Transcript of using GeoGebra – a special presentation by Markus Hohenwarter

Speaker 1: Welcome everybody to our special Geogebra session from Markus Hohenwarter. He is also the creator of GeoGebra and I'll be handing over to him very shortly. Just initial apologies from Christopher Robinson. He's unable to be coming here today. He's actually off to [inaudible 00:00:27] for our Rule and Remote policy and [inaudible 00:00:30] unfortunately had an accident not long ago. Thank you very much for coming today. I'm representing the Math's Advising team from the department of education and communities. Welcome everybody. I'd like to introduce to you, to this presentation, Marcus Markus Hohenwarter and I hope I pronounced that correctly, Marcus from [inaudible 00:00:53] University. Over to you, sir.

Markus: Yeah. Thanks a lot. Good afternoon, everybody. From my end it's actually more good morning. It's 7:30 my time over here in Austria. It's a pleasure for me to try this out for the first time also for me, one of these online sessions. Thanks also for the introduction. I think that last name was pronounced perfectly fine. I'm German speaking as you can hear. I'm living in Austria. Many people that I tell that, often confuse that with Australia. It's in particular useful to talk to some real Australians today. If you have any questions throughout my presentation, my talking here, most of the time along, please feel free just to type that into the chat window and then I'll try to answer them on the fly as far as I can.

Okay. Let's get this started. My goal today is maybe not to give you something very specifically for the Australian Curriculum ...

Speaker 1: [inaudible 00:02:07] interrupting. I'm just [inaudible 00:02:10] for a second. Some people are having issues just like me. Occasionally we get your headphones coming too close or too far away and we just can't hear you.

Markus: Okay. I wonder what I can do about that. Can you hear me right now?

Speaker 1: Like I said, I'm fiddling around with me headset but occasionally I get to hear you very clearly. Okay. [inaudible 00:02:42] said no problems. Okay. Keep going. Keep on going Markus. I think

Markus: [inaudible 00:02:52]

Speaker 1: It's fine now, thank you.

Markus: Okay. Thanks. My microphone should be set to my headset now. Okay. Let's get started. What I'd like to do today, as I just mentions, I'm not going to give you anything specific, I'm not able to give you much specific for the Australian curriculum as I am not an expert on that. What I'd like to do instead is give you a little bit of an overview of where things are with the GeoGebra project. What's going on a little bit behind the scenes and also what's coming up.

One main thing that I'd like to show you today is a new feature called GeoGebra Books which is a nice way of sharing materials and I also have collected a couple of examples together with a friend of mine about statistics because as [inaudible 00:03:49] mentions statistics for some of you is a focus point right now in your curriculum. Also, for those of you not interested in statistics, I am sure that there will be a couple of things in there that you can benefit from after the presentation.

Just to give a quick overview on the GeoGebra project. I guess you know what it is. I've seen it from the quick questions at the beginning of this session that most of you are familiar with GeoGebra and have done similar sessions before, at least have tried the software to some extent. In the beginning it really was, that was more than twelve years ago and when I started the project it was mostly about trying to get geometry and algebra together. To have a tool where you can do analytic geometry with equations and coordinates and these kinds of things. Later, it turned out that this idea of getting different aspects of mathematics together became quite popular. Our users, they wanted to use it for calculus, and statistics. We added other features like a spreadsheet and integrals and derivative and all kinds of stuff.

Now, what seems to happen is that there are many users who start using GeoGebra with the kids the very early age. I've seen somebody who's on the chat here is already using it from year one to four. That's great. Probably for geometry and mostly graphical things. Then as you move on throughout the years in secondary schools, you will then be able to, a part from geometry also do function graphing and later on statistic and things like that. That's why, that's what a lot of people like about GeoGebra because they can use it for many many years with the kids.

Okay. GeoGebra, the main team is based in Austria in Linz, that's where I'm sitting right now. We also have volunteers, software developers and teachers just like you who help with translations around the world. GeoGebra is now available in more than 50 languages. That's only made possible by teachers just like you who wanted to make the software available in their own languages so that's why they got down and helped to translate it.

