21st century calculators
HI. I'm a math teacher in Memphis TN at a Title I school. We use Title I funds to purchase calculators for our classrooms. On a recent long drive, I was thinking about how limited the TI-84's that we use are (a thought instigated by this XKCD comic: http://xkcd.com/768/ ). They have terrible graphics and extremely complicated and have non-intuitive menus and features. They are fat and awkward to use when you have anything bigger than a piece of paper on your student desk (the sound of calculators hitting the floor punctuates most of my classes). They use batteries! This time of educational reform presents an opportunity to try to launch a new calculator for classroom and student use: one with a touch screen, color, and capabilities not only of the standard graphing calculator, but also of software like Geometer's Sketchpad and Gizmos and Interactivate (google any that you are not familiar with).
I know that the pads can do all of this now, and that many schools use laptops or pads that the students buy or borrow. Pads, however, have an important drawback in our classrooms--they access the internet, which creates potential distractions from the classwork to be done. It is very difficult to get our kids to focus on the work at hand in any case, and if they all had internet access at their desks, we would get nothing done. The primitive TI products are good because they cannot be modified into (amazing) toys very easily, but they are such relics!
If we had a calculator/ geometry program/ interactive learning tool, without internet access, and perhaps with a password protected locking feature with which the teacher can select the functions which are available to a particular class, we could do so much more with each student. And they could be rechargeable, perhaps through a docking station that doubles as a carrying case.
I know that this is all possible. The time is now and the potential market is huge. I'm giving this idea to you, because of your Nashville office. Good luck.