As if going to my first Twitter Math Camp wasn’t enough, I also got to attend an entire day of Desmos! I just finished my first year of teaching and Desmos has been a staple in all of my classes. To the say the least, I was VERY excited.
The day started with breakfast and a video message from Eli from Germany. Then the Desmos team started showing us some awesome new Desmos Graph features and a Desmos Potluck. One of the newest features makes Desmos accessibility for blind and low-vision studends. Pressing command F5 turns on the sound narrator which will allow Desmos to audibly describe your graph. You can also HEAR what your graph sounds like! During a session, a group of teachers worked together to create a graphical representation of “Mary had a Little Lamb” https://www.desmos.com/calculator/xdz17jn1rw SO COOL. This new feature is not only amazing for the low-vision students, but also opens up so many opportunities for interdisciplinary projects in Desmos!
During the day, we broke into groups and participated in a Desmos Graph scavenger hunt. During this scavenger hunt, I learned about another great Desmos feature http://learn.desmos.com/. This site provides interactive instructional activities on how to use different features on Desmos. I definitely had fun playing around with polar graphing!
Lunch time! (thanks Desmos!).
Then we got to hear from our first keynote speaking. Sara VanDerWerf. She was encouraging us to be “evangelists”!
Now for the best part: The Desmos team introduced two new features to the activity builder.
- Bundles: Desmos has taken a bunch of activities and “bundled” them into topics. These bundles are not only a bunch of content similar activities bundled together. The bundles also provides key understandings and suggest the order in which the activities should be played! This is an example of a Functions Bundle.
- Create your own cardsorts and marbleslides: HALLELUJAH! They now let you make your own marbleslides and card sorts! No more laminating, cutting, missing cards to do card sorting in class! It’s amazing! I made my first one on sorting different types of quadratic equations. We also created a collection of our card sorts! To activate the feature, just click on your name in the top right, then go to labs, and enable them.
After a day of Desmos fun, the Desmos team then took us out for Happy Hour!!! Thanks Dan, Christopher, Michael and the whole Desmos crew for a great day! And Obviously, we had to take a selfie with Dan Meyer!