How I Use It
I use the online Desmos program mainly in place of a graphing calculator. It’s easier than a traditional graphing calculator to input different functions for teaching students about translations, dilations, reflections, and rotations. I like that I can graph different functions without having to go navigate menus as you would on a hand-held calculator. I can use the program for whole class instruction, small-group, or individual work. My computer is attached to my Smartboard, making it simple for using Desmos during instruction. And students can come to the board to work with the graphing components of Desmos on their own. I encourage students to use the Desmos app on their phone if they’ve forgotten their hand-held graphing calculator at home. I also use the program to create graphs for homework assignments, and quiz and test making. The graphs are easy to crop and edit, and simple to copy and paste into a word document.
This is a wonderful, free substitute for a traditional graphing calculator. Not all students can afford the price of a hand-held calculator, so this is a great alternative. Desmos is also easier for teachers to use during instruction because the prep time to show students how to use the program is usually less than the time getting them all together on different brands of graphing calculators. Desmos is simple to use for all levels of learners and very user friendly. Students who are kinesthetic and visual learners greatly benefit from using the graphing utility within Desmos. I can show students the Desmos app at the start of the school year, and they are able to learn through time and trial/error all the useful features of the program.