To play off of the #NCTMannual Calculator Face-off challenge, I am going to try to post a weekly comparison of Casio calculators compared to TI calculators. My thoughts on this, as expressed in my recent post, Casio vs. TI – Calculator Face-off NCTM and Beyond, are that too many teachers and schools are stuck in the mind-set that TI is the ONLY option for calculators out there. This is clearly not the case, and also, clearly NOT the best choice in calculators when you take into consideration functionality and affordability, especially to address technology equity issues that are such a hugeconcern in schools. Casio is simply more affordable, easier to use, and has better functionality.
With that in mind, I want to keep it up-front and center so that those of you out there in the market for calculators can actually see side-by-side comparisons and make educated decisions vs. the “it’s what we always do” type of decisions.
Side Note: We are getting some “feedback” from our TI-users, who are not happy about these comparisons – probably because they are new to being challenged. Granted, when comparing calculators from any vendor, there are going to be certain concepts or procedures that might be faster and and maybe more efficient when on one compared to the other – no calculator will always be the winner -it’s bound to happen. But – overall, and consistently, based on teacher and student feedback and our own personal experiences with both, Casio is superior in it’s functionality, is definitely more affordable, and is easier for students to use because it is much more intuitive and there is less hunt-and-find-the-right-menu going on. It’s right there on the screen with a Casio, not hidden in apps or ‘math’ or ‘test’ buttons. If we consider why we use technology in the mathematics classroom – it’s NOT to ‘get the answer’ (or shouldn’t be!), it’s about using technology appropriately to allow students to be more efficient in their process so they can explore, discover , make conjectures, test hypothesis, and make comparisons. Getting bogged down in “where do I find this?” is not conducive to productive student learning and exploration.
There are several Casio vs. TI comparisons videos already – all of them currently Prizm vs. TI-84. I am adding today’s video, where I compare how to plot a vertical line on the Prizm vs. the TI-84. You will note the process is similar, with a significant difference being Casio creates a true plot of a vertical line, where you can find actual points on the plot, and TI is only a drawing. It is not possible to use the “drawing” to find specific coordinate points on the plot accurately or efficiently.
Here’s this weeks video comparison. Stay tuned for future comparisons with the Prizm and other Casio Calculators.