Category Archives: Math Software

Functions Come Alive in a Precalculus Classroom

Ken Gordon has written our first in a series of guest blog posts from people working with Key Curriculum products in schools. Ken teaches Precalculus and Calculus in an accelerated program at Sisler High School in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He has been using The Geometer’s Sketchpad since first seeing it at an NCTM conference in 2004. … Continue Reading ››

What’s the Appropriate Role for the Teacher when using Computer Games?

I had the privilege this year of participating in the CADRE Fellows Program of NSF's Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education, and met a number of colleagues in the program whose projects, like our Data Games project, are exploring the classroom benefits of computer-game- or simulation-based-learning. (In this post, I’ll refer to technology-oriented … Continue Reading ››

Preparing Tomorrow’s Data Scientists Through Data Games

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, "Big Data’s Problem: Little Talent," the technology industry faces a major dearth of employees with strong data analysis skills. The article quotes a 2011 study by McKinsey:
A significant constraint on realizing value from Big Data will be a shortage of talent, particularly of people with deep expertise … Continue Reading ››

Exploring Conic Sections with Sketchpad

As a student, I didn’t place conic sections on my list of favorite high school topics. The standard textbook treatment of the ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola seemed uninspired. There were messy algebraic equations with multiple square roots. There was lots of terminology. Drawing a conic meant plotting several points on graph paper and connecting them with … Continue Reading ››

Branding isn’t about math. Are you sure about that?

At around Pi-hour on Friday afternoon we successfully launched our new website. The night before (the night of the big storm for Bay Area folks), Andres and I were out with a dear former colleague and I mentioned I was going to blog about our new branding, new website, and new name. She said, “You … Continue Reading ››

Parents, Children, and Functions in Sketchpad

Functions are hard for students. Students seem to master various families of functions – linear, polynomial, exponential, trigonometric, and so forth. They can graph them, evaluate them, transform them, and answer a variety of questions about them. But ask even our better students a question that’s out of the ordinary and we’re likely to be taken … Continue Reading ››

“Data Games”—Getting the Math Right in Math Games

As a parent and math educator, I'm always on the lookout for high-quality, fun apps that help my sons and other young people develop their understanding of math. There are a large number of math games for mobile devices and PCs being churned out, and many articles being written in popular ed tech blogs and … Continue Reading ››