Until recently, if you wanted to teach mathematical equations and functions, you’d need students to use costly graphical calculators. But with this week’s featured app, Desmos’s Graphing Calculator, students can start plotting parabolas and detailing derivatives on iPad for free.
What is Desmos Graphing Calculator?
Graphing Calculator (Desmos, free) is a free app that lets you enter a wide range of mathematical expressions, and then get the resultant graph drawn for you. There’s a huge range of graph types on offer, supporting work with trigonometry, calculus, polar equations and transformations, among many others. You can also enter data for any function in the form of tables.
How can it benefit the classroom?
Whenever you need to solve mathematical problems using graphs, or visualise equations and data graphically, you can use Graphing Calculator on iPad. Data entry is incredibly simple, and the intuitive interface means you can zoom in to get a detailed look at axes and coordinates, which makes it ideal for the maths curriculum.
What’s the best feature?
One of the best bits about Graphing Calculator is the ability to adjust any variables in an equation and see the effect on the shape of the graph in realtime. By just using a finger to move the slider up and down, students can get a visual understanding of how different values affect the equation.
Where can I get it?
You can download the Graphing Calculator app (Desmos, free) by searching for it in the App Store on your iPad, or by heading over to iTunes. It’s completely free, and a very worthwhile addition for maths lessons!
– Missed last week’s app? Catch up on our review of Green Screen here.
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