Technology has undoubtedly enhanced the learning experience for students, yet there still needs to be a substitute for the classic graphing calculator. Although most children only use one in upper high school, any student looking to excel in advanced mathematics should become familiar with this gadget.
While tablets and phones may offer some of the computational capabilities that maths students require, their use is generally not allowed during examinations. As a student, having an in-depth understanding of graphing calculators is integral to success. Students gain a competitive edge in the classroom when they use a graphing calculator, and professionals across many industries find it immensely beneficial to utilize one in their daily work.
With a quality graphing calculator, commonly called a scientific calculator, you can quickly and efficiently complete simultaneous equations and graph your data precisely – plus much more! Here are some of the tasks that can be achieved using this invaluable tool.
Top 7 Uses for a Graph Calculator – In-Depth Analysis
Maths can be tricky for some, but understanding the concept’s power and capabilities has great rewards. Whether you are in school or working on your career, this is how maths often gets put to good use.
1. Algebraic Equations
Even though it is not always necessary, starting with first-year algebra should include utilizing a graphing calculator to maximize learning potential. By writing equations and using a digital input, students gain a good visual of essential graphing functions, polynomials, quadratics, and inequalities.
While it’s possible to complete algebra equations without a calculator, employing one can help students better grasp the fundamentals and become comfortable with its buttons and essential functions. As part of their second-year algebra program, students must master using calculators for tasks such as graphing sequences, creating tables, and understanding matrices.
2. Geometry and Calc
Geometry is the next step for students in their mathematics journey. In this stage, concepts such as angles and hyperbolic functions are solidified. A great graphing calculator can efficiently transfer these lessons from paper to a digital platform.
With a standard graphing calculator, you can learn to plot parametric graphs, polar equations, and more with ease. Performing these calc functions with a pencil and paper is almost impossible. Still, by saving your work to your calculator, you can effortlessly return to any problems you’re working on after taking a break.
No longer a non-essential elective, many universities have made Trigonometry mandatory for those seeking degrees in science, mathematics, health sciences, computing, and engineering.
Using a graphing calculator, it’s possible to calculate the amplitude, period, and phase shifts of standard graphs with the help of trigonometric functions. With up to 20% of SAT problems and 5-10% of ACT maths questions connected to trigonometric principles, reviewing with a graphing calculator before testing will be wise.
From mechanical and chemical engineering to architecture, many of today’s professionals require a reliable graphing calculator for even their simplest equations. With its expansive display and range of memory modes, they relish the convenience that this gadget brings by storing their data for future access. This tool is a must-have and an absolute favorite for those with lofty ambitions. Today’s graphing calculators offering shortcuts to atomic weights, elements, and mass makes the life of most professionals much more accessible.
5. Computer Programming
While computer users typically have access to their device’s technological capabilities, why would they need a graphing calculator? Many programmers prefer having an extra, more compact display to work on coding tasks and accomplish fundamental arithmetic issues.
Transferring spreadsheets and data sets has become a breeze for those who have discovered the convenience of linking their computer and calculator. It’s easy to program with fewer steps required than ever before! Automated sequences such as macros are typically delegated to separate calculators, allowing programmers more time and productivity.
While multiple digital tools are available to calculate amortization, interest rates, and compound predictions, none offer the portability found in a graphing calculator. Even the simplest calculator can save financial professionals’ essential data for generating economic projections on the go. In regions with WiFi or internet access, relying on an online graphing calculator becomes more feasible. When finding the solutions to complex financial equations in a flash, nothing compares to the timeless and dependable hand-held calculator.
Stats is a visually-oriented area of mathematics that will allow students to experience statistical plotting, generating random numbers, constructing scatter/box/whisker plots, and putting probability into practice. For anyone attempting to master a maths concentration, understanding how to use a graphing calculator is essential. Those who can maximize its features have a definite edge over their peers.
Graphing calculators may be permitted during tests and assessment exams, depending on the educational environment. Even though younger students likely won’t need it while taking tests, more advanced classes such as calculus will necessitate a calculator.
