This fall I will be getting some iPads for my classroom. I have a few thoughts on how to work with them but those ideas aren't fleshed out yet. A brilliant idea that struck me though, was an app that could display functions and using sliders, students could fiddle with the parameters and watch as their quadratic (or whatever) translated left, right, got wider, narrower, etc. All the things TI has some 20-step "investigation" for that is incredibly boring. Sadly, no such app really exists and after inquiring about building it myself, the $50,000 price tag for a professional was unappealing.
Long story short, I randomly installed a trial of Mathematica 8. The last time I met Mathematica I was a senior in college and the professor was using it to demonstrate optimization examples. That was like 6 years and 3 versions of Mathematica ago. Needless to say when I fired up the trial I had no idea what to do. So I poked around their tutorial section. and in a few minutes I was able to make this:
Mind. Freaking. Blown. And no, this is not the first time I'm considering bringing an intense software package in to serve the needs of high school students.