GeoGebra is an awesome mathematical tool! It even allowed me to discover something new. Well, new to me at least. For an insight to my ‘great discovery’, take a peek at the dynamic image (gif) above. For the record I am no geek. I’m a feetontheground math person, fascinated by the craft of teaching mathematics. I’ve been driven by the question “How do we stop boring kids with mathematics?” And let’s face it, 70+% of people today over the age of 12 will state they were bored by mathematics at school. But I digress ... A Pythagoras investigation using GeoGebraOne day, I was playing around with GeoGebra and wanted to create a file which visually demonstrated the workings of Pythagoras’ Theorem. I had junior high school students in mind. I wanted the file to cause students to respond with “OK, I see that its true – the sum of the two smaller areas is equal to the larger area. The first file I created was the file dynamically represented below. NOTE: This is different to the one above – in accordance with the theorem it contained squares and only squares on the three sides of the triangle. I was happy with the file. However, not long after creating it I began pondering the following:
Now I’m not for a minute thinking I discovered anything new here. And anyone who wants to create some (real) mathematics out of this, is free to do so. But the point of the article is not about my ‘discovery’ nor whether the discovery is or isn’t unique or of value. The point of the article is that GeoGebra, alone, caused me to be curious. It was GeoGebra which armed me with the ability to pursue the ‘what if’ question which arose in the first place. I certainly wasn’t walking the streets of Sydney pondering the nature of the areas of regular polygons sitting on the sides of right angled triangles! GeoGebra caused me to inquire, to play, and then to discover. My conclusion is this: If I can conduct an investigation of Pythagoras’ Theorem using GeoGebra, then anyone can conduct similar mathematical investigations with this brilliant tool. Which leads me to two questions: Why isn’t GeoGebra (or any similar tool) an integral part of every mathematics teacher’s toolkit? Let me rephrase that: Why doesn’t every middle and high school mathematics teacher who has access to a computer and data projector utilize GeoGebra on a regular basis and consider GeoGebra to be an essential teaching tool? In this article, I offer some guidance for running studentled GeoGebra investigations, arguably the most pedagogically rich way to utilize GeoGebra. However, simply projecting quality files for students and allowing the higher order questioning to occur is a super powerful utilization of this incredible tool, and requires no change pedagogy by the teacher. If you are interested in becoming proficient with GeoGebra then this course is for you. Note also that the course is set up so that multiple teachers from the one department can participate as a Team. Here’s what one teacher had to say after completing the course: (The course) allowed me to achieve what I had set out to do, and that was to Other articles containing dynamic demonstrations of quality GeoGebra files:
0 Comments
Leave a Reply. 
AuthorRichard Andrew likes to write about stuff that matters in education. That boils down to 'anything that helps teachers to betterengage their students'. His view? "Not much else really matters  engaged students learn. Disengaged students do not." ArchivesCategories
All
