After returning from the USACAS 9 conference, I reflected on the barriers to incorporating CAS into education. The most common thing I heard was the technology was not available. I did not have an answer more than if you get a chance to request technology put it on the list. I was not satisfied with my answer, so I started thinking. Where is the CAS? There is a TI-Nspire CAS app for iPads, TI-Nspire software for computers, and of course the handheld. Easy right? Not if you have only $500 or less to spend for everything in your classroom. If you had to choose between a new computer or CAS, what would you choose? If your school finally were getting wireless slates/iPads with Doceri, would you decline for CAS? There are no easy answers to these questions, but maybe there is a compromise. What if we didn’t push for classroom sets but school sets? What if we asked for the TI-Nspire CAS app to be placed on the school iPad lab? What if the one iPad with Doceri we got for our classroom had the CAS app on it? I think we could still change the classroom environment and open doors. All administrators look at one thing: prove the students are learning. All we have to do is prove the students are learning with CAS, and I believe doors will open. I plan to start by sharing my original TI-Nspire CAS set with fellow teachers. I have upgraded but refused to let the old ones go. Now I hope to give new meaning to recycling.
Thoughts From a Conference
I was an engineer for 6 years before I became a teacher. I've taught math 6th - 12th grade, computer science, and EAST (Environmental and Spatial Technologies). I also provide professional development in the areas of technology and STEM learning. I have been providing professional development since 2007 locally and nationally. I created an Engineering Club at my current high school for students interested in STEM fields and am proud to be the 2011 Student Racing Challenge National Champs. My two personal passions are NASCAR and travelling. View all posts by Michelle Bonds