How scientific calculators can boost classroom engagement - Casio Calculators

How scientific calculators can boost classroom engagement

Mar 2024 Medium Read: 4 Min

We’re firm believers here at Casio in the power of technology to help teachers navigate some of their most common challenges, such as keeping students engaged and motivated in the classroom.

Calculators will never be a substitute for good teaching or effective learning, but they do offer huge potential to strengthen understanding, unlock new approaches to problems and build student confidence.

Let’s take a closer look at scientific calculators in particular, and the benefits they can offer in terms of driving engagement in maths lessons.

Autonomy and control for students

As we’re sure you’ve experienced many times yourself, sitting back and listening to the teacher talk isn’t always the most effective way for students to learn.

One of the best things about using calculators in lessons is that it stops students from being passive and encourages them to take an active, exploratory approach to their own learning. When you’re exploring equations, for example, it’s not easy to write something like f(x) = x2 + 1/2

on a whiteboard and to get an entire class of young people engaged in what it all means.

With access to a scientific calculator and knowledge of how to use it, however, students can input this or any other function they fancy investigating into their handset in order to do things such as creating a table of values. This allows more ownership over their work and also gives them the freedom to explore and ask their own questions.

Users of more advanced handsets such as the fx-991CW can take things a step further and find the solutions to equations, which can be a big help when it comes to students checking their work in exams.

A shared, collaborative experience

Students having a level of independence and autonomy in their learning is certainly beneficial, but there are also great advantages to be gained from building a sense of collaboration and shared investigation in the classroom.

This was a key part of the thinking behind ClassPad, our new teaching and learning environment, which is entirely web-based and accessible from anywhere that has an internet connection.

ClassPad features emulators for the entire ClassWiz scientific calculator range, which allows you to present a shared screen to the class and work through problems together.

What’s more, the software incorporates various other features that could support your efforts to build classroom engagement, including tools dedicated to graphing, shape creation and statistics.

Unlocking new approaches to problems

One of the best things about maths is that there are, more often than not, multiple ways to tackle a problem. If students find it difficult to get to grips with a certain method, they can look for another approach that makes more sense to them.

The latest scientific calculators offer such a broad range of functionality that there is always scope to experiment with different ways of working.

Going back to the previous example of equations, students who struggle with algebra could benefit from visualising an equation as a graph, which can lead to clearer understanding.

Solving simultaneous equations becomes much more intuitive when students can see where the lines on the graph intersect, for example.

This is possible on the current range of Casio ClassWiz scientific calculators, thanks to the recent addition of a feature that lets you display graphs through QR codes. After you enter your equation, pressing Shift and x will produce a QR code that you can scan on a smart device to view a graph.

When you’re looking for ways to connect with students who are lacking in confidence or simply disengaged, having options like this could make all the difference.

Take a closer look at scientific calculators

If you’re keen to make greater use of scientific calculators in your teaching, now could be the perfect time to take the plunge following the recent launch of our new ClassWiz range.

These calculators have been enhanced with faster processing capabilities, a simpler key layout and a menu structure that allows for more intuitive navigation of the device.

We’ve created a range of resources that are freely available if you want to take a closer look at our scientific calculators, including model-specific guides and ‘how to’ leaflets in our resources centre and dedicated videos on the Casio Education YouTube page.

You can also contact us at any time to ask any questions you might have or to discuss your school’s technology needs.