Another Great Free Program for Teaching Maths

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Last month I brought you details of Microsoft Mathematics, a free program for anyone who's trying to study or teach maths.  Almost 21,000 of you clicked on the link to my story, making it one of the most popular Hot Find items ever.

So, if you liked that one, here's another program which is aimed at the same type of people.  IE, those studying maths, or trying to help schoolkids who are.

The program is called Geogebra, which comes from Geometry and Algebra.  Which basically means that it's a visual tool to help you understand the link between these two topics.  For example, telling a student that there are 360 degrees in a circle is one thing.  Having the computer draw a circle and then watching as those degrees appear, counting up from 1 in steps of 45 or 90, brings everything to life.

That is, of course, an extremely simple example of what Geogebra can do, as you can see from the relative complexity of the screen shot below.  The quickest way to get an idea of its features is to search Youtube, where you can see some interesting demo videos. There's a good one at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUYn3FDo23A for a start.

To get Geogebra, head to www.geogebra.org.  The system is written in Java so, as long as you have Java installed on your PC, you can actually run it in your web browser without downloading anything else.  Alternatively, to run it locally on your machine, there's an optional installer that you can download.

Getting kids interested in "boring" topics such as maths has always been hard.  If programs such as this one, and Microsoft Mathematics, can help to make it fun and to help explain the difficult bits, I'm all in favour.

My thanks to Barry Sheridan for bringing this great program to my attention.

 

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