Casio brings ClassWiz calculators towards high school and higher education

Launch also includes pedagogical proposal to improve the teaching of mathematics in public schools in Brazil.

The Casio announced yesterday (19 / Jan) the arrival in the country of its line of scientific calculators  ClassWiz  specifically geared for use in schools and colleges.

The first is the fx-991LA X  ($ 199), the most sophisticated and powerful model line, designed for college students:

It brings several improvements like a faster processor (four times more than its predecessor), solar power + LR-44 lithium battery, high resolution LCD screen (192 × 63 points) that provides text display, numbers and graphic icons More clearly and comfortably …

… and this is not to mention the texts that in this model is fully translated into Brazilian Portuguese:

Despite this, the user has the option to change the language to English or Spanish:

Besides that, it has CALC and SOLVE functions, it does logical operations (AND, OR, NOT, XOR, etc.), it works with different numeric bases (binary, octal, hexadecimal) Pre-programmed. Besides that, the fx-991LA X incorporates a new “spreadsheet” mode (45 rows x 5 columns) that usually helps to organize ideas in the form of tables and even accepts formulas and some basic functions like SUM, MIN, MAX, Mean …

… And even a curious way in which the student takes a mathematical formula in a QR code that can then be transferred to a smartphone app to be analyzed so much numerically as graphics:

Already the second model is the  fx-82LA X-BK  (R $ 99) more input version (also available in blue ( fx-82LA X-BU ) and pink ( fx-82LA X-PK) ) which comes Equipped with fewer resources, which in this case is not exactly a demerit since, as it is geared towards high school, most “absences” are more related to subjects that the student will only learn in college. With this, Casio was able to lower its suggested price by almost 50% compared to fx-991LA X making it more accessible to a much wider audience:

And what would those resources be? Below is a summary table that compares the fx-991LA X, the fx-82LA X and fx-82MS , a very popular model in Brazil:

Already a more detailed table (without the fx-82MS) can be given here .

More than a simple product launch, with the arrival of the ClassWiz line to Casio do Brasil also expressed its desire to help improve the education of mathematics in Brazil through an initiative that teaches students and teachers to take full advantage of the use Of calculators in classrooms.

To illustrate this initiative, the staff of Casio presented some results of the tests of the Programme for International Student Assessment  (PISA) 2015 which was crossed with the strategy of each country on the use of calculators in your resume ie green countries The use is official, the ones in yellow use is optional and the ones in white the use is not regulated in the sense that there are no clear and specific rules on how to use them properly in classrooms. Note that Brazil fits into this last group as well as occupying an uncomfortable 65th place in the PISA ranking behind neighbors like Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica and Mexico.

Based on this, Casio do Brasil has established a plan of action that encompasses the following objectives:

  1. Create partnerships with the Ministry of Education.
  2. Introduce the use of calculators in high school.
  3. Provide support / training to teachers.
  4. Offer to the market products tailored to meet the demand of each geography.

In fact, the company has already conducted a pilot test in partnership with the State Department of Education of São Paulo where the above ideas were put into practice.

According to Leonardo Capuzzi  Marketing coordinator of calculators and educational division, the commitment of his business education is not reflected only in the form of products, but also in projects. Thus, Casio has partnered with the Education Department where its group is developing a project for high school public schools with the goal of increasing mathematical thinking using calculators as a teaching and learning tool:

It is worth mentioning that this program is still ongoing, with Casio still meeting with government agencies to define the next steps of this work.

During the question and answer session, we had the opportunity to question Casio’s representatives if, instead of using a calculator, students could not use something more modern and connected like a tablet or even a smartphone.

For company personnel – one thing is one thing and another is something else – that is, tablets and smartphones can be an interesting tool for exploration while being an endless source of distraction (games, music, videos, images , Exchange of messages, etc.), which can seriously compromise the learning process, especially when a higher level of focus / concentration is required in solving a problem.

Other than that, the use of connected devices are usually forbidden time to take a test or exam.

From this point of view, Casio’s calculators can be seen in essence as a productivity tool for doing analyzes, calculations and only. It does not communicate with other devices, it does not record, send, receive or store images or texts (= glue?), Which means that it can be used without problems even in tests or exams.

Other than that, Casio also makes it clear that the adoption of calculators should not occur in the first years of school, since the student must first know how to make pencil and paper bills and use the calculator to be more agile and efficient at the time of Solve more complex problems.

Another interesting detail that emerged during this exchange of information is that ClassWiz is not exactly the most powerful calculator company, as the owner of that title would be the graphical models  whose price range is well above the fx-991LAX and fx-82LAX . This in a way emphasizes the company’s strategy of offering the best cost-benefit ratio to our market.

Finally, we asked if it would not be a good idea to implement some basic financial functions in ClassWiz such as percentage calculations and especially compound interest (such as the notorious TVM HP).

Casio’s people said that this need is met by financial models, but they recognize that mastering a bit of financial mathematics is a really useful thing, especially in our current economic crisis, as many people have no idea how much interest they pay When they enter into financing, especially in a country such as ours.

More information can be found on the international website of the company .

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