Calculators and Technology

These posts are about graphing calculators and technology. They show ways to use graphing calculators to explore calculus concepts.  Graphing calculators and other technology, such as those available on smart phones and iPads, can and should be used all through the year to help students see and understand the concepts.

The AP Exams require the use of a graphing calculator.

Students will not be able to answer some the question without using their graphing calculator. Calculators must be from the approved list – graphing, not scientific, no Qwerty keyboards, no wireless communication ability. The first two post discuss the basics.

Graphing Calculator Use on the AP Exams   The requirement and the rules about graphing calculator use.

Graphing Calculator Use (8-16-2016)- The basics for AP Calculus including “Store and Recall”

Using Graphing Calculators to learn the calculus. 

Local Linearity 2 (8-31-2012) Using local linearity to approximate the tangent line. A calculator exploration.

Tangent Lines (8-23-2016) How to introduce the definition of the derivative by approximating the tangent line.

Seeing Difference Quotients (8-30-2016) Using difference quotients to find derivatives

Discovering the Derivative (8-18-2015) A graphing calculator exploration

Comparing the Graph of a Function and Its Derivative (9-6-2016) working between the graph of f and f’. Using a graphing calculator or Desmos.

How to Tell Your Asymptote from a Hole in the Graph  (10-4-2016) An explanation of how graphing calculators graph and how to use that knowledge to see asymptotes and removable discontinuities.

Graphing Integrals (11-15-2016) Graphing functions defined by an integral without knowing the antiderivative.

Graphing Integrals – Exam Considerations  (3-3-2017)  Avoiding errors on the exam

Graphing Taylor Polynomials (2-7-2017) The easy way to graph Taylor Polynomials and watch them converge (BC topic)

Experimenting with a CAS – The Chain Rule   (7-3-2013) Using a CAS to get good data for differentiation patterns.

Other Technology and Graphing Calculator post

Calculators (8-26-2018) Some history and opinion. Are graphing calculators obsolete?

Graphing Calculators (2-4-2015) Some history and iPad’s “Educational Standardized Testing” Option

iPads (2-17-2013) My experiences at a school where every student had an iPad and some an online textbook.

Apt Apps – 1 (8-7-2013) For iPad: Good Grapher Pro, My Script Calculator, and WolframAlpha, TI_Nspire CAS

Apt Aps – 2 (8-14-2013)

Note taking apps: iAnnotate PDF, Notability, Penultimate, Educreatons, Doceri, ShowMe, Whiteboard.

A “clicker app for smart phones Socrative (Also, see next below)

Computer control from an iPad Splashtop

Socrative (11-17-2013) A “clicker” app for smart phones (highly recommended).

My New Calculator (3-8-2015) A handheld calculator without batteries!





Completely revised and updated October 26, 2018