Here’s a nice piece of software…

It’s TI week here at OMT.

TI SmartView is a lovely piece of software… (see embedded video):

If I am teaching Advanced Mathematical Button Pushing, I am going to need this software. But honestly, that’s about it. It costs more than the calculator it is emulating and requires a fully functioning computer to run on.

It cripples the teacher with the same crummy graphics (94 pixels, horizontally) that students have in their hands. And it records every single button push. All of them, down to the last 5 up arrows.

You know how annoying it is when you get directions from Google Maps and the first five turns tell you how to get out of your own neighborhood? Same deal here. There is truly no intelligence built in.

Oh, and licensing? Crazy restrictive. My institution pays per license, and it’s not the “running on x computers at a time” sort of license. It’s the “installed on x computers at a time” sort of license.

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5 responses to “Here’s a nice piece of software…

  1. For a moment there I thought you were serious! (The video didn’t show up in my RSS reader.)

    I hate SmartView. I do have colleagues who use it in class, and I could never understand why until one told me that it was nice to be able to switch back and forth from Powerpoint to Smartview. Uh-huh. (I have certain thoughts about using Powerpoint to teach math that I’ll just keep to myself.)

    The only real advantage of using TI calculators is that every student gets one to hold in their hands (for classes where I use them, students are required to bring them to class every day). SmartView lets them just watch. I can’t see any advantage to it over sticking an actual calculator under the document camera when I do need to show them something.

    Plus: http://xkcd.com/768/

  2. Advanced Mathematical Button Pushing

    What a coincidence; I’ve taught that course! And this semester, I’m finding that many of my students mistakenly think they’re enrolled in that course. Which makes sense, since they seem to have taken Introductory and Intermediate Mathematical Button Pushing in high school.

    I’m curious (and maybe I should know this): What course do you use the TI’s in? I’ve come to a point now where I’ve banned anything more advanced than a very basic scientific calculator in my trigonometry and college algebra classes, and I do not regret the decision in the slightest. We use TI-83/84′s in statistics, and I use a free TI emulator during class to demonstrate some of the trickier procedures.

  3. Roy, College Algebra and Calculus (both 1 and 2).

  4. I use winplot (free). Better graphics. If it’s on the SmartBoard, I’ll also use wolframAlpha.

  5. I’ve tried teaching college algebra with graphing calculators, and I just couldn’t see any benefit to having them. Are you required to use them in the course? By the way, what textbook do you use? I haven’t taught calculus in several years, but will be doing so regularly starting in the fall. I haven’t given much thought to the calculator question for that course yet.

    On the main topic, is SmartView really just a calculator emulator? What calculator do you use it for? Does it have some advantage over a free and streamlined program like WabbitEmu?

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