This is an application that has me excited in so many ways that I think it’s a can’t miss for any mathematics teacher using a computer. Calling itself a dynamic geometery application, Sketchometry is really something to play around with.
First – the geeky part. This is a perfect example of where I think developers should be headed. It’s an HTML5 web application which means that all the functionality is available inside a browser. So, in my testing, I’m able to access it with Ubuntu, Windows, Macintosh, and iOS. Everything is just there and works in the browser – no application or add-ons needed to get started.
Secondly – working in the environment. This was quite a bit of fun. As you’ll notice from the Help files, the Sketchometry application is well driven by gestures that seem to be very intuitive. Simple icons access the various tools and it only took about 15 minutes to work my way through them and get a sense of just what was possible. It very quickly had me reaching for my Wacom tablet connected to my computer so that I had really fine control. As fine as that was, the ability to draw on the iPad really made for a nice mathematics experience.
When I saw the trig functions, I had a flashback to a math class where we discussed SIN, COS, and TAN. I remember graphing each with pencil and paper. Three graphs to try and learn the concepts.
What if I plotted all three on the same graph? By grabbing a different colour, they graphed nicely. I used f(x)=3*sin(x), to get amplitude to really see things. Ditto for cos and tan. As you’ll see below, by turning on an x and y axis, they do show up nicely. I’m able to drop a point on the line. Sketchometry handles things nicely.
Thirdly, I was intrigued by the way that it handles your finished drawing. You don’t create an account on Sketchometry. Teachers and students can just work with their documents without worrying about creating a logging in to an account. In fact, for a lot of uses, you might just connect your device to a data projector and display your efforts.
When it’s time to save your work then, where does it go?
The save function pops up the following dialogue. You don’t create an account and therefore storage with Sketchometry; instead you just add it to your existing cloud storage. It makes so much sense. Most everybody has a Dropbox account these days and if you don’t, here’s a good reason to get one. Or Skydrive. Or, and this was the very first one for me, your Ubuntu One account.
In so many ways, I really liked what I saw. Written in HTML5, using Cloud storage, gesture based – doesn’t this just scream “made from scratch using the best of 2012”? Support for the product and more details is available in Google+.
- Sketchometry (lovetoreadlovetolearn.wordpress.com)
- Eight Alternatives to Buying Scientific Calculators (freetech4teachers.com)
- Illustrative Mathematics (freetech4teachers.com)
- OTR Links 10/06/2012 (dougpete.wordpress.com)