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Teach and Learn Maths
Using Software Designed
For Texas Instruments Calculators

 

FAQ

Sales & Licenses
How can I order the programs?
How do the programs come?
How many copies of the programs can I make?

Teaching

What are the advantages to using calculator programs over other teaching methods?

How can I set up my school to make best use of graphic calculators?
Do I need to know how the calculator works in order to use the programs?
Can I get a program written to do something specific?

Hardware & Software
How are programs different from Applications?
How do I get the programs onto the calculator?
I have TI-Connect and a cable, now how do I install a program group from a PC/Mac to the TI83+/83+SE/84+/84+SE?
How do I ungroup programs?
How do I run a program?
How do I group programs?
How can I put the programs on a class set of calculators?
Do the programs run on TI Smartview?
Do the programs run on a TI-Nspire?
What is the difference between RAM and ARCHIVE memory?
What are the differences between the TI83+/83+SE and the TI84+/84+SE?
Do the programs run any differently on different calculators?

How can I order the programs?
You can use the online shop to order on this website. It will NOT ask you for credit or debit card details. Upon receipt of your order, you, your school or your authority are sent an invoice by email, or by post. Once payment has been cleared, the programs are sent either by email attachment or on CD by post. Alternatively, you can place an order by normal email or by posting one of your institution’s standard order forms.

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How do the programs come?
The programs can come as individual pieces of software to be installed separately on the calculator, or they can come in a GROUP of programs. You can GROUP programs together on a TI83+, TI83+SE, TI84+ and TI84+SE and store them in Archive memory (see below for more on this). This is a safe and efficient way of keeping them out of RAM memory when they are not being used.
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How many copies of the programs can I make?
The programs are purchased with a site licence and thus can be distributed freely to the staff and students in purchasing institution. Distribution of the programs or teacher notes outwith the institution is prohibited.
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What are the advantages to using calculator programs over other teaching methods?
There are many. The programs allow individual students to work at their own speed through a set sequence of stages, problems or challenges. Where a student is consistently successful, the program can progress to the next level of difficulty. This "responsiveness" of the exercise is something that cannot easily be emulated with a textbook. The programs typically generate problems with randomly selected numbers. As a result of this students can't copy answers from their neighbour, but rather they spend time discussing how to do questions and identifying methods that work. The motivational aspect of use of IT in the teaching and learning process cannot be undervalued - especially with the weaker, or younger, mathematician. Students typically enjoy lessons that are based around calculator programs - the desire to obtain a faster time, or a higher score, often adds an additional competitive element to the chosen exercise.
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How can I set up my school to make best use of graphic calculators?
Here’s a selection of tips that I often give out to other teachers. [If you know of any other tips, then pass them to me and I’ll add them into the reply, giving you credit where it is due!]

1. If you have to convince those who are responsible for budgets of the worth of graphic calculators, you might want to point out how much it might cost to equip a classroom with a set of computers, then show that calculators are MUCH cheaper and much more effective for the purpose of maths teaching and learning!

2. It’s best if everyone in a school uses the same make of graphic calculator - having two different makes in a classroom is not beneficial to anyone’s stress levels!

3. Ensure that every maths teacher has either a Viewpanel or (when using Data Projector, or Interactive Whiteboard) a Calculator Emulator permanently set up in the room, so that it is “ready to go” in any lesson. If anything’s in a cupboard, then it’ll probably stay there and never get used.

4. Where you can, project the calculator screen image onto a surface that you can also write on - this will allow you to annotate information on its screen in a way that a normal projector screen would hinder you from doing.

5. If you have class sets of calculators, remember to budget for batteries to keep them going! I’ve found that Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation seem to sell the cheapest Duracell Procell AAA batteries (see links page).

6. When you buy class sets of calculators, remember to save the barcodes, or the sales invoices, as you can use them to get FREE calculators and other kit from TI under their Volume Purchase Programme (see links page).

7. If your students want to buy their own calculators, then the maths dept should obtain them from the major suppliers at much cheaper cost than the students would on the high street. Again, this helps the department control which makes of calculators end up being used in lessons. Remember to get the students to give you the barcodes in return.

8. Start running a second-hand market for graphic calculators - offer to buy them back from students when they leave school and no longer wish to keep them. Re-sell these on to students in lower years on a “no-profit” basis. This strategy gets the most calculators into as many people’s hands for the least initial outlay, or the least net cost to them over several years.

9. As the number of graphic calculators in school increases, keep an electronic database/spreadsheet of the serial number of each calculator against each student’s name. This will help return lost calculators to their true owners, as well as ensuring that you only ever buy back a second hand calculator from its real owner, rather than another student who “found it”!

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Do I need to know how the calculator works in order to use the programs?
No. Once the program is running, all options in the programs are menu driven and the calculator becomes essentially a small computer running a piece of software that's been designed to be used by young and old students alike!
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Can I get a program written to do something specific?
Yes. If you have an idea for a program to help with the teaching and learning of maths topics then contact us.
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How are programs different from Applications?
Applications run from pressing the blue APPS key on a TI83+ or TI83+SE. On the TI84+ and TI84+SE, the Apps keys are coloured black like all the other keys, but the letters APPS on the button are coloured pale magenta. These applications are stored in Flash ROM (Read Only Memory) on the calculator and typically have a unique validation code that prevents them from being distributed to another calculator. However, there are various shareware Applications available which do not have this restriction. All Applications are typically written in Z80 Assembly Code. The programs available on this website have no validation code and are mainly written in TI-Basic. They are run by pressing the PRGM key on a TI83, TI83+, TI83+SE, TI84+ or TI84+SE.
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How do I get the programs onto the calculator?
The easiest way is to use Texas Instruments' software called "TI-Connect" along with a link cable (either USB or Serial). Newly bought calculators now come with both of these items, but they can be obtained separately - the cable can be bought from most retailers, whilst the TI-Connect software can be downloaded free from TI's website.
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I have TI-Connect and a cable, now how do I install a program group from a PC/Mac to the TI83+/83+SE/84+/84+SE?

