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.



Overview

Name of Tech Tool: GeoGebra

Brief Description of Tech Tool: From their website: GeoGebra is free and multi-platform dynamic mathematics software for all levels of education that joins geometry, algebra, tables, graphing, statistics and calculus in one easy-to-use package. It has received several educational software awards in Europe and the USA. Quick Facts: 
  • Graphics, algebra and tables are connected and fully dynamic
  • Easy-to-use interface, yet many powerful features
  • Authoring tool to create interactive learning materials as web pages
  • Available in many languages for our millions of users around the world
  • Open source software freely available for non-commercial users

Technical Costs & Considerations: GeoGebra is a free dynamic geometry software tech tool that is available across a variety of platforms. GeoGebra is compatible with Macs and PC and is available as an app on iPads, Android devices, Windows tablets, and the Chrome Store. 


Additional Information
A snippet of information I've written up about GeoGebra before: GeoGebra is a very interesting tool that provides multiple affordances in the classroom. Two that stick out are Automating Tasks and Representing Knowledge and Thinking. The tool has the ability to do calculations for you for many tasks that can help the student to focus more on the conceptual idea and less on the procedural. At the same time, GeoGebra has intricate graphic features, which allow users to create and manipulate multiple representations for whatever their problem is. The Tangram Cat problem from GeoGebraTube is a good example of the representation in seeing how transformations are applied to various figures. You could also have students use GeoGebra without specifying any particular applet and allowing them to model their own thinking on a situation in a space that makes it easy to manipulate and tweak to create exactly what they want as their thinking evolves through the reasoning and sense making process.-

Helpful Links from GeoGebra



How GeoGebra Supports and Supplements PBL/PrBL

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.