Tag Archives: Software Development

Enhancing Web Sketchpad

As a longtime Sketchpad fan, one of the most interesting features of Web Sketchpad (WSP) for me is the way its behavior can be customized. WSP makes it possible to add JavaScript to a web page in order to interact directly with objects in the sketch. For instance, a JavaScript function could use the locations … Continue Reading ››

Fine Tuning Web Sketchpad’s Construction Interface

When the Web Sketchpad team created the interface for tools, there were lots of design decisions to be made. We made the best choices we could at the time, but after months of daily use, it became clear that at least one aspect of tool functionality needed some rethinking. In the original design of tools (which you can … Continue Reading ››

Exploring Triangle Area with Custom-Built Tools

With Web Sketchpad, it's easy to craft tools that are tailor made for the task at hand. I was reminded of this flexibility several weeks ago when creating an interactive model for the elementary curriculum Everyday Mathematics. My goal was to design a lesson focusing on the triangle area formula, A = bh/2. In … Continue Reading ››

Hello Spring!

Today's blog post features a sketch from Anna Nguyen, who's a 9th grade student. Anna observes, "Math is one of my favorite subjects. I'm not a genius or the smartest in my class, but I do enjoy dealing with letters and numbers, which is also why I like chemistry. I think GSP is the most … Continue Reading ››

Here Comes Construction!

For over a year, my colleague Scott and I have enjoyed giving you peeks into the impressive development work being done by the Web Sketchpad team at KCP Technologies and McGraw Hill.  Every time I take a desktop Sketchpad model and convert it to Web Sketchpad with a press of a button, I'm impressed by how … 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 ››

Look Before You Leap: iPads in Education

Happy leap day everybody! Over the last month, I've stumbled across a number of online articles and blogs about iPad integration in the classroom. The contexts and specifics vary widely: Yesterday I read about McAllen Independent School District and their plan to provide an iPad to each of their 25,000 students in grades K–12. A couple of … Continue Reading ››

Writing Mathematics with Sketchpad

In a recent blog post, Karen Coe referred to Conrad Wolfram’s opinion that programming is to mathematics what composition is to English. I’ve taught programming and written a lot of Sketchpad code, and I appreciate Wolfram’s analogy. In English class, students read books, poems, short stories, essays, and articles—but to gain a deep appreciation for … Continue Reading ››

The key to Everything Around You Is Right in Your Pocket

"You won't be carrying a calculator with you everywhere you go." A friend of mine recalled his math teacher telling him that. I'm sure we've all heard this or even have said it before ourselves. However, this particular retelling came over twitter, posted from an iPhone, that he keeps with him everywhere he goes. While it … Continue Reading ››

Touching the Math

Sketchpad has always been great for learning by doing. You can create a triangle and then manipulate the angles with your mouse and observe the results. There is something really primal, though, about using an iPad or a Smart Board, reaching in and grabbing the geometry with your bare hands. … Continue Reading ››