First, start up TI Connect Software and click the icon for Device Explorer. This gives a tree structure diagram of the calculator's memory that is connected to the computer. At the bottom of this tree structure is the category "* Flash / Archive". Now open up another window of the folder containing the group to be installed (eg PROGS.8XG). This can be done through clicking on the My Computer icon on your desktop and locating the folder and file required. Now drag'n'drop the file PROGS.8XG from the window that it's in into the window in Device Explorer and onto the branch of the tree called "* Flash / Archive". Copying across from the computer folder to the Archive memory of your calculator will then commence.
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How do I ungroup programs?
First it is worth clearing the RAM memory on the calculator, to make room for the programs that are about to be ungrouped from the Archive memory. To clear the RAM, press 2nd, press +, press 7, press 1, press 2. After a short time, the message "RAM cleared" will then appear on the screen. To ungroup press 2nd, press +, press 8, press RIGHT ARROW to highlight the word UNGROUP and then use the UP and DOWN arrow keys to select the group that you wish to ungroup. Note that when a collection of files are ungrouped, they are NOT removed from Archive memory. A COPY of the files are made and put in RAM - the original grouped files in Archive memory remain untouched.
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How do I run a program?
Press PRGM and ensure that the words EXEC are highlighted at the top of the screen - this stands for EXECute. Using the UP and DOWN arrow keys, move the highlighter until it is next to the program that you wish to run. Press ENTER to select. On the home screen appears "prgmPROG". Pressing ENTER one more time will execute this command and thus run the program.
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How do I group programs?
First have all the programs and data files that you wish to group together in normal RAM. You must want to group more than one file, else you will incur an error.
Press 2nd, press +, press 8 (for option 8:Group…) and press 1: to Create a New Group.
Type in the name of your group (max 8 letters) eg NUMBER, SHAPE, ALGEBRA, etc.
From the next menu, select option 2:All-…
You are then presented with a full list of the calculator's memory. Using the arrow keys and ENTER, go down the list marking all of the programs that you wish to have placed in the group. Pressing ENTER marks each file with a dot, whilst pressing ENTER again removes the dot.
When you have completed your selection, press the RIGHT ARROW key to highlight the word DONE and press ENTER.
After a short time, your GROUP will have been created in Archive memory - wait for the "Done" statement to appear.
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How can I put the programs on a class set of calculators?
Once you have the programs on a single calculator, it is simply a matter of sending the programs - via a normal link cable - to all the other calculators. This is done by the means of the LINK menu - see the section in your calculator's manual called "Communication Link" for more instructions on this.
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Do the Programs run on TI Smartview?
Yes. You need to initially treat the TI Smartview software as another calculator and install the programs into its "memory" in groups. Then save the state of the calculator emulator. Each time you wish to run the Smartview emulator as one of the class set of calculators, just load up the saved state and it will operate just as a student's calculator would.
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Do the Programs run on a TI-Nspire?
Yes, but only on the non-CAS TI-Nspire (the blue coloured handheld) when it has the TI84+ keypad inserted into it. Simply install the software via the normal TI-Connect software via the I/O port on the TI84+ keypad. All the other instructions on this page are as valid for the TI-Nspire with the TI84+ keypad inserted as they are for a normal TI84+ graphic calculator.
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What is the difference between RAM and ARCHIVE memory?
RAM (standing for Random Access Memory) memory is about 24 kilobytes in size and is where programs that you want to run need to be. Also stored in RAM are lists, matrices, functions, etc. ARCHIVE memory is separate from RAM and is where programs and applications are stored when they are not being used. If any data is in Archive memory, then typically it cannot be used, only stored there - it always has to be unarchived first to use it. GROUPS are always stored in archive memory.
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What are the differences between the TI83+/83+SE and the TI84+/84+SE?
There are various cosmetic differences between the different models, but they all operate in exactly the same way The TI84+ and TI84+SE each have a USB port for extra connectivity. The TI83+ has a processor speed of 6Mhz whilst the TI83+SE, TI84+ and TI84+SE all have a faster speed of 15Mhz. The TI83+ has 160K of archive memory, the TI84+ has 480K whilst both the TI83+SE and TI84+SE each have 1540K.
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Do the programs run any differently on different calculators?
Some programs only run on the TI83+, TI83+SE, TI84+ and TI84+SE. The reason for this is that the TI83 does not support display of lower case characters. Where programs are run on a TI83+SE, they go faster (up to two and a half times faster!) Where programs have timers built in to measure speed of completion of exercise, the opening screen asks whether the program is being run on a TI83+ or a TI83+SE/84+/84+SE. The program's clock counter is adjusted accordingly. Aside from the speed issues described above, there is no difference in the programs' functionality.

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