Then there maybe a little remark about the countries where it's used. It's almost everywhere, of course there are some differences in the extent. It's coming from Europe so most of the users right now are in Europe and in the United States where I happened to live and work for a couple of years. We also see quite a lot of users in Australia and in your area. It's ranging from one user in the Republic of Palau to five million plus in Europe per year. That's where we are at the moment. Because we are really trying to work with our community, of course we had to identify our user in Palau and we managed to find her here. This spot.

GeoGebra, coming back to the software, it's more than just a software today. That's where it started out and of course that's what most people are to do with it. Another important aspect are the materials. I'm going to talk a little bit more about those. I'd like to show you this new GeoGebra book feature that I mentioned in the beginning and of course the community. People, people like you who actually use it in the classroom who share it with others and help each other how to use this kind of software materials in the classroom. Then we are also working with publishers, with online schools, with all kinds of people who help to spread this kind of dynamic mathematic environments. Good.

At the software, let's have a look at these four points. The software is now available in all platforms. That's very important to us that the software is not only a Windows or a Mac application but you can actually use it throughout different devices. Maybe one remark about the desktop software. The latest version is GeoGebra 4.4 and has released last December, oh, not December 2014, sorry, of course not. Ahead of my time here. In December 2013, of course. Last December, we released the current version which has a fully integrated computer algebra system.

Actually, now is the time where I will try to shift to my screen, let's see if that's possible. See my screen? Okay, so I still have to do that. Second. Let's see if I managed to do that. What I'd like to do now, I'd like to show you a little bit of my screen so I can do some short demos in between? Can you see my screen now? Maybe someone can just put that in the chat? Yes? Perfect. Okay. Thanks.

I just put up the desktop application, so that's the latest version. In the desktop application there is now a view, for those of you who haven't seen it and now are teaching in secondary schools that might be interested, there's a view that's called the CAS view, the computer algebra system view. What that does, it allows you to do symbolic calculations, and actually, I just messed it up right now. What it does, it allows you to solve equations and things like this. Also do graphing of course.

The interesting things that I'd like to point out here is that it's a so called dynamic symbolic view. You can't just do symbolic calculations with letters and fractions, but it also updates dynamically just like the rest of GeoGebra like you're used to moving a point or moving a slider. For example, when I change these numbers up here, A and B, then this will update my entire left side here. The CAS view will do all of the calculations and things for me on the fly. We have found that to be very important compared to other computer Algebra systems where often students have a hard time because they forget to evaluate certain steps. Just a little example here.

Okay, if I switch back to presentation I think I'm going to lose my screen sharing, but let's see what it does. Presentation. Okay. I'm back. Great. Then the next thing a part from the Desktop application is out tablet apps. Since last year, there are GeoGebra apps that you can use. There was a quick question. Introduction to GeoGebra update, yeah. The introductory book you can find on our webpage is updated to the latest version. It also includes a chapter on the CAS view. Those of you that are interested in the CAS view that I just showed, please have a look at the introductory book.

Actually, while we speak, there's a special service, trying to do that on the fly. Just quickly throw in the link here. Yeah. That's the link for the introductory book for those of you that haven't seen it. That gives an overview of many of the features of GeoGebra and there's a special chapter on the spreadsheet for those of you interested in statistics and there's a special chapter on the CAS view, symbolic view for those interested in doing this, equation solving and integrals and stuff like that.

Coming back to the software, the GeoGebra tablet apps, as I said, they are available since last summer. What we are trying to do there is have similar features that we have on the desktop application. Of course, make it easily usable on these touch devices. The user interface had to be changed to be usable with your fingers, that's the main difference here really. That is also related to the next one. The next slide here, the GeoGebra web app.

What we are trying to do now is have one single application that will look the same and behave the same across all platforms. That's something that's not out there yet, this new GeoGebra web app but it's ... Here you can see a screenshot and the idea is that this application runs in any web browser and it basically behaves the same like the desktop application like you already know. It's user interface is optimised for touch devices meaning that you can use it both on a desktop or laptop computer with your mouse, but as well on touch devices like your tablet.

For us it's a very exciting time because it really makes us rethink a lot of the things that we have done in the desktop application where we thought they were easy to use, but it you really look at it then you see they're only really easy to use to some extent with a mouse. Now in these new environments where we're working on smart boards, on interactive white boards, on tablets, on laptops where you can use your fingers, then things change a little bit. You just have to change some aspects and that's what we are currently doing. For those of you interested in playing with this new user interface, I included the web address here so that's this. Better version of the web app that will soon, that will soon go live also.

