Sometimes, the mathematics scream at you, begging to be calculated… This lovely parabola was sent to me by my studet, Ekaterina, and you can check my GeoGebra uploads to see the neat function it describes, here.
This computer program has now become extremely popular in Europe. This software package makes it easy to draw geometrical shapes (in 2D) and stretch and turn them around afterwards. That is, it’s a DGS (Dynamic geometry system/software). If you have tried Cabri, you should be no stranger to this.
In addition, you get a function drawing program, were you equally easy can draw most function you will ever need (in 2D). This is all done in the same coordinate system, making it easier to see connections between functions and geometry.
You can also do calculations of many sorts in this software. You can calculate with variables like line segments and function values, and they are (of course) automatically altered and updated when you change your drawing or graphs. You can’t do CAS calculations though.
You can make dynamic documents and send them off to students. You can use a web version or software version of the program and they are completely identical. You can save stuff as pictures, documents or java applets, and embed them in your website, blog or LMS. What’s not to like?
The software is originally made (I think) as a Ph.D. project in Austria by Markus Hohenwarter. And best of all – it’s completely free and lots of resources exist in all kinds of school levels.
I have held a couple of courses, lectures and workshops around the country, where we have started using this program among others. So far I have been to Molde, Kristiansand S, Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger and Levanger. There’s a bunch of exercises and activities at this site, but the little text there is, is in Norwegian.
I will also give a talk at a conference at NTNU in september where I will talk about a practical pedagogy for GeoGebra. My intentions are to focus on the gap between the teacher and learner, and we go about forcing ourselves to take the learner aspect into our lesson planning.