Website Review
Geogebra

Quick, easy, and fun interactive math explorations

  • The homepage provides the option to download the free software and resources to help you use it.

  • After starting GeoGebra, the following image appears with an input bar to enter coordinates and menus that let you see equations and graphs side by side.

  • Kids can build constructions, like a Circumcircle of a Triangle, and then use their mouse to drag components around and see how the different parts of their construction change.

  • Tutorials like GeoGebra Quickstart give specific directions to help teachers and kids navigate the program.

  • In "Coordinates Game Boat," kids learn about coordinates on a graph to get a boat in their viewfinder.

Quick Take
Pros: If teachers and students are willing to put in the time, GeoGebra offers endless math learning possibilities.
Cons: It takes time for teachers and kids to learn how to use the software.
Bottom Line: This free open source software lets teachers build or adapt learning experiences to meet their kids' needs.
Learning Scores
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

GeoGebra is interactive and challenging, but kids might get frustrated and give up if they don't get clear directions.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Kids create their own understanding by building and modifying mathematic constructions.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

Available in many different languages, including English, Japanese, Spanish, and Turkish.  Extensive introductory materials include video tutorials and a user forum.

Our Review
What's It Like?

GeoGebra offers kids and teachers the option of using existing math explorations or building their own. The existing pool of explorations is vast, so it covers most high school Common Core math expectations, especially those involving graphing or geometry. Activities are built and shared by anyone who wants to be an author, so quality varies greatly. Many, like "Calculating Mean, Standard Deviation, 5-Number Summary, IQR," do not provide specific directions for kids.

However, GeoGebra gives kids a way to access math that moves beyond straightforward pencil-and-paper computations. Traditional methods of performing constructions with a compass and a ruler can be time-consuming and frustrating for kids. GeoGebra makes it quick, easy, and fun as long as the kids have clear directions.

Is It Good For Learning?

Teachers will need to spend some time with the extensive tutorials in order to familiarize themselves with the program and its capabilities.  The administer tutorials provide options to let teachers incorporate GeoGebra into their existing class sites using Moodle, Wordpress, and other options.

Standout Explorations:

Coordinates Game Boat – Drag slider bars to label the coordinates and get the boat in your viewfinder.
Create a Box and Whisker Plot – Drag sliders to create a box and whisker plot that fits given data.
Area of a Trapezoid by Deconstruction – Derive the equation for the area of a trapezoid by cutting up the polygons into rectangles and triangles.

How Can Teachers Use It?

GeoGebra is a free software program that lets kids create mathematical constructions and models.  They drag objects and adjust parameters to explore algebra and geometry simultaneously. GeoGebra also lets teachers make their own interactive worksheets or use free materials created by others. After you click on Download from the homepage, the site gives you the option to use WebStart or Applet Start. WebStart downloads a program using your computer, requires Java, and gives you an icon on your desktop. Applet Start is fully functional and just uses your browser window.

This review of Geogebra was written by

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