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Topic: Please recommend geometry software
Replies: 6   Last Post: Apr 3, 1995 1:07 PM

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Vince Devlin

Posts: 10
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Please recommend geometry software
Posted: Mar 17, 1995 5:34 PM
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Hi Linda,
It sounds like you are looking into some neat stuff! I can't help with
everything you are studying, but I have been using the Geometer's
Sketchpad for a few years and have found that it has really changed my
approach to geometry. I originally thought of the sketchpad as a piece of
software but now see it as an environment for exploring, discovering and
learning. To classify it as software just seems to be too limiting. I
also use the text published by Key Curriculum Press, "Discovering
Geometry". This text, together with support material available for the
sketchpad, is a great start for a discovery approach to geometry.
I had taught geometry for more than 20 years using the formal proof
approach that I learned in my high school. I admit, the transitional time
had it's difficult moments. I questioned many things but tried to remain
open to the approach. I was very satisfied with my first year using the
sketchpad, but it took a second year through the text before I completely
understood the discovery approach. At first glance, it can look like a
course with little substance. The text does not have a list of theorems or
a glossary of terms to memorize - but as the course develops, students
mold the definitions and develop the theorems - kinda like the real thing,
huh? Now, I realize that my students are learning so much more about
geometry. I am sold on this approach to geometry!
I know the other software you mentioned have strong points as well,
however the success will be dependent more on the use of the material -
not the material itself. Whatever you select, be sure to think of it as
more than software - you will call it software, and I will call it
software - but you are actually selecting a learning environment. In the
early 80's, Seymour Papert wrote about microworlds as incubators for
knowledge. Today we have these incubator packages that allow us to create
these worlds for exploration.
Please keep us informed about your decisions - it's only in sharing
experiences that we can grow. Good luck and have fun exploring!

Vince Devlin

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