Wednesday, April 23, 2014
General Tech Tool: GeoGebra & GeoGebra Tube
I was first introduced to GeoGebra in one of my 400-level college mathematics courses while majoring in Mathematics in my undergrad years at Michigan State University (Go Green!). I will admit that when I first started using the program, I was not a fan. However, since graduating from that program and moving on to teaching in a classroom of my own, I have grown to know and love GeoGebra and all that is has to offer as a dynamic modeling software.
GeoGebra is to analytic Geometry what Geometer's Sketchpad seems to be to synthetic Geometry. GeoGebra focuses on the analytical approach, meaning that it uses coordinates to define geometric figures, and the Automating affordance it allows in the classroom is bar-none, in my opinion. Students using GeoGebra independently or applets from GeoGebraTube are able to manipulate geometric figures and can watch as their manipulations alter the numerical mathematics involved in each figures. This freeing-up of calculations enables the students to more critically analyze the mathematics at work behind the scenes to develop a deeper conceptual understanding of the mathematics. GeoGebra and GeoGebraTube are particularly useful in this way to support PrBL as they provide students a means to create and analyze geometric figures from an analytical perspective.