Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated by the editors of Common Sense Education, which helps educators find the best ed-tech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. Click here to read the full app review.
What’s It Like?
Desmos is a free graphing and teaching tool for math. In addition to plotting equations, classroom activities are available to help students learn about a variety of math concepts. For example, students can learn how to transform periodic functions by trying to slide marbles through points on a graph. Or, they can plug in their own equation and see what kind of graph pops up; sliders allow students to adjust values and see what happens. Users can also click directly on the graph to find the coordinates of points of intersection, maxima, and minima.
Pros: Free and easy-to-use tool that gives students a visual way to understand expressions.
Cons: Without significant help, less experienced students might struggle when things gets complicated.
Bottom line: Innovative calculator and simulations are a standout graphing option for inquiry-driven math.