By Tech Powered Dad | June 29, 2011
It was announced that yesterday that Casio has named Clemson as its Center of Academic Training. Dr. Bob Horton will oversea Clemson’s involvement in the center. I got to meet “Dr. Bob” at the NCTM annual meeting in Indianapolis. He’s been very involved with Casio for years and could be described as a “Casio guru,” as both an advocate of and an expert in the use of Casio calculators in the classroom. As a result, Clemson is already known for having a number of math educators who are well versed in Casio products.
This announcement is great news for Casio calculator fans. I think a lot of the general public still doesn’t understand how Texas Instruments won the “calculator wars” of the 90’s. They weren’t the first ones to release the graphing calculator, and unlike today, there was no clear front runner in the schools. However, while most of the other manufacturers were marketing their products to engineers and computer geeks, TI correctly recognized that the true long term market for graphing calculators would be with educators. They spent valuable time and resources training teachers how to use their products in the classroom and developing resources (workbooks, apps, data sensors, etc.) that made their integration into classes easier.
While most engineers have moved past the graphing calculator, the math classroom has not and probably will not for the foreseeable future. As Amber Branch, director of curriculum and training of Casio’s Education Division put it in, “The days of a calculator being an ‘answer device’ are in the past.” The new center at Clemson gives Casio the opportunity to continue to build those critical relationships with teachers as well as build their confidence about how to use Casio products effectively for teaching.