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» TI-84 Plus CE Officially Launched: Exclusive Interview
» STEM Behind Hollywood: Body of Evidence for TI-84 Plus C SE
» TI-France's TI-83 Premium CE Hints at TI-84 Plus CE Features
» A First Look at the TI-84 Plus CE
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TI-84 Plus CE Officially Launched: Exclusive Interview
Published by KermMartian on January 26, 2015 at 3:46:02 PM CST | Discuss this article (23)
Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 27, 2015, TI Education will be officially launching the TI-84 Plus CE graphing calculator, a sleek, modern twist on the well-known TI-84 Plus family. Inside and out, this calculator is designed to build on the success of the color-screen TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition calculator, retaining the higher-resolution color screen while making the calculator sleeker, thinner, lighter, faster, and more power-efficient. We had the pleasure of speaking one day in advance of the official launch to the President of TI Education, Peter Balyta, who discussed the features and goals of this new device with us. This "latest edition of our most popular graphing calculator" is, in short, "really, really cool", and incorporates a host of suggestions from students, teachers, and even the wider hobbyist community.
One of the primary goals of this new calculator is to retain the pedagogical successes and well-known interface and features of the existing TI-84 Plus family of graphing calculators while incorporating improvements meant to make the calculator better for students. Physically, it is 30% thinner and 30% lighter than the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition; Dr. Balyta discussed how this will make it easier for students to bring their calculators to class, to exams, and for those so inclined, on buses or breaks for those who want to work on homework or explore programming. To make the calculator more fun and more individualized, it will be available in seven colors; although TI Education hasn't published official names for the colors yet, the TI-84 Plus CE will come in red, pink, blue, plum, navy, silver, and black.
The internals of the TI-84 Plus CE have also been improved from the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition. First, it has 6x more user-accessible RAM, which will make it possible to store bigger matrices, more lists, and longer TI-BASIC programs in RAM. Although Dr. Balyta could not specifically comment on the processor model and speed in the new calculator (our previous information about the French TI-83 Premium CE indicates that it contains an ez80 with an unknown clock speed), he did say that side-by-side with a TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition, the new TI-84 Plus CE will show a nice improvement in speed. We also believe that the calculator will contain the same roomy 3.5MB of user Flash memory as the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition, making plenty of space for Apps and activities. Dr. Balyta particularly stressed the longer battery life of the TI-84 Plus CE. Realistically, students aren't always great about managing battery life, so with typical use, students can use the TI-84 Plus CE for up to a full month on one charge; battery life is no longer measured in hours or days. Based on comments from teachers and students about coming back from summer vacation or long breaks and finding their calculators' batteries dead, the TI-84 Plus CE also introduces a new deep sleep that will save the battery over months of non-use.
Pedagogically, the calculator keeps the familiar interface of the TI-84 Plus family. It has the same functionality as the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition, and will come with the same preloaded Apps, such as EasyData, PolySmlt, CellSheet, Cabri Jr., and more. As always, TI has made sure that while the calculator can be used easily at home, in class, and on exams, it also is accepted on all the same standardized tests as the other TI-84 Plus family calculators, like the SAT, ACT, IB, and AP. Although with my journalist hat there's not much TI and I can say about upcoming activities and content for the calculator, you can rest assured that the company has an aggressive plan for helping students and teachers with STEM instruction via the new technology.
In terms of programming, the succinct summary is that almost all TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition TI-BASIC programs will work on this device as-is, and almost all assembly programs and Apps will require modification. TI recommends that programmers verify that their programs still work on the new device, of course. We plan to quickly upgrade Doors CSE for the new calculator as soon as we have enough information to do so, as well as provide a one-stop location for TI-BASIC and assembly programmers looking for information, tools, and resources.
Finally, the new TI-84 Plus CE brings mini-USB (only) connectivity; TI will soon be releasing more information about connectivity. We're disappointed that the CALCnet networking library, the ArTICL Arduino-calculator communication library, the Norland Research robot, and other I/O port hardware and software potentially won't work with the TI-84 Plus CE, but we're waiting for more information before getting our hopes completely dashed. There's a new TI-Connect CE specifically for the TI-84 Plus family of calculators that will provide the ability to manage multiple calculators, organize screenshots, edit TI-BASIC programs (!), and more.
As you can tell, we're very excited about the new TI-84 Plus CE, and will bring you a hands-on review as soon as possible. In addition, we expect to see a lot more about the calculator at T^3 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas this March. Do you have any questions about the new calculator? If so, please ask in the attached topic and I'll do my best to answer. We must heartily thank Peter Balyta and Ellen Goldberg for taking the time to speak to us today about the TI-84 Plus CE and for giving us a one-day head-start on the official announcement. Later tonight, TI will be releasing an official video (the one briefly visible in our TI-France's TI-83 Premium CE Hints at TI-84 Plus CE Features article) that we will append to this news.
