Teacher Review For Desmos

Visually represent advanced algebra functions and even display lesson materials from this genius app.

Lawrence T.
Classroom teacher
Paul Laurence Dunbar High School
Baltimore, MD
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My Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects Math
My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 4
Pedagogy 4
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Knowledge gain
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
Desmos is an app/website that allows the user to create graphs using very simple to very complex equations, expressions or functions and can save, display, print and copy the graphs as copy/paste image files or labeled references for students to view via Google Drive or other cloud storage solution via Google+. As an Algebra II or Precalculus teacher, Desmos allows the teacher to display the creation and augmentation of various graphs and functions. These functions can be manipulated using sliders or create multiple versions of the same graph with slightly altered parameters which allow students to see the differences both numerically and graphically. Desmos biggest flaw is using it in whole group instruction or editing the display window to be more precise or show a specific feature of a graph versus another. Desmos has a "Projector Mode" which improves the visual significance of each graphed curve, but it remains black lines upon a white background.
My Take
Desmos is a very useful tool for using visual displays of graphs for middle to high school math courses. Desmos does not have direct collaboration features like Google Docs, or Sheets does but it allows for created graphs to be shared and loaded using email address or Google+. There are example graphs and lessons included in the Desmos for educators link by using the Desmos.com website. I enjoy the mobile version of Desmos as well, its functionality is almost equal to the desktop version. The one challenge is the inability to copy/paste Desmos graphs to mobile-based presentation apps, depending on the Mobile OS used at the time. With updates to Desmos, the copy/paste issue on the mobile version may be solved. As an Algebra/Precalculus/AP Calculus teacher it allows for an inexpensive alternative to a graphing calculator, however, standardized testing still has not sanctioned mobile usage during testing so students must still invest in an allowed graphing calculator for SAT/ACT/AP exams. However, for homework assignments and quiz design, Desmos is phenomenal. Each image file created can be saved locally, and is a low resolution, low drive space commitment for each set of functions graphed in one session.