Calculators in College Entrance and AP Tests
To ensure the same benefit as other students, mastering one of these tools before taking a significant college exam like the SAT, PSAT, or ACT is highly beneficial. Some AP course tests and college entrance exams permit using them too!
Know the Testing Rules Before You Go
Before taking any maths or science exam, it is prudent for students to investigate the guidelines of that particular test to determine whether their graphing calculator is permissible. Not only does this guarantee that they’ll be eligible for the test, but it also provides them ample time to familiarise themselves with their chosen calculator model to avoid fumbling around with buttons and features at testing.
Know If Your Calculator Is Permitted
Graphing calculators with extra features may be prohibited when taking specific exams due to their ability to facilitate cheating. Take, for example, calculators that include a periodic table of elements. Such advanced tools are typically forbidden during science exams. Consequently, students should become proficient in basic graphing calculators before transitioning to more advanced models for everyday use. Students can conveniently return to the simplified models for quick and efficient revision when their exams approach.
What about Websites or Apps?
Although graphing calculators have undergone drastic changes in the past two decades, many mathematicians and science students still prefer physical models of the device. But is this their only option?
One can easily accomplish even the most fundamental tasks of a graphing calculator by using online tools, such as graphing calculator apps and other sites devoted to calculation. It is essential to recognize that although online apps and tools frequently claim to replicate the work of a traditional graphing calculator, most classrooms will not permit their use during exams.
What Age Groups Are Graphing Calcs Appropriate For?
Equations such as “2 + X = 4” are becoming part of the primary curriculum for kids starting in first and second grade, allowing them to build on their knowledge and become more proficient at complex maths skills. Introducing children to a graphing calculator at an early age helps them get used to it earlier when they need it most.
Children as young as two are quickly learning the capabilities of modern technology like tablets and smart phones; because of this, we should not shy away from introducing them to a graphing calculator once they can quickly enter simple problems into it. If you can help students become well-acquainted with these fantastic tools, they will be more inclined to utilize them when it comes time for their maths and science studies.
What to Look For In A Calculator?
Though multiple graphing calculators are available to purchase, not all of them measure up in quality and performance. After a few classes using calculators, students can quickly note the benefits they wish their unit possessed compared to those of other classmates. To ensure you are okay with your purchase, assess what capabilities a graphing calculator would offer you before investing. To decide what is best for you, ask yourself these questions:
1. Are the Buttons Large, Easy-to-read, or Illuminated?
With their smaller hands, younger children may struggle to use the buttons on a miniature calculator accurately. However, oversized buttons may make the device too bulky and inconvenient for transport to classes. When using the tool in dimly lit settings such as a classroom for PowerPoint viewing, find features like brightly colored buttons, backlighting, or even glow-in-the-dark capabilities to make the device easier.
2. How Many Lines Does The Screen Show?
Variations of screens and capabilities between brands and models can be extensive, so many students want to view the equation or problem itself and the solution. Ensure you know how many lines a small LCD screen can display and the amount of space devoted to issues on a touch screen.
3. What About Battery Life?
While most graphing calculators utilize battery power, some come with the added benefit of solar energy features. Not only do these calculators use a fraction of the power that tablets or other devices consume, but having them as options is wise. During a critical examination, students should never worry about their device’s battery running out of juice.
4. How Durable Is The Graphing Calculator?
Unlike other tech products, these gadgets can stand the test of time when treated with TLC. There’s no need to replace your calculator annually or even when transferring from one complex maths course to another.
Thus, most graphing tools are designed with a protective cover that can be easily removed in case of repairs or maintenance. It should handle being dropped and jammed into a backpack or pocket while remaining undamaged. Search for a graphing calculator built to endure throughout your high school and college experience, plus more!
5. Is It Connected?
Does your graphing calculator allow you to download spreadsheets from your computer? Are there any online updates for it? Be aware of how the tool acquires new data and whether or not it can be enabled and disabled in testing situations. Many great devices can transfer information to a PC for further processing, but most are prohibited during standardized tests taken within classrooms.
