Sunday, August 7, 2011

More GeoGebra 4 Teachers

I presented two 1.5 hour workshops for teachers at the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics annual conference yesterday Thursday, and thought I'd share a few quick thoughts.  Here's my session page/lesson outline. All handouts are attached.  Even in a computer lab with somewhat slow connections, running Internet Explorer, we were able to have the GeoGebra 4 beta installed and running in 10 minutes.

EDIT: Later I used those materials to share GeoGebra with the Muskegon Community College Math Tech Bootcamp and a workshop with at the Kent Intermediate School District. The materials are updated from that, and feedback from all three groups are below.

It doesn't take a lot of experience to introduce teachers to GeoGebra. I mostly just gathered resources, talked about the basics, then let them explore. It's worthwhile for me, too. In a room where many people had not even heard of it before (yet they are at the session - I love teachers' exploratory spirit) they found new corners and features for me to think about. I am no omega-class expert, but I've spent some hours with it. This is a rich program they're giving away for free.

The basics to me are:
  • understanding the main areas:
  • Tool bar, including pull down tools. Emphasize the selection tool, the move graphics view and zooms
  • Graphics area
  • Algebra view and the View menu for axes, grid and algebra view
  • Input Bar
  • The selection arrow
  • Undo
  • Object properties/Right-clicking objects
Just a few minutes and people are ready to roll. I made up a page adapted from the 2-day workshop of introductory algebra and geometry tasks, and then had options for further exploration of either. All the handouts are attached to the session page.  By the end of each workshop, most teachers had made something that impressed them. A few just thought it would be valuable for making images for tests and handouts, and I think that's a proper way to start for some people. But most were digging in deep, and several got some math learning out of what they did. "Oh, that's why..." was overheard a few times.

The teachers recorded their comments on a Google doc (benefit of a computer lab session) and they're embedded below.  If you are a GeoGebra user - share it with your fellows! If you are not, give it a try. You'll find it worthwhile within an hour.

Or I'll double your money back!

MCTM Feedback

MCC Math Tech Bootcamp Feedback

Kent ISD Feedback

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