Okay, what else? Here the point is everything, same user interface. Then materials, I already mentions GeoGebra Tube and I'm going to show it in a second. The GeoGebra Tube is our material sharing platform where everybody teaches and students, they can share the materials that they have created with GeoGebra. They are quite some a lot of materials already and it was started about two years ago. Maybe now is the time again to switch to that.

Before doing that, before doing the live demo, GeoGebra Tube is now using HTML 5 technology so I just wanted to mention it here. What does that mean? In the past, GeoGebra by its self and when you were using GeoGebra itself and when you were exporting an outlet from GeoGebra meaning you create an indirect webpage of it, it was using java technology in the past. That meant that the students who wanted to use these worksheets, they needed java installed on their machines. Unfortunately java doesn't work on any tablets. We realise this a couple years ago that this Java technology is not going to be the way forward in the future that we have to change that.

Someone has problems because of the Java issues, exactly. Java issues are around us all the time that's why we are moving away completely from Java and instead of that, we're using so called HTML5 technology which simply means that the GeoGebra app are running inside the web browser without the need of any additional plug ins. What we have done is that on GeoGebra Tube on our material platform, we have switched from Java as a default to HTML 5 last December. That means that essentially everything that you have on GeoGebra Tube can now be used on tablet, tablet computers as well as desktops.

To users that doesn't really matter too much. What it means and the important thing is that you can use and keep using the old files and worksheets and we just make sure that they're going to work on all of the devices.

Okay, so now I'd like to switch over to GeoGebra Tube and I'd like to show you this GeoGebra book. For those of you a little bit bored from listening to me, I'm going to give you something to play with now. Here's a link. These are two GeoGebra books that I'm sharing with you. One of them is in English and is a statistics demonstration, the first one. The second one is German and is for younger kids. I'm just throwing in the second one because I saw that some of you are dealing with little kids so I just felt that maybe that's more interesting for you guys. Now I'm switching to shared screen again so that we can try it. What I'd like to do now is I'd like to show you ,first what a GeoGebra book is of course, and then also how to create one. How you would be able to do that yourself.

Okay. I hope that you can see my screen now again. Maybe a quick "yes" in the chat would help me before I go on. Can you see my screen, again? Yes, perfect. Thanks a lot. What you see on my screen now is GeoGebra Tube. GeoGebra Tube is our material sharing platform as said. You can just go there, look for materials and there are tonnes of materials that you can use. They are all shared by teachers just like you. The first question might be how do I get the stuff on GeoGebra Tube? That's very easy. If you are in GeoGebra, like I'm back here in the desktop application that I just showed you before, you just go to file, share. If you go into the file menu and you click on share that just means that you uploaded into GeoGebra Tube.

Then it's on there so you need to have a login obviously, so that GeoGebra Tube can remember that it's your stuff that you uploaded. That's really so you log in. You can use a Google login, a Facebook login or you can create your GeoGebra account and then just put it there. As soon as it's up there, maybe I will just have a quick look at one of the examples. Go to the worksheet and you have little description for teachers. What is this worksheet about?

Go to [inaudible 00:19:55] in this case and then go to student worksheet and it opens in a new tab. Just like I explained before, this worksheet is using HTML 5 technology so it's going to work on tablets as well as on desktop computers. It's also probably going to work on your phones, however, we know that we still need to make some improvements both for the size of the outlets because the problem with phones is mostly that many of the outlets on GeoGebra Tube are simply too big for the screens on the phones. We need to do some optimizations concerning automatic scaling of the outlet so that they get smaller essentially but os that they also still remain usable so that the elements don't get too small so you can't touch them anymore, can't grab them anymore with your finger.

Also, we're doing lots of improvements in the background concerning speed. Our outlets work fine both on desktops and most tablets, but we still want to improve that on phones. Our goal really is that all of these worksheets they should work fast on phones as well. Kids have phones in the schools, much more than tablets, so we'd really like to focus on phones in the immediate future.