TI-84 Plus CE information, documentation, and resources
Past TI-84 Plus CE news: TI-France's TI-83 Premium CE Hints at TI-84 Plus CE Features; A First Look at the TI-84 Plus CE
STEM Behind Hollywood: Body of Evidence for TI-84 Plus C SE
Published by KermMartian on January 23, 2015 at 1:46:29 AM CST | Discuss this article (1)
If you've been following Cemetech's efforts to create educational software for the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition calculator, you probably are already familiar with my TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition versions of Texas Instruments' STEM Behind Hollywood activities for the TI-Nspire. The first activity, Earth Impact!, was released in October, followed closely by Zombie Apocalypse Part 1. Last week, I presented Zombie Apocalypse Part 2, and ten days later, I am thrilled to add Body of Evidence for the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition
In Body of Evidence, your students play the role of an experienced forensic anthropologist. A decomposing body is found in a field, and they'll need to apply forensic techniques to identify the victim. Students will learn about forensic anthropology, the stages of decomposition, and the STEM jobs involved in identifying bodies as they help solve this case. The activity presents the scenario, takes students through a simulated decomposition that graphically demonstrates the stages of decomposition, and presents graphs explaining the effects of the environment on decomposition. In the end, students will match the corpse to one of four missing persons, and explore further enrichment information about forensics. This is a direct translation of TI's STEM Behind Hollywood activity, "Body of Evidence", for the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition. Made for Doors CSE 8.1 or higher, it provides the same fun, real-world lessons about forensic science. Besides the on-calculator activity itself, it includes thorough teacher notes and a student handout, both heavily adapted from TI's original material. We would love to hear your feedback in the attached topic if you use this activity in your own classroom, and we hope to soon present a port of the fifth STEM Behind Hollywood activity, Science Friction, for the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition. We respectfully salute Texas Instruments and their hard work in creating the original material for this activity.
Body of Evidence activity for the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition
TI-France's TI-83 Premium CE Hints at TI-84 Plus CE Features
Published by KermMartian on January 15, 2015 at 4:19:44 PM CST | Discuss this article (22)
Thanks to the keen eyes of the French calculator community, we discovered a lot more about the probable features of the TI-84 Plus CE, thanks to TI Education France's release of information about the TI-83 Premium CE. We have long seen TI Education France's propensity for what we'll charitably call creativity with handheld names: the TI-83 became the TI-82 Stats.fr, the TI-84 Plus Silver Edition became the TI-83 Plus.fr, and they even dropped the ubiquitous "Plus" in Flash-based models' names to designate the tiny TI-84 Pocket.fr. Therefore, we are all but certain that the TI-83 Premium CE is simply a re-branded TI-84 Plus CE, from the HP Prime-esque thin-and-light case design to the USB-only connectivity. Thanks to TI Education France's released information, we can now tell you a great deal more about the TI-84 Plus CE.
Most importantly to math teachers, the TI-84 Plus CE appears to offer a new CAS-like engine for the homescreen. In one of the videos below, a student Lycee Rosa Parks de Montgeron in France computes a square root, and the answer printed on the homescreen is in the form AvB+C rather than the decimal answer a TI-84 Plus or TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition would give. Documentation indicates that there will be a special exam mode that presumably cripples this math engine for testing situations. Helpfully, TI-France gives us a helpful set of specifications and facts about the new TI-84 Plus CE via the TI-83 Premium CE:
We also know that there will be a new version of TI-Connect, to be called TI-Connect CE, along with OS 5.0 for the TI-84 Plus CE and EasyData 5.0 to support Vernier hardware. As always, please weigh in in the attached topic. We expect to have official word from Texas Instruments with more information in a week or two, if possible, but for now, let the rampant speculation continue!
More Information & Sources
Promotional TI-84 Plus CE video from TI Education USA
Promotional TI-83 Premium CE video from TI Education France
Video of TI-83 Premium CE in the classroom at Lycee Rosa Parks de Montgeron, France.
From left: TI-Connect CE; math engine demo: "exact" mode answers, "approximate" mode answers
A First Look at the TI-84 Plus CE
Published by KermMartian on January 13, 2015 at 1:39:10 PM CST | Discuss this article (43)
Back in November 2012, Cemetech was the first to announce the existence of TI's first color-screen non-Nspire calculator, the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition. Now, two years later, we are thrilled to bring you a first look at TI's new TI-84 Plus CE calculator. A natural evolution of the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition towards the thinner, lighter feel of the TI-Nspire CX and the HP Prime calculators, this new model appears to answer many of the complaints about the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition. However, there is much we still don't know about the calculator (see the More Information links at the bottom of this article). Here's what we do know so far, based on TI's and Vernier's released info:
Getting Started with the TI-84 Plus CE
TI Education's TI-84 Plus CE Preview Page
Vernier's TI-84 Plus CE Information Page
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