Getting the word out on GeoGebra

Maria Droujkova has done some great work putting together some Elluminate sessions on Math 2.0... and she has more to come. On Saturday the 26th she had Markus Hohenwarter, the father of GeoGebra and the chief developer Michael Borcherds on for an hour discussing the past, present and future of GeoGebra. She recorded the session and it's available online.
What surprises me is that I still run in to teachers that have never heard of GeoGebra -- here you have free, open-source math software that almost any computer can run, it's multi-lingual, it's being used worldwide at all levels and has thousands of lesson plans and activities available on its wiki. And yet today I spoke to two Masters students who had never heard of it.
In Ontario, it's problematic since we (well, public and Catholic schools) have software purchased for them by the province and that set includes Geometer's Sketchpad. Now, GSP is an extraordinary program and we owe a great deal to Key Curriculum Press and Nick Jackiw but the development and growth of GeoGebra is a reflection of our brave new world -- collaboration on a global scale, the harnessing of our energies to support people we will never meet. What I do in my classroom can be given (instantaneously) to a classroom in Thailand, Kenya or Uruguay... and vice versa.
So how do we spread the word more effectively? How do we ensure that every preservice and practising teacher knows not only of its existence but also the community already formed?
And, most importantly, how can we port it on to an iPhone? :)
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3 comments:

Jesse said...

What do you think re: what Nick Jackiw said today re: GeoGebra?

Cal said...

For those that weren't in the audience, Nick basically re-iterated the comments he made to the CMESG earlier this year http://textsave.de/?p=27157
There are two sides to every story and I am waiting on a reply from the folks at GeoGebra before I draw any conclusions.
I was asked if I would change my use & promotion of GeoGebra should these claims be substantiated. I think the momentum it exhibits internationally (particularly at the grass-roots, classroom level) speaks to a need (pedagogically and otherwise) that is not being answered by any other tool or community. I am cautiously optimistic that Nick's issues can be addressed.

Nick Jackiw said...

Thanks for cross-linking my CMESG post -- more coherent than my verbal response to Jesse's question Tuesday.

For your own thinking, re "free:" I imagine the Ontario Sketchpad license cost is a matter of public record there since it's Ministry-provisioned. Look it up and compare as an annual cost to your best estimate of the cost of the public effort expended by OISE math ed. faculty and associates on GeoGebra Canada promotion this year. Ontario taxpayers are spending a lot more on GeoGebra promotion this year than they to provide Sketchpad to every school and every school student at home across the province. That's "free?"

In terms of "two sides to a story," I also look forward to a reply from team GeoGebra. So far, they've been silent. In terms of "substantiating claims," please keep in mind that at least my lettered, CMESG claims are evidence-based, not merely rhetorical or personal opinion.

Best regards...