Anyways, I have this worksheet up here, what I wanted to show you is this other book. That's the book I just shared with you, that's the statistics book. What is a GeoGebra book? A GeoGebra book is simply a collection of existing worksheets on GeoGebra. The worksheets are these single pages with something interactive. A GeoGebra book is a collection or set that has multiple chapters. You can have multiple chapters like in this case. One variable statistics in the first chapter, two variable statistics is the second chapter, simulation's the third, and probability distribution is the fourth chapter. Each one of these chapters can then have several GeoGebra worksheets in them. Maybe if I just click on one of them, then you get these worksheets. Someone created them and I can have a play with this.

There are some arrows on the top right so you can click on those to move to the next one. You can click on this little bookmark. At the let side, at the left screen [inaudible 00:22:27] if I click on the bookmark, I get the overview back so I can go back to my overview where I was. That will automatically close as soon as I click on one of the entries here on one of the worksheets in the table of contents. When I click on it, this automatically closes. We're doing that on purpose because we want students to focus on the worksheet so we want to get rid of the table of contents as soon as possible. As soon as someone chooses the worksheet, we get rid of it. That's the book, it's quite a simple concept. It's essentially just a nice way to pull together GeoGebra worksheets.

Let me show you how to create that or how to change that. When you are on GeoGebra Tube, and you're logged in then you can, maybe I go to the main page, you can then, right at the bottom is a link, create GeoGebra book. I want to create a new one. Just name my book. We'll call it Australia Rules book. Then I can put in some description. I can have an age range, I can add some text. I'm not going to do that. Here's something important and it applies, concept of disability that applies to all of the materials on GeoGebra Tube.

When you put something there, you can analyse, choose whether it's public, whether it's shared with a link or whether it's private. Private means only you can see it. Shared with a link means that only those can see it that have the link. You can give the link to your students for example but nobody else can see it. Public means that everyone can see it here on GeoGebra Tube and it can also be searched for by others. I'm going to keep it public. I saved my book so now I have a new book. There's nothing in there yet so how can I add something?

I could add a chapter. I could add a geometry chapter and then I add a statistics chapter. I have two chapters now. In my geometry chapter I would click on add material. I click on add material now I get a search box. I can now search for all of my own materials but also for all of the other materials that are on GeoGebra Tube. The more than 85,000 materials that are there, I just search for something. Geometry, that's what I wanted. Find something. Maybe, area triangles, I don't know. Okay, so let's pick this one. I have a look at it, yeah I like this. Let's add material. It's in there. Let's maybe add something else. Let's add the [inaudible 00:25:29].

Now I have these two materials in there. If I don't like the order I can just drag them around just be dragging and dropping. I can go to my next chapter and also add something here. I can see where this is going. I can just collect these things together just like a shopping cart. Obviously without having to pay. I throw all of this in here. I can also move it from one chapter to another one just by dragging and dropping if I think it fits better in the other chapter.

When I'm done, I just click on view GeoGebra book here at the right. View GeoGebra book, so what does that look like? That's the book that I just created. My table of contents with the two chapters, geometry and the statistics chapter. Yeah. That's basically it. Then you can share your book with everybody and give it to your students and have a nice collection with them. That was a quick overview on the GeoGebra Books. I'm now going to switch back to the presentation.

Okay. That was the books. Yeah, community, I've already mentions that. Community are the people that create these books and the worksheets, so that's the teachers like you. We also try to work closely with people actually using GeoGebra in their classrooms and we're always very happy about any kind of feedback. If you have ideas or wishes, please go on our user forum and let us know. Maybe I will just put the link here. Our user forum is really the place to ask questions and give suggestions on what you'd like to see with GeoGebra. Also, just let us know what you're doing with it.

Then I'd like to mention some forms of integrating GeoGebra into other systems. We're working with partners to make that possible. Just a couple of examples. What we've recently done is, for example, we've created a GeoGebra Tube Widget so that you can browse all these worksheets that I've just shown and easily throw that into other things. In this case, Wikispaces. Wikispaces is an online platform to create wikis for the classroom for example. There's a special widget now that you can easily search and include GeoGebra Tube Worksheets.

Another example is our new Microsoft office app. For I think, it's Office 2013 ,that supports that. It has an app store and you can search there for the GeoGebra app which is free of cost. Then you would have this sidebar like you see on the right side where you can again, search on GeoGebra Tube and then you can include such a worksheet into your Word document. What the means is that you would get a preview image in the Word document. If you click on that image you get a pop up window that shows the interactive worksheet. For us, we think that's a very neat way of getting GeoGebra included with Word documents. For example, students, or you as a teacher can add documentation around the worksheet. Then you have your interactive worksheet in the middle.

