The author of this piece, though, is not a fan of Texas Instruments:
You remember the TI-83: the brick-sized graphing machine you likely covered in stickers and used to send messages, spell out obscenities, play games and maybe do some math, if you were paying close enough attention. Some students today will be the second generation to use it.The TI-83 was released in 1996, when mobile phones had antennas and PCs were mostly used for word processing. In 1996, Google was born. It was also the year of the Palm Pilot and Hotmail. Microsoft Office '97 debuted on a floppy disk. You could install the Internet on your computer with a CD from AOL.In fact, the TI-83 existed for half a decade before the iPod, which became smaller and more powerful for generations before it, too, became obsolete. The iPod made way for the smartphone, a computational powerhouse — the size of, well, a calculator — that is quickly taking over the world.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 Nearly 20 years later, students are still forced to use a prohibitively expensive piece of outdated technology.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 don't know that anything the author says is wrong, I just don't know how important it is.
Keep in mind that I teach in California. It's against the law for me to require students to purchase a calculator for class or to charge any fee not specifically authorized by law. (Yes, I know that plenty of teachers and schools violate that little section of our ed code, but I do not.) So yes, I do have a classroom set of TI-83s, and they're available for student use when we're specifically covering their use. I've seen the stats functions on newer calculators and still find the TI-83s to be the most user friendly for what I teach.
The phone apps I've seen for stats aren't exceptional, and finding free ones for iOS (remember, I can't have students incur a charge) makes the process even more difficult. I'm OK with continuing the use of TI-83s--they're perfectly serviceable--until a better product comes along. No sense in getting rid of them just because they're older than my students; they still do more math than a high schooler will ever learn!