Explore math with Desmos, a free online calculator
Consider throwing away that old calculator. Desmos is here. Desmos is the next generation of the graphing calculator. The calculator can plot a variety of different equations, from lines to parabolas and more. It can take a set of data and create a graph. It supports functions and inequalities; it can graph exponents and logs, trig functions, precalculus and calculus problems, and even statistics and probability. The uses of Desmos are unlimited in the math class. What makes Desmos even more powerful is that it was designed using HTML5 technology. This means that the program functions well on any computer or tablet, including the iPad. All you need is a web browser. Desmos is a free resource so there is no reason why you should not check it out for your math classes.
How I Use It
Desmos provides a graphing calculator to all of your students for no cost. Its current functionality may not replace the full-featured Texas Instruments graphing calculator as Desmos cannot perform every type of calculation. However, with time, one would guess that additional functionality will be added to Desmos. A recent update brought the addition of data tables to one of the functions of Desmos. Any math teacher could easily integrate the use of Desmos in their classroom. Students can work on a problem on the calculator, save their work, and share it with others. Work can even be embedded on a blog or shared via a bit.ly link. One of the most powerful elements of Desmos is that it creates the graph as you type numbers into the program. If you make a change to a number, the graph is quickly redrawn. Students can make these changes and see the impact of these changes in real time. This immediate feedback on how a graph changes is a very powerful way for students to learn about math.