Snippet: The Texas Instruments Graphing Calculator Monopoly ☇

Shared on October 7, 2015

Jack Smith IV for Mic:

Technology has not yet killed the reliable old TI-83. Nearly 20 years later, students are still forced to use a prohibitively expensive piece of outdated technology. It’s not because better tools aren’t available; they exist, and some of them are even free. It’s because Texas Instruments, the company that creates them, has a staggering monopoly in the field of high school mathematics. The American education system is addicted to Texas Instruments.

I had a TI-83 Plus, later replaced by a TI-86. At the time, a handheld computer based on technology from about a decade before seemed magical to middle-school-aged me. Now, I’m shocked that there really haven’t been any advances, mostly for the sake of standardized testing and these are about the same price (not counting inflation). I seem to recall that tests like the SAT and ACT didn’t allow for devices with QWERTY keyboards or touch screens, so that could also play a big role. Regardless, this is a market that probably should change, but won’t.

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