While I know they’re still used in educational institutions and offices around the world, the occasional graphing calculator I stumbled across at CES just seemed terribly out of place and dated. However, they have a come a long way from the model I remember using in high school. A few years ago we brought you Texas Instrument’s TI-Nspire Graphing Calculator which was ‘cutting edge’ at the time, but it’s taking another step forward with the TI-Nspire Navigator System which allows teachers to wirelessly snoop monitor their students progress with the devices.
The graphing calculators each require a slide-on sleeve and a central access point to give them wirelessly capabilities, but once that’s all up and running a teacher can call up any student’s display on their PC to see how they’re coming along with a math problem, or allow them to present a solution or answer to the rest of the class when using a projector. There’s also a clever little polling system that allows students to privately participate in multiple choice questions without the embarrassment of getting an answer wrong in front of the class. A 32 student kit which includes the wireless cradles and central access point (but not the calculators) is available now for ~$4,000.