Korea International School (KIS) requires students to buy scientific calculators during their freshmen years and then another type during sophomore years for their new math courses. Many students do not agree with this idea of buying new calculators, considering them useless and overly expensive.
These scientific calculators – The Texas Instruments (Ti) Ti-89 and Nspire models – do not have a lot of difference in functions. The Ti-89 has a black and white display, while and the Nspire has colors. Also Ti-89 does have graphing function but the Nspire has a 3D graphing function. Nspire does have better abilities when inputting expressions and graphing, but these are not necessities.
“I did not have any trouble using a Ti-89 in my freshmen year [and] I do not understand why we have to buy a new one for our new math course in our sophomore year. I believe that it is a waste of money,” said Ashley Kim, a KIS sophomore, to JSR.
One KIS math teacher told JSR that the grade levels should unify with one calculator.
“It is better for the students and the teachers to use the same calculator as a whole so that it would be easier to teach. With everyone using the same scientific calculator, I am able to easily teach with the same method and I do not have to be confused with the functions of the other calculator,” the teacher said.
Another math teacher told JSR, “I had an easy time using Ti-89 and I had no problems teaching the sophomore math course with it. I do not really agree with changing the calculator.”
Teachers and students agree that there’s no need for students to buy two calculators.