Throughout the year, my algebra students have used the TI-Nspire handhelds (graphing calculators) in conjunction with the TI-Navigator System in a variety of meaningful ways. This technology encourages collaboration, individual learning and problem solving, and immediate assessment of each student’s progress. I can easily observe each student’s level of understanding at any point and adjust the lesson if necessary. Some features that are unique to the TI-Navigator System include:
- Class Screen Capture - At any point in the lesson, I can capture the progress of each student and the class as a whole with a quick Screen Capture. This encourages rich, math discussion as students analyze each other’s graph/work for accuracy. As the teacher, each Screen Capture immediately reveals exactly which students understand the algebraic concepts as well as those students who may need additional explanation or practice. The lesson either builds in complexity at this point or reinforces the algebraic concept based on the evidence from each Screen Capture.
- Quick Poll – This feature has many advantages: I can introduce a concept with an “I Wonder” question, survey the students to discover the most challenging homework/class problems, or send a specific problem or activity to the entire class and immediately see their answers in the form of a class graph. This feature is invaluable as it helps accurately assess the level of understanding of not only the class as a whole, but also of each individual student.
- Live Presenter - Any student can easily become a ‘Live Presenter’ and project their handheld screen from anywhere in the classroom in real-time mode. I use this feature to introduce a new concept or graphing process so students can observe the procedures one step at a time.
The continual use of the TI-Nspire Navigator System with its real-time features meets the Redefinition stage of the SAM-R model. Without the use of this technology, students would not have the ability observe their peers’ work and the overall level of understanding for our class at any time throughout the lesson. This system encourages a higher level of thinking for every student that simply does not occur otherwise.