Calculators for Success
HP 300S+ Scientific Calculator
For those searching for the perfect graphing calculator for their educational needs, HP® has crafted a line of options specifically tailored to meet the requirements of today’s maths or science scholars. With over 300 functions designed for classroom and personal use, investing in an HP 300s+ scientific calculator is worthwhile!
This impressive device is cost-effective even for children and runs on solar or battery power. Its slide-on cover safeguards against bumps and drops while providing excellent visibility in dim lighting.
This scientifically-verified device showcases four equations and provides a 15-character book display so pupils can instantly witness their information and the outcomes. Through its easy-scroll production, this calculator is both cost and space effective for students to utilize a well-rounded selection of algebraic, trigonometric, and hyperbolic capabilities – not to mention other functions.
HP 35S Scientific Calculator
If you’re seeking something a bit more superior, the HP 35s scientific calculator may be your ideal fit. Popular amongst medical professionals, surveyors, and engineers alike, it offers 30KB of user memory and provides users with RPN and algebraic entry-system logic. The two-line display is substantially better than budget models offer but remains economical for students to purchase.
More Advanced Calculators
For years, the only modifications to the original graphing calculator were a bigger display screen, larger buttons, and additional colors. Recently, even the introduction of star-endorsed calculators in unique colors has generated a buzz surrounding what has been an ordinary mathematics tool over time.
In the past few years, we’ve seen significant upgrades to graphing calculators. Colorful touch screens, Bluetooth, internet connections, and the capacity to work with your laptop to create visual representations of maths equations that can then be shared or imported into presentations – all this is now available!
HP Prime Wireless Graphing Calculator
The HP Prime wireless graphing calculator is an innovative device that seamlessly combines the convenience of a traditional calculator with the visual appeal of a modern smartphone. Its ten lines of vibrant colors create stunning visuals and make it easy to solve even the most complex problems in school and at work.
When selecting a graphing calculator for students, it is essential to note that they will only find value in the tool if they understand how to apply it appropriately. Feel free to put resources into training materials, manuals, and tutoring sessions for a better understanding of the potential their tools offer. Making the right choice can give them a head start on educational success and possibly open pathways to fulfilling careers.
With graphing calculators, the creation of regression models is made easy and accessible. This feature allows data analysis to be seamlessly integrated into classrooms; laborious calculations are no longer needed to incorporate such a helpful tool into academic lessons. Selecting the ideal calculator is critical for enabling you to quickly and accurately complete your studies and easily solve mathematical equations. With a graphing calculator, solving complex trigonometry problems is easier and faster. This blog will assist you in locating what you need when you arrive.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Check out the most popular questions that users have been asking about graphing calculators and their uses.
Q. What Are The Features Of The Graphing Calculator?
Ans. A graphing calculator is a powerful, portable computing device that can graph functions and equations, calculate variables, and solve complex problems. This essential tool allows you to crunch the numbers effortlessly wherever you go!
Q. What Is The Most Popular Graphing Calculator?
Ans. Out of all the graphing calculators on the market, you can’t do much better than Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE. It has an unbeatable price tag and rave reviews; in addition, it’s designed with everyone from beginners to experts in mind, packed with various features for any level user.
Q. Which Calculator is best for Students?
Ans. Some of the best calculators for students are
- Casio FX-991ES PLUS Scientific Calculator,
- Casio fx-300ES PLUS 2 2nd Edition Scientific Calculator,
- Sharp EL-W516TBSL 16-Digit Advanced Scientific Calculator,
- Casio fx-115ES PLUS 2 White Advanced Scientific Calculator.
Q. In What Class Do You Use A Graphing Calculator?
Ans. As a student, you can use your TI graphing calculator for multiple classes like pre-algebra, algebra I and II, geometry, trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus, chemistry, physics, biology, statistics, business & finance. It’s best to check with teachers first regarding their policy on bringing calculators into the classroom.
Q. Why Is Graphing Calculator Used?
Ans. Powerful yet portable, graphic calculators have various features for mathematical computations. From plotting graphs and numerical equations to carrying out advanced calculations such as algebra and geometry (Kor & Lim, 2003), these battery-operated devices help bring efficiency into our mathematics studies.