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Jul 02 2014 - 08:00 PM
Desmos
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Desmos is a powerful, online graphing calculator designed to plot any equation, explore transformations, create complex tables, and more. The best part about this graphing calculator is that anyone can use it for free. It’s currently in use by students, educators, and researchers in over 169 countries. Users can create an account to save all of their graphs, equations, and tables, or they can use it on an as-needed basis. Desmos also offers Function Carnival, a unique learning model for students who have trouble visualizing math equations.

Pros:

One of the greatest benefits of this application is that it is a free resource. Graphing calculators can cost upwards of $200 and for many that is an expense they simply cannot afford. Students and teachers can use Desmos from any device with internet access for free. Desmos also gives users the option to create an account, enabling them to save equations, graphs, functions, and even pictures they’ve created on their "calculator" for later reference. The tool is available in over 20 languages and works just like a regular graphing calculator, so there is little to no learning curve. The website also offers a comprehensive support page for those needing a tutorial or looking to ask a particular question. The support page offers brief tutorials on how to create data tables, plot functions, and create 3D graphics.

Cons:

The biggest drawback in this application is that, unless you own an iPad, it must be used on the web. The tool is currently only offered as an application for the Apple iPad and so if users do not have an iPad, access to the Internet or a device that supports web browsing, they cannot use the tool. This also poses a potential risk for losing data mid-use if a server issue occurs or there is a power failure.

Our Takeaway:

Desmos is a useful tool for any teacher, student, or math enthusiast looking to perform complex equations without breaking the bank. The application is currently used in every state as well as 169 countries, and the Desmos team is working on making the tool available in more languages. Instructional YouTube videos are also available and make this tool a handy addition to any classroom.

The Bottom Line:

Desmos is a graphing calculator that gives you all the benefits and none of the drawbacks of traditional hand-held calculators.

Image: Logo via Desmos

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|By: Dana Haugh|3589 Reads