Review by Emily Pohlonski, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2016


Create, share, and modify math models and simulations

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6-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Vast amount of flexible math simulations allow for creation, modification, and real-world learning.

Cons: It takes time for teachers and kids to learn how to use the software, and user-generated content varies in quality.

Bottom Line: Free open-source software that lets teachers build or adapt learning experiences to meet their kids' needs.

Teachers can use GeoGebra to help make math more meaningful and visual for students. Teachers can quickly build digital worksheets that include simulations already created on GeoGebra and their own multiple-choice or short response questions.  Don’t have graphing calculators to use while taking paper and pencil tests? Let kids use GeoGebra Exam Mode on their handheld device or computer. This runs in full-screen mode, restricting students’ access to other programs and the internet during the test.  A red header pops up right away if a student tries to open another browser tab.

Make sure to familiarize yourself with the extensive tutorials ahead of time in order to become an expert with the program and its capabilities before attempting to implement in the classroom. 

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GeoGebra is a free software program (available on Chrome and Windows devices as well as from the website) that lets kids create mathematical constructions and models. They drag objects and adjust parameters to explore algebra and geometry simultaneously. Like Desmos, it is both a graphing calculator and collection of math simulations. GeoGebra offers kids and teachers the option of using existing math explorations or building their own. The existing pool of explorations is vast, so it covers most high school Common Core math expectations, especially those involving graphing or geometry.

Teachers can make their own interactive worksheets that include simulations, videos, text, multiple-choice questions, and more. Teachers can create class groups to quickly share activities with kids. Alternatively, tutorials provide options to let teachers incorporate GeoGebra into their existing class sites or learning management systems. 

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GeoGebra gives kids a way to access math that moves beyond straightforward pencil-and-paper computations. Traditional methods of performing constructions with a compass and a ruler can be time-consuming and frustrating for kids. GeoGebra makes it quick, easy, and fun as long as there are clear directions. Activities are built and shared by anyone who wants to be an author, so quality varies greatly; some do not provide specific directions for students. But teachers can create their own interactive worksheets that include the simulations built by someone else, along with their own helpful directions or context.

Glitches, such as spam blocking on the GeoGebra end, can frustrate teachers. However, their help desk is quick to respond to questions. GeoGebra is a powerful example of flexibility paired with community. Teachers can make whatever they need for their students. But they don’t have to start from scratch - they can build off of the work of others. This means that math simulations are being built everyday by teachers all over the world. Teaching the difference between exponential and logistic models? One teacher shared an activity on the growth of Facebook. Need an analog clock that you can manipulate the hands? GeoGebra has one of those too.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

GeoGebra is interactive and challenging, but kids might get frustrated and give up if they don't get clear directions. Teachers can create interactive worksheets that target their students’ specific interests.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Kids create their own understanding by building and modifying mathematic constructions. Simulations help students use math to model real-world situations.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Available in many different languages, including English, Japanese, Spanish, and Turkish. Extensive introductory materials include video tutorials and a user forum.

Common Sense Reviewer
Emily Pohlonski Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 31 reviews) (31 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Emily K. , Other
Oh the simulations you can make! Great tool for providing visuals of dynamic situations.

I absolutely love Geogebra! I love that it is a free resource and that via their website, files can be opened and shared.

I would say that the only downside to using this program is that it takes some time to learn the ins and outs of the programming (both for the teacher and the student). However, there are a lot of resources online - so whenever I have an issue, I just search for how to make what I want appear (or I ask a knowledgeable friend). I would suggest that if you want your students to use this program, that you have a lesson on how to perform basic operations in Geogebra so that students can focus on the mathematics first and foremost.

Being able to program really useful simulations and diagrams requires that one really know the mathematics behind the problem. This can be a great way to lesson plan. If you find yourself struggling to construct what you want, you can anticipate students will likely struggle with the same mathematical issue.

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