Powerful graphing calculator deepens understanding with visualization

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 49 reviews

Privacy rating

Expert evaluation by Common Sense



Subjects & Skills

Critical Thinking, Math

Price: Free
Platforms: Web, iPhone, iPad, Android

Pros: Interactive platform allows for visual representation of functions and equations. Teacher dashboard allows for personalized learning and immediate feedback.

Cons: Without significant help, less experienced students might struggle when equations get complicated. Interface is a bit dull.

Bottom Line: Desmos combines interactivity, visualization, personalization, and collaboration to deepen students' understanding of geometry and graphing concepts.

Originally designed as a free online graphing calculator, Desmos now also has a four-function calculator, a scientific calculator, a matrix calculator, and a recently enhanced geometry tool. Many of the new features expand the usefulness of Desmos to calculus and statistics courses. Teachers can create and share interactive graphs to illustrate concepts for students. Through Desmos Classroom, a collection of free digital lessons and lesson‑building tools, or the full-year program with Desmos Math 6–A1, teachers can use or customize premade activities to engage students in hands-on learning experiences. 

Teachers can personalize learning by creating custom activities tailored to individual students' needs. Desmos provides tools for adapting activities, adding scaffolding, or extending challenges based on students' abilities. The teacher dashboard supports assessment of understanding. Just for fun: Desmos has an annual Art Contest that showcases the incredible creativity of students around the world using their tools.

Desmos is an advanced graphing and teaching tool for math that's available on the web as well as on iOS and Android. In addition to equation plotting, classroom activities are available to help students learn about a variety of math concepts. For example, students can learn how to transform periodic functions by trying to slide marbles through points on a graph. Or they can plug in their own equation and see what kind of graph pops up; sliders allow students to adjust values and see what happens. Users can also click directly on the graph to find the coordinates of points of intersection, maxima, and minima.

Desmos encourages students to practice math skills as well as play with math to express their creativity. Students can enter an unlimited number of mathematical expressions and instantly see results graphed on the page. A variety of colors and features make it possible to turn graphs into complex and realistic drawings. With a free Desmos account, students and teachers can save graphs to revisit later. Several updates have been made that address accessibility needs in the classroom, including features for visually impaired and blind students, such as audio trace, refreshable braille-display support, and more -- although these features are not available for every activity.

Desmos takes an interactive approach to delivering math learning with graphing and visualization components. Desmos allows students to graph equations, plot data points, explore transformations, analyze functions, and solve equations, among other capabilities. It can also be utilized for activities related to modeling, data analysis, and real-world applications of mathematics. Students manipulate different parts of an equation to change the shape of a graph in an effort to meet a goal, such as sliding a marble through stars. Other tools like ExploreLearning Gizmos also let students manipulate graphs by changing the equation, but Desmos empowers students to collaborate with each other. Students can ask each other questions and try out challenges created by their peers.

Several features make Desmos a standout graphing option for students with varying math skills. Beginners benefit from the ability to use sliders as substitutes for undefined variables. This way, students can watch the graph dynamically change shape as they click and drag the variable up and down. Tables can be pre-populated with expressions or the expressions can be entered manually, and they let students graph groups of numbers at the same time. Geometry tools allow users to construct and manipulate geometric figures. These tools include points, lines, circles, polygons, and more. They are useful for visualizing geometric concepts, exploring properties, and solving geometry problems. Desmos also has regression tools that fit curves to data points, and it provides regression models.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating

Students can have fun transforming their understanding of expressions into dynamic and colorful pictures and graphs.


Students learn by doing and instantly see changes to their graphs as they manipulate values. The activities allow students to play and help them figure out how functions are graphed.



Clear directions and tips are provided along the way, sometimes in many languages. Teachers can track individual students' graphs as they're working, and then use the Snapshot tool to use student work examples to teach concepts.

Common Sense reviewer
Elvina Tong
Elvina Tong Computer Science and Innovation Teacher

Community Rating

Highly customizable and quick to use

Since this teaching tool is completely online, it's very accessible to students and all setup required is just going to the website. Rather than downloading a calculator so that I can display visuals of certain equations, I can put them up with ease. The tool is fast and streamlined but does take a bit of getting use to, to utilize it at its full potential. However, its still a great tool and worth it to learn as an educator, and to teach to students.

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Privacy Rating

Data Safety How safe is this product?

  • Users can interact with trusted users.
  • Users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Profile information must be shared for social interactions.

Data Rights What rights do I have to the data?

  • Users can create or upload content.
  • Users retain ownership of their data.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.

Ads & Tracking Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Personal information is not shared for third-party marketing.
  • Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
  • Personalised advertising is not displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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