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Aug 19 2015 - 08:00 PM
Geoboard
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Geoboard is a virtual pegboard designed to introduce elementary and middle school students to geometry. One of several free tools produced for educators by The Math Learning Center, this simple web and mobile app comes complete with three shaped grids and several piles of digital, unendingly stretchable rubber bands that help turn math lessons into art projects. Write or type out numerical equations over a Geoboard lesson and then fill, erase, or hide them behind duplicable line segments and closed polygons. Visually emphasize fractions, area, and perimeter with a quadrilateral or circular pegged grid. Introduce students to multidimensionality with multicolor bands and multi-shade fills while they turn to investigate how their simple shapes work around the peg angles they manipulate.

Pros:
Geoboard's functional, open-ended simplicity contains the blank canvas potential that kiddo novices and adult experts alike can turn into meaningful learning experiences. Unlimited bands stretch for days - an obvious improvement on Geoboard's physical predecessor, but also a really artistic take on what the pegboard makes possible with an imagination. Several Geoboard users post their creations on YouTube for replication at home or in the classroom. A Geoboard on the Smartboard could make for a whole lot of school day fun.

Cons:
Be careful what you delete from this "virtual manipulative" as there's no looking back without an "undo" function. And if you want to hang on to your elaborate band designs and equations, don't forget to screenshot them. Perhaps in some ways too much like a real life pegboard, Geoboard provides no option to save or share your work, either statically or dynamically.

Our Takeaway:
If you're looking for geometric frills, look elsewhere. Geoboard is about as basic a translation of physical-to-virtual as you're going to find in a pedagogical tool. Its plainness, though, is its boon, and the Geoboard user will have no trouble turning a basic rubber band session into either a teachable moment or a graphic you could hang on the fridge. Plus, with this app there's never the threat of those bands snapping just as you turn to tell everyone what you've made.

Image via The Math Learning Center

|By: Jacob Albert|2583 Reads