Desmos: Almost Two Good Applications


Today I tried to use Desmos to make an application for Math 131 (Quantitative Reasoning) and Math 080 (Introductory Algebra).

For QR I tried to make a normal distribution curve  view that would also label standard deviations from the mean. I hoped to have the window resize each time the mean, or standard deviation was changed. Unfortunately dynamically controlling the window does not seem to be an option. So I created two versions- neither of which thrills me.

In the first you have to adjust the window to find the curve again. This is not a problem for display by teachers, but it probably will not work well for students. It does work better for showing the affect of varying the standard deviation while leaving the mean constant.

In the second the axes and grid are hidden and the curve is just relabeled with the important information for Math 131 problems.

Then I tried to use Desmos Activities. This is software designed so that students can interact with graphs and answer questions. The teacher can see an overlay of all their graphs. Here I tried to design a simple introduction to graphing two-variable linear inequalities. I thought I might be able to show the students an overlay of all the students work and so if they all plotted several solutions to x + y < 3 they would see all the solution points lie on one side of the line. Unfortunately you cannot let the students see the overlay (or the feature is very well hidden). You can still kind of make the activity work by projecting the overlay from your teacher account.

So, I would like to have control of the window by typing expressions in the xmin, xmax, ymin, and ymax window or by setting those variables in a folder. In Desmos Activities a useful feature would be to show students the overlay of the graphs their peers have created. You can control class pacing. You can see how each student is doing. Students can see math, or text answers from three peers. I might still use Activities from time to time, but a major collaborative feature is missing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s