The Math Forum || Annie's Sketchpad Activites

Java Sketchpad (JSP)

Everything you need to know to make your first JSP page!

We'll start by looking at some examples and think about why we should care and how we might use this to our advantage in the classroom. Then we'll look at what you need and what you do - the quick reference, as it were. Then we'll look at some other fea tures, details, and considerations you might want to familiarize yourself with if you choose to incorporate Java GSP into some of your web projects.

Some Examples | What You Need | What You Do | What Works, What Doesn't | Other Details
The Official Complete JavaGSP Site at Key - Go Here for All the Answers

Some Examples

  1. Investigating Triangles
    You don't need Sketchpad for this activity. The triangle and some useful measurements are included on the page, along with some questions to be answered. You can print out the accompanying handout for students to use with the figure, or create your own.

  2. Identifying Polygons
    In this activity, students are given dynamic polygons on a page, and they must identify each one. An accompanying page, suitable for printing, provides some probing questions. Again, they don't need access to Sketchpad.

  3. Drawing a Solid and Its Net
    This example is sort of an electronic piece of paper that can be used to help students construct a figure. Instead of getting a static handout and following along to create your sketch, you can use this page, and drag the figures to compare them to your sketch.

  4. Susan Addington's JSP Examples
    "Making Interactive Web Pages Without Pain (Using JSP)" is the title of this collection of Susan's work. She uses JSP to create things that move, and didn't have to learn "proper java" to do so. These are not necessarily good examples of how to use Sketchpad itself, but take advantage of the fact that she can easily contruct movable objects and interactive pages.

  5. Several examples of a "moving picture" from the Geometry Problem of the Week at the Math Forum:

  6. The NCTM Electronic Standards
    The electronic version of the Standards 2000 document uses Java GSP to provide examples for students to investigate.

What You Need

Here's what you're going to need to make viewable JSP files on your Macintosh or Windows machine. When you're done, you can transfer the whole folder to your web server for all the world to see. Links are provided if you are missing any of the downloadable things.

What You Do

Now follow these steps to turn your sketch into a web page that contains a Java version of your construction.
  1. Open the GSP HTML Converter and open your sketch when prompted.
  2. Choose "Save as HTML" from the File menu. It will attach .html to the name. Make sure that you are saving it in your WWW directory.
  3. Go to your web browser. Choose "Open File" from the File menu.
  4. Find your file in your WWW directory and choose Open.
  5. Wait patiently while it loads all the Java class files (it only has to do this once, as long as you're working from this directory, so you can skip this step in the future).
  6. Drag your figure around!
If you're feeling brave, try making another sketch in Sketchpad, save it, and convert it with the converter. Just make sure you save the converted versions in your WWW directory (the sketches need to be in the same place as the JSP directory).

What Works and What Doesn't

JavaGSP is in development and currently only supports a subset of the full features of Sketchpad. For the exhaustive list, see the construction section of the JavaGSP Grammar discussion. These are a few things I have run into that mattered to me. Start simple. Don't worry about including things that won't work. When you run the converter, it will tell you if your sketch includes things that won't work. If you really want to use JavaGSP in the development of pages, read through the official list.

Other Details

You can read the full "grammar" of Java GSP at the official site. Here are a few details that I have found useful.