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Math Education Handhelds Upgrades Hardware Science

Full Review of the Color TI-84 Plus 233

KermMartian writes "The TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition isn't the first color-screen graphing calculator, or even TI's first color calculator, but it's a refresh of a 17-year-old line that many have mocked as antiquated and overpriced. From an advanced review model, the math features look familiar, solid, and augmented with some new goodies, while programming looks about on par with its siblings. The requisite teardown uncovers the new battery, Flash, ASIC/CPU, and LCD used in the device. Although there are some qualms about its speed and very gentle hardware upgrades beyond the screen, it looks to be an indication that TI will continue this inveterate line for years to come." Lots of screenshots and pictures of the innards too.
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Full Review of the Color TI-84 Plus

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  • The real question... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @12:43PM (#42956319)

    Does it have RPN?

  • by Aaden42 ( 198257 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @01:04PM (#42956539) Homepage

    Because teachers are paranoid the chill'ins will cheat in class. Anything with a radio is verboten as a matter of course, and likewise anything "too powerful" isn't allowed. Finagle forbid they actually spend braincycles on solving a problem and leave the arithmetic to something that's designed to crunch numbers quickly and correctly. Far better to keep them busy doing busy work.

    Of course any smart phone today could run Derive in a DOS emulator and probably still have enough cycles left over to play Angry Birds, but that would make math "too easy." Can't have that...

    Funny story: Talked to a physics teacher (high school level) ages ago in a school where they standardized on HP's line rather than TI's. HP's did infrared communications whereas TI typically requires a physical cable to "network" between devices. The teacher said one day he looked up from his desk during a test and noticed a bunch of mirrors and prisms strewn about the room with students carefully aiming their calculators. Being an extremely cool teacher, he said something to the effect of, "I know what you're doing, but you had to use physics to make it work, so I'll let it slide once. Get ride of the glass and don't do it again."

  • Magical Black Boxes (Score:4, Interesting)

    by KalvinB ( 205500 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @01:21PM (#42956711) Homepage

    Students shouldn't be allowed to use things they don't understand. Calculators are for solving thousands of calculations and calculations with large numbers. Students should know how to do the same work by hand using smaller sets of calculations and smaller numbers.

    If you don't understand the math, you won't be able to know if the answer your calculator gave you is right or how to find the problem if it's wrong.

    It's not about making math "too easy." It's about actually understanding math. It's about learning how to actually solve problems and think logically. Just plugging it into a calculator doesn't teach you much. Any monkey can do that.

  • Re:Android (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nabsltd ( 1313397 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @05:48PM (#42959437)

    When did they start allowing the use of calculators during the SAT? I suppose about the same time that you could get a "perfect" score while still having some wrong or unanswered questions. OK...some Googling has shown my guess is correct, and also given me the conversions, so now I know what to tell young people if they ask what score I got.

    Oblig: get off my lawn

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