We also are about to do something similar for Google Docs so  that there's a Google Doc plug in. There should also be one for PowerPoint relatively soon. Other example for those of you using smart bot that might be interested, we're working with smart notebook software to include GeoGebra as a widget there. That's now in there in the latest versions since April. Smart notebook '14, where GeoGebra is included in the software in the way that you can embed it into pages and it's also saved inside of a page. You don't need to save your GeoGebra files as a separate thing. You just throw it into your smart notebook page and then when you do a construction there it's saved in there. There's also a easy way to include GeoGebra worksheets and save that together with your smart notebook page. This kind of integration is something that we are doing with many partners these days.

For example, there's also a Moodle plug in in the works that should improve integration with Moodle as well. Future, the next big thing on the Desktop side is GeoGebra 5 version that we would like to release, I always say this summer, but that's not your summer. In the month of September, hopefully, we'd like to release GeoGebra 5 that includes a 3D view. If you want to try that out you can also just search for GeoGebra 5 better on your favourite search engine or you look for it in our user forum. You can try that out if you're interested in 3D.

Other thing, obviously, I mentioned them already, are the phones. There's no GeoGebra app for phones yet. Only for tablets. We want to change that also, this year. Again, the real challenge here are two things, user interface, how do we make that usable on the phones? We are now playing with switching the different views easily with swipe gestures and the other thing of course is speed. As the phones get faster and as we get more knowledgeable how to support these kind of things, we think that this year, so for the next school year, we should have phone apps available also.

In particular, that will be useful when you have GeoGebra books and you can easily share that with students. That is important, an important thing that these materials are available. [inaudible 00:31:42] phones, yeah. What we want to do with the GeoGebra books is right now they're just one way, one way thing. You as a teacher you create them you give them to your students. We want to make them more flexible. Right now it's only GeoGebra worksheets, really. We'd like to have images and videos and more flexible texts that you can include so that they really get e-books. In addition what we want to have is some kind of collaborative features so that students can also fill in exercises for example. You can ask questions and they should be able to fill it in.

Kind of GeoGebra books may end up to be some very simple kind of, what would I want to say, like Moodle, but much simpler, like a learning management system. That's its collaborative features, and last but not least what I wanted to mention before I'm going to close that down here is online certification. We also see that teachers like you, they should have events like this one. Sometimes it's not always possible to do them synchronously so that everyone is on the call at the same time. We are looking at ideas to have some kind of user certification and online possibilities to learning how to use GeoGebra using videos and using check as you go questions and examples and things like that. There are also some plans to that. We also how that we will have more tutorials and these sort of things up and running soon.

Okay. That's basically it from my side. Again, I'd like to mention the GeoGebra forum so for questions as we are going to go away after this meeting that's the best place to really go so don't hesitate to put any questions. If you are a beginner, it's a very friendly community. Every question is a good question and you're really going to get quick help there if you have specific questions. Now if you really have specific questions right now, let's get to them. Please use the chat window so we can maybe have a quick [crosstalk 00:34:02].

I'm going to about to jump into the next one. I think we should have a beginner question sort of here if people want to. I'm not sure if you were going to put notes, if people can type in this area. This is the general sort of discussion  there, Markus. If anyone has any question they could always additionally email Chris Robinson and they should be able to sort of help you along the way. I've got some wonderful questions [inaudible 00:34:29] back to your presentation there, Markus. Being a science teacher and not a math sort of teacher in the DEC, I've found GeoGebra extremely easy because a lot of the stuff, even your example you gave here about reflection, is totally applicable to science as well and offers great integration between maths and science.

Have you got any schools that are already integrating across subjects and working collaborative? Your work is brilliant, but also the workbook in terms of the GeoGebra workbook is a great way for collecting information both from a math perspective and a science perspective. Have you got any schools that are doing collaborative work across curriculum?

