Future Teachers Learn About TI Calculators

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Fairmont State University students transitioning from being students to being teachers of math and science participated in a campus workshop designed to provide them with the information they need to maximize the use of calculators in their classrooms.

The workshop, presented by Dr. Patsy Fagan of Drake University in conjunction with Texas Instruments, Inc., was offered through a grant the company provided to Ohio State University. Students attending the workshop received more than $300 worth of equipment including a teacher model TI-84 Plus Silver edition calculator.

"It is impressive, but no surprise, that 20 FSU students gave up two days of their vacation to participate in this valuable professional development opportunity," said FSU math professor Dr. Susan Goodwin. "Every student I talked to felt the workshop was definitely worth the sacrifice."

Fagan said students attending the workshop received a broad view of the technology they can apply in their classrooms. The TI-84 teacher model can be used to measure light intensity and temperature and as a motion detector.

Angela Merrifield, a senior from Fairmont, was among those participating in the workshop. Merrifield, who is an elementary education major with a math specialty, will be student teaching this spring.

"We used this model some in our classes. But, here, we've had the chance to play around with it," Merrifield said of the exposure to the TI-84 during the workshop.

She said she will be able to apply much of what she learned in her classroom, including the calculator's capacity to save programs.