|My current logo attempt.|
We decided to run the workshop using GeoGebra 4, as it's being released at the end of the summer. Unfortunately - I was a novice on it. I'm an enthusiastic GGB 3 user, but have been weak on spreadsheet use. Adding more novel features was a little scary. Turned out well, as it made us co-investigators with the teachers. And the program is great. I mean it was great, but now it is greater. They've managed to add features without making it perceptibly more complex. That's rare; I love this software and its developers. Guillermo Bautista's GGB4 sneak peek series was very helpful. (Of course!)
We structured the workshops with time to get software loaded. And I wanted the teachers on Twitter to converse on backchannel through the day. That was hit or miss, due to Twitter's tendency to ignore new users as an anti-bot measure. I wound up having people follow me so I could follow them, then retweeting their tweets. This made some people show up but not others... mystery. I thought it was important because I get some of my best GeoGebra support on Twitter. And, in fact, during the workshops we got some excellent input from @mike_geogebra and @lfahlberg .
So startup, a demonstration sketch to show some of the potential for classroom use, an overview of the program parts (tool bar, menus, views, etc.), specific tasks to figure out how to use, and then free explore time. The workshop website has all of our materials (see the workshop page), plus the sketches created by participants. One exciting feature is that participants spent time sorting and classifying sketches by standards strand in a Google spreadsheet with links to the sketches.
One problem were still working on is the "now what?" We're trying a Google group and want the website to morph into a place for teachers to share sketches. (If you are interested in joining the page to share your materials, just drop me a line.) Teachers also wondered aloud what made this experience useful in comparison to some other professional development, and that's worth looking into.
As I said, I learned a lot: about professional development, workshop development with a new partner, and a lot of GeoGebra. The GeoGebra knowledge I could put into a sketch! Note that the sketch links below use GGB4, which can download as a Beta.
Dave made a nice height vs time projectile sketch that used text box inputs. (That is my favorite new feature so far.) Cristine got me thinking about more subtle show/hide condition with her beautiful Unit Circle. One of the participants made a face sketch for which he figured out how to limit the domain of a function. (Which he seems to have never uploaded!) @lfahlberg taught us how to make a reset button for a sketch. Chris and Jason just pushed and pushed and explored in general. I can't remember why we figured out that sliders can have calculated min and max now.... I was seriously impressed at what good use everyone made of their time.
this projectile sketch to practice. It's a projectile in the x-y plane, where the slider advances or animates time. You put in the initial height by textbox, set the vector of your throw by dragging the vector, and can do target practice to a garbage can or by throwing at a seagull. (No actual seagulls were harmed yotta, yotta.) The button resets the targets. This was fun to make.
WCYDWT ball toss, which is also a sketch.
GeoGebra is a supertool, which even has the power to get more powers, and I definitely want my students and preservice teachers skilled in its use.