Nspire would make for a great test prep device. I heartily agree.

Here's Zane's winning submission.

The CalculaTutor! It slices, it dices, it does everything except tuck you in at night!

High performance graphing calculators are becoming essential tools for math courses from HS to beyond college. Also, college admission is getting much more competitive and people will do anything for that extra edge. That is why I propose using the TI-Nspire as a test prep device, avoiding (or supplementing) the very expensive test prep courses! As a former test preparation tutor (and student), I've had a lot of work with the college entrance exams and how students think about them. To standardize tests from year to year, there are only a limited number of question styles each test can ask. Through exposure to these questions and understanding of how the tests run, students can dramatically increase their test scores. Through a well-structured interface, students can prepare for each section of the test and get hints on the sections, especially when the TI-Nspire is useful.

Hierarchy:

Main Menu:
-Test Name
---Test subject (Math/Science/Chem/Reading(potentially)
-----Subject subtopic (Geo/Prob/Stoichiometry/Acids&Bases/Word Analogies/etc)
-------Topic overview
----------Important Equations
-------Worked examples
-------Practice questions

Other options:
-Test strategies (guessing/eliminating)
-Test statistics (average scores, score interpretation)
-Important Equations list

Some of you may recall that I wrote about how the TI-Nspire inspires Math students in New York City. Now, Zane has a great idea for helping kids prepare for exams. Very cool!

Zane's TI-Nspire CAS graphing calculator is provided by Texas Instruments Education Technology. Texas Instruments’ graphing technology is research proven to increase student understanding and achievement. The TI-Nspire is Texas Instruments’ latest graphing calculator for algebra through college-level math courses and is available at retail stores nationwide. For more information, please visit www.ti-nspire.com and follow TI Education Technology on Twitter, http://twitter.com/TIEdTech.

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