Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Designing apps?

Right now I am at a bit of a "teacher's block" when it comes to using the iPads in my classroom. I have a repertoire of about four activities that I can match to various learning objectives in my class, and there are a few great conceptual math apps out there (trigonir being one that I have used in my PreCalculus class), but there are not enough interesting, demonstration-like apps out there to help secondary math students really understand the math they are working with. I would love to see something more like the demonstrations available through Mathematica Demonstrations Project. Wouldn't it be amazing for students to be able to manipulate a parabola on an iPad and see how the coefficients and constants change? Or, to be able to push around a function and see how it affects the graph of the derivative?  The mathematics apps that are available right now are mainly focused on giving example problems and practice problems, and telling the student whether they did the problem correctly or incorrectly. While this is fine, it is not using the full capacity of the iPad!

All of this makes me want to learn how to program apps and see if I could create what I am envisioning. Have any teachers looked into the programming process? I would be curious to hear about it if you have! Also, feel free to comment if you know of any more demonstration or concept-building math apps out there.

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