Yes. I think that's really happening more and more. It's also what we see GeoGebra's being used particularly in physics, when it comes down to simulations. If you look on GeoGebra Tube and just type in physics, you look for some of the physics text then you will see there's a lot going on in this direction definitely. Yeah. We don't have ... I am focused on math because I'm a math professor so my job is to teach future mathematics teachers. Here at our university we also have physics and chemistry education so there's quite a lot going on in this direction where we see people using it in their classes even at the university level simply to explain certain concepts. I really suggested you go on GeoGebra Tube and look for those texts there and you'll see that there is a lot of nice stuff out there already.

There was one question here on the chat about the tool bar. Yeah. You can change the tool bar position in the options menu on a smart board so that you can have the tool bar at the bottom. If you go to view, layout, so that's where it is. View, layout and [inaudible 00:37:03] it was this question. You can change the tool bar position to the bottom. The students are not big enough to reach all the way up. Okay, any other questions?

Okay. I'm not sure what the DER image is, but I guess it's something that [inaudible 00:37:38] GeoGebra and [crosstalk 00:37:40].

It's a DEC sort of initiative which is coming to its end of its life. I don't know whether or not that's going to happen.

My suggestion in this case is you can always use the web portion because that's always going to bring up the [crosstalk 00:37:59]


In particular, the better version now which is actually very soon going to go live. It's stable and you can use that in any web browser so then you don't have to install anything.

When might Notebook 14 to be released? Notebook 14, so the smart software that I mentioned where GeoGebra is being integrated has been released in April, at least in the United States. They already now are releasing 14.1 because I know that we were able to do some updates there. I don't know when it will be available for you but it should be out there principle. I'm not sure how they do it with different countries.

Chris Robinson should be able to answer question.

Yeah. Okay. How many people work on GeoGebra? Well, depending on how you count that, somewhere between 15 and 500. 15 if you look at the number of software developers who work on it everyday. There's people paid by projects related to GeoGebra and partnerships that we have with publishers and things like that. Obviously the number of translators is much much bigger. If you include all the teams that are working on the different ... 15 then with translations it's a lot [inaudible 00:39:34] of volunteers. Yeah, it's about 15 to 20 people who are really the core team at the moment.

GeoGebra has become quite big and for us, an important goal is of course to keep that sustainable and to make sure that we'll be available and remain available free of charge in the future for all of the students and teachers out there. The way that we do that is that we now work with publishers, with partners with commercial users who integrate GeoGebra with their textbooks and things like that and that's how we can support the continued development. I think we've found a quite good model that we can make sure the GeoGebra is going to stick around for many years to come. Yeah. Anymore questions?

Any other plans after 3D? Yeah. I mean, we 3D'd and we kind of have settled most of the different things. Of course there are lots of, lot's of possibilities what could be done. One idea would be to go more into this STEM direction. Holograms, yeah. Let's see if we could do that. One idea would be the STEM direction to see if we could better support physic's simulations. You could introduce crazy things like masses, or, I don't know motion detection, whatever. For example there are some attempts to connect GeoGebra to external devices like data collectors and make that easier to get in. Yeah. The sky's the limit.

Really what we usually want to do is look at what the user community wants to do. The user forum is the best way to get in new ideas. When we see that several people get excited about something then, yeah, let's try to go there. Right now we are really mostly focusing on getting everything across and nicely working on phones. For the moment, that's the focus. Yeah. Next year I could see that can go in a different direction again. Fractals. Fractals really is related to scripting. There are some scripting ideas also that we have a little bit back burner right now but could be something that we get back soon. Especially with the computer GeoGebra system going really in a programming direction where GeoGebra can be used as a visual tool for some simple kind of programming. Okay, I think that's ...

Speaker 1: ... I think if anyone else has any further questions they could always go directly to your site and actually put any questions on there. If anyone else has DEC questions, they can definitely send them to Christopher Robinson and he should be able to answer them in a very very prompt manner. Lastly, I'd like to thank you professor for coming here. I'd like to personally invite you to come back and do another presentation for science teachers in particular, physics if you don't mind.

We can even pre-record a very short session to sort of ... I've seen the material that's on the GeoGebra Tube and if it wasn't for a math's advisor telling me about this, I probably would have missed it and it made teaching physics a lot easier. Especially in terms of light reflection, refraction, radio waves etc. etc. A lot of stuff, the material that people are sharing on GeoGebra Tube is fantastic and phenomenal and it is a great way for bringing and using the math's to teach a lot of the science. I hope I can get to back again to sort of present to science teachers around in New South Wales?

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