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Classroom tech is essential–and these edtech tools are valuable math allies 

Learning in the digital age

A new teacher’s perspective: Today’s best edtech resources    

For more news on edtech tools, visit eSN’s Digital Learning hub 

As technology continues to infiltrate and expand in our classrooms, teachers need access to high-quality, subject-relevant edtech tools. As a high school math teacher who is about to start his first year of teaching AP Statistics, I find myself searching for arrows to add to my mathematical quiver. 

For any teacher who is starting this process, or any teacher looking for a new arrow, here is a list of five great tools, which could be great for other subjects as well.

1. Google Forms: A great tool for gathering data. Teachers and students can create surveys to collect data from students, staff, or anyone else. Question options include multiple choice, short answer/paragraph, linear scale, check all that apply, and more (for numerical answers, use the “short answer” option and prepare for students to add unnecessary labels, spaces, and to type their answers as words). Survey results can be linked to a Google Sheet for easy analysis and sharing.

2. Google Sheets: A slimmed-down, user-friendly, shareable spreadsheet. Although not as robust as the industry standard Excel, Google Sheets has all of the options a teacher is likely to need and offers the convenience of shareability for schools using Google Drive. Students can use columns of numerical data to create graphs, calculate statistical values, and organize data to help them investigate patterns, correlations, and trends. Students can also learn many of the same spreadsheet formulas as Excel.

3. Geogebra: Graphing and analysis technology with premade activities. Geogbra features tools for all things visual and tangible in math. It has a great spreadsheet function, which has easy statistical analysis of one and two variables and all of the main visual representations a teacher is likely to need. It also contains great geometry tools for triangle properties, circles, and more. Additionally, it contains a multitude of free, pre-made activities by Geogebra and other teachers. Most activities are embeddable, so students don’t need to leave the safety of your LMS class website.

4. Desmos: Math teachers’ go-to website for graphing and activities. Math teachers love Desmos’ graphing calculator. All you need to do is type in the equation you want, and there is the graph. Learning the keyboard shortcuts makes this even more efficient. Finding the coordinates of intersections, zeros, and vertices is as easy as clicking on them. Polar coordinates, radians, and degrees are options that make the tool versatile for higher level math, too. For the math and non-math teacher, Desmos has tons of activities made by Desmos and teachers (helpful tip: search for activities by Googling “topic Desmos” if you have trouble searching within Desmos). You can set up your classes in Desmos and monitor their progress through the activities from the teacher side of the website. You can use premade activities, make your own, or modify existing ones by making a copy.

5. Stapplet: Stats activities and simulations. This one is mostly for the stats/math teacher. It is specifically tailored to statistics concepts and simulations. The simulations focus on data analysis and probability. They include more advanced topics such as t-distributions and chi-squared distributions. The applet allows you to input hundreds to thousands of simulations at a time.  With the activities, students can follow along and enter their own values and see the class results in real time. Students can work on activities together with a class code or as individuals.

One of the biggest challenges for a new teacher or a veteran teacher taking on a new class is finding the right edtech tools to use in their lessons. My hope is that this list helps someone out there find the tools they need to succeed in their classroom.