Teacher Lee Briggs on technology in today's classroom. Brought to you by Weekly Reader.

So Long, Ti-83!

The workhorse of good upper math courses (the kind that I never got to take since I went into physics and not calculus) is the graphing calculator, the blocky grey machine that can solve any problem, graph any equation, and can be programmed to play Tetris.

I always wondered why, in the age of smartphones and computers, the Ti-83 had never really changed. But now even the good people of Texas Instruments have been cloud-sourced.

For a long time now, if you entered a math problem into Google’s search bar, you get the answer via a calculator. Go ahead, Google 2 + 2, or even ask for a conversion like 5 gallons to liters; you will get an answer. Now Google has expanded that to functions. Try entering sin(x) into Google (or just click here). You end up getting a pretty little graph.

Will this replace the Ti? It’s hard to say. Will it work in pinch if you are without one? Probably. Math teachers (of which I am not one), test this out for me and tell me how this works!

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