With the increasing influence of technology in every aspect of life, mathematics has also seen its advancements. Technology has become an important tool in facilitating the learning and teaching of mathematical concepts. One such platform for mathematics learners is GeoGebra.
GeoGebra is one of the most popular mathematical software these days. This post will introduce you to what exactly it is, how it goes about, and how can it benefit students of all ages.
What is GeoGebra?
It is a dynamic mathematics software that brings together geometry, algebra, calculus, graphing, and spreadsheets.
Being an open software, it is freely available for non-commercial users at www.geogebra.org, and can be used for all levels of education.
In the beginning, it incorporated characteristics of Dynamic Geometry Systems (DGS) and Computer Algebra Systems (CAS). Eventually, additional interfaces were added which resulted in a total of six view options:
- Algebra view
- Spreadsheet view
- Probability view
- CAS view
- Graphics view
- 3D Graphics view
What does it do?
GeoGebra is an interactive software. It provides an opportunity for its users to experiment, and carry out constructions with points, vectors lines, polygons, and so on. Moreover, it allows not only to create but to change the shapes and positions of functions and geometric objects.
It is also designed to provide solutions to equations that can be entered directly.
GeoGebra also allows teachers to create their own materials such as animations, interactive worksheets, or visual exercises.
Providing such facilities makes GeoGebra a prominent player in supporting innovation and allowing interactive learning in STEM courses, which are typically considered to be dry and boring by students.
GeoGebra was created by a mathematics education student, Markus Hohenwarter.
This project was started in 2001, as a part of his Master’s thesis at the University of Salzburg. As a result of a scholarship from the Austrian Academy of Sciences, he continued to work on the development of this software during his Ph.D.
From 2006 onwards, the Austrian Ministry of Education began supporting the project. In the year 2007, it gained notable international recognition. Firstly, it was presented at the CCADGME conference in Canada. Later that year, it made its way to Florida, USA. The first local institute opened in Norway in September 2008.
By the end of 2010, there were 47 GeoGebra institutes worldwide. Today, there are a total of 146 institutes around the world, and the software is available in more than 25 languages. Markus oversees the development of the software from the head office in Linz, Austria.
GeoGebra has also won several national and international awards including the German Educational software award in 2004, and the US Tech Award (Laureate in the Education Category) in 2009.
How do I use GeoGebra software?
GeoGebra runs on the Java software.
In a classroom, the students first need to ensure that they have the right version of Java installed. After that, they can install the GeoGebra software.
GeoGebra also allows users to export their working files. One can export their file in the form of a PNG picture, as well as other formats. This means that the diagrams created on this software can be used elsewhere too, for example, teachers may use them in their lectures or worksheets.
The most common approach that the teachers adopt is the plugin a data projector and show the file method. The teachers can present premade files to the students, or they can present half-completed diagrams and can engage the students in completing the file, thus carrying out an interactive session.
The official website of GeoGebra itself provides a guideline for teachers on teaching in a GeoGebra classroom:
- Assign an activity or task to the students
- Create a class of students by making sure each student installs the software
- Keep track of students’ progress
The official team has also made tutorials and resources available to its users.
Benefits of using GeoGebra:
GeoGebra software brings a lot of educational benefits:
- Easy to use software
- Visualizes concepts, allowing deeper understanding and more purposeful engagements
- Offers feature to export work online or download the work, making discussions easier
- Available in many languages for diverse users
GeoGebra also has a materials platform. The users can upload their materials on the GeoGebra material sharing platform, or can also keep them private.
Originally launched as the GeoGebraTube in 2011, it was renamed as GeoGebra Materials in 2016.
Searching for materials:
There is a search bar available on the front page. The user can enter whatever topic they intend to search there. Filters are also available in the search bar, where one can choose their preferred age range, language, and material type.
Additionally, there is also the GeoGebra math app, where there are different types of calculators and classroom resources.
GeoGebra is indeed a very powerful tool for engaging students and bringing out the creativity in mathematics lectures. However, despite the numerous advantages that it serves, the skillful use of GeoGebra in classrooms is not widespread. The reason for this is perhaps that teachers do not know how to use the software. The reality, however, is that once learned how to use it, it is considered to be quite easy to use.
Putting in a little effort to learn how to use GeoGebra comes with mountains of benefits making your class standout against the conventional mathematics lectures.
So, without further due, get yourself enrolled in this course and open doors of advancements for your classroom!