Last spring I did a short presentation to some teachers on GeoGebra, one of my favorite math technology tools. I am still learning the software myself, and am no expert, so it was no surprise when someone asked me a question I could not answer: What is the spreadsheet for?
Spreadsheet stuff, obviously. But how to use it? I had no idea. It has taken me months to finally find the time to sit down and figure it out. The first step I took was to do a search for tutorials on the internet. I didn’t find one on GeoGebra’s website, but I did find this: GeoGebra Tutorial 19 – Basic Spreadsheet Recording by Guillermo Bautista of Mathematics and Multimedia. Guillermo appears to be as enamored with GeoGebra as I am, only he a) knows what he’s doing, and b) writes about it in a series of easy-to-follow posts.
Today I tackled the first of five posts on using spreadsheets – I used a tool that allowed me to record data generated by moving a slider along a function to a spreadsheet, and then do some basic manipulations of that data. In other words, I made a graph, then was able to dynamically generate a table of values tied to it. It took about two minutes. Look:
I am so excited about this… I’ll be working through the rest of the spreadsheet tutorials and (most likely) several others over the next few weeks. If you have time, I highly recommend checking out both GeoGebra (it’s free!) and the Mathematics and Multimedia blog.