A Continuing Conversation -> This is a double thread - one for classifying applets and one for publishing applets.

Classifying Applets

Oct 11, 10:22 am From: LFS

Maria and I have been working on a proposal for ISTE2011.
It is about using applets in the classroom to enhance both the student's learning experience and his learning. We have been talking about how to classify applets (so e.g. a teacher can make an informed choice). I am putting our discussion in as if it is a thread. Please feel free to jump in anywhere or make any comments you think relevant to this discussion!

Part of proposal by Linda that refers to classifying applets

Mathematics applets can be roughly categorized into 4 categories, namely

  • ready-to-use r2u applets that show the math,
  • math-practice uDo applets that generate random problems,
  • do-it-yourself diy where the student himself builds a simulator of a problem and
  • explore and construct applets such as c+s (compass + straightedge) applets.


To Linda from Maria

Mathematics applets can be roughly categorized into five types, namely:

  • ready-to-use r2u applets that show the math dynamically, but without interactivity
  • math-practice uDo applets that generate random closed-ended problems
  • do-it-yourself diy where the users can build novel simulations and pose problems parametric exploration and construction applets, where users can input or change parameters of an existing system
  • spatial exploration and construction applets, where users can draw or build with particular classes of virtual objects, such as compass and straightedge

I have my doubts about diy - is it an applet or a programming environment?

Cheers, Maria Droujkova

To Maria from Linda

I like your last distinctions. I will amend proposal with them. DIY is definitely not programming. It is making your own dynamic applet by understanding the math. Here is a diy challenge: youtube (1.5min) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMYBQgp1R-Q Here is another diy: http://geogebramath.org/lms/nav/activity.jsp?sid=__shared&cid=emready...
Best, Linda

To Maria from Linda

Hiya Maria, Now, I am thinking that First, there must be a division between r2u where the applet is ready to be used and diy where the user must create the applet. Then there is a division between applet goals - Targeted Learning Applets and Exploring Math Applets. Finally there are types. Targeted Learning Applets These applets are aimed at specific learning targets; usually connected to a standard or curriculum goal. The user is expected to understand the underlying mathematics.


  • Show+Tell applets are r2u applets that show the math dynamically (with or without interactivity). (like your example) http://www.mathcasts.org/gg/student/trig/sine_unit_circle_degrees.html
  • Input+Solve applets are r2u applets that solve a variety of similar problems by allowing the user to vary parameters. http://geogebramath.org/lms/edit/editactivity.jsp?sid=geoge&cid=k_7_a...
  • Math Practice applets are r2u applets that generate random closed-ended problems with feedback http://geogebramath.org/lms/edit/editactivity.jsp?sid=geoge&cid=k_7_a...
  • Spatial exploration and construction applets are r2u applets where the user explores or solves a problem by drawing or building with particular classes of virtual objects. http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/frames_asid_189_g_4_t_2.html?open=activities (although I didn’t get either how to use or the point of this particular applet: http://www.screencast.com/t/twHJozbtmK ) http://prabir.pbworks.com/f/Snowman_equations.html http://geogebraithaca.wikispaces.com/Tony+Cron
  • Simulators are diy applets, that is user-created applets that simulate and/or solve a posed problem (always dynamic, may be interactive) http://coxmath.blogspot.com/2010/06/student-creations.html http://geogebrawiki.wikispaces.com/DIY+Simulator+of+Boats+Colliding (ignore the Show&Tell version)
  • Explore and Construction applets where the user explores or solves a problem (usually in geometry) by construction . Includes compass and straightedge constructions.
    * I am of two minds as to whether these are applets – although I require dynamic points and a stable construction when the dynamic points are moved http://geogebrawiki.wikispaces.com/Segment-Copy http://geogebrawiki.wikispaces.com/Strandbeest http://geogebrawiki.wikispaces.com/Triangle-Medians Exploring and Having Fun with Math Applets (I am sure you can think of a better term.) These applets are intended for encouraging mathematical curiosity, enjoyment and exploration. The underlying mathematics is not discussed.


  • Show+Tell applets are r2u applets that show the math dynamically (with or without interactivity). http://www.ies.co.jp/math/java/geo/pytree/pytree.html
  • Spatial exploration and construction are r2u applets, where users can draw or build with particular classes of virtual objects. http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/Paddle2See/89023 http://chir.ag/stuff/sand/ http://crayonphysics.com/
  • Mathmatical Art are diy applets, where users can draw or build a dynamic or interactive applet with particular classes of virtual objects. http://geogebrawiki.wikispaces.com/DIY+Simulator+of+Space+Ping+Pong http://mathcasts.org/gg/enliven/fun/halloween/pumpkin_head.html

Best, Linda

Oct 11, 4:16 pm From: Ihor Charischak

Great topic! CLIME is also sending in a proposal for ISTE in Philly. More about it later. -Ihor

Oct 11, 10:31 pm From: Paul Libbrecht

We had a similar discussion in i2geo and then curriki even expanded that... "the instructional component type" which is a horrible word no-one ever managed to translate to one of the other european languages...

From such resources' type I would like to get some extra information... For example I wish to be able to say that "this is a resource ready for a demonstration on a class screen", or "this is intended for learners", or... At least in the instructional-types of curriki we did not manage. paul

Oct 12, 2:57 pm From: Patrick Vennebush

Linda and Maria, I'm trying to not be offended that your list does not contain a single applet from Illuminations. ;-)

But I'm not just a complainer, so I'll try to offer some constructive feedback, too. I like the way you divided them into the categories of r2u and diy. You have quite an impressive list. I've given hundreds of presentations about applets, so my one piece of advice is to allow at least 10-15 minutes to show each applet. Which is to say, you'll obviously need to pare down your list. A presentation about applets is painful if the present just shows folks how to click buttons... I suggest that you find a good problem to explore with each applet, pose that problem to your audience, let them discuss the problem without the applet for a minute or two, and then show them how the applet can help to solve the problem (or at least how to understand the math that underlies the problem). In a typical one-hour presentation, I am only able to show 3-4 applets, at most. Any more than that, and it becomes a, "Hey, look at this!" presentation, which just isn't fun for the audience.

The other thing I do -- I prepare a handout with the name and URL of each applet. I find that if I don't give that to folks at the beginning of a presentation, then two things happen. First, I'll repeatedly get the question, "Where do I find this? What's the URL?" Second, instead of focusing on the math that can be learned, folks frantically scribble notes about how to use the applet. To nip that in the bud, I usually say, "I've provided the URL so that you can play with this applet when you get home. For now, stay with me and think about all the good math that kids can explore with this applet." That usually allows folks to have a better experience. Of course, I have to take it on faith that they actually look at the applet when they get back home -- but if they're not willing to play with the applet a little on their own, then there wouldn't be much use in them trying to use it in the classroom, anyway.

Below I've listed some of my favorite applets from Illuminations. Let me tell you a bit about how I use the first applet during presentations, to give you a sense of what I mean about "posing a problem to the group." Before showing the applet, I describe the Paper Pool problem, and I ask them to predict the number of hits for a 5 x 3 board. We then spend a few minutes talking about what constitutes a "hit" and how we should count them. (This is actually an important discussion. It's important that folks agree to count the hits in the same way that the applet counts them, mainly because this is the best way to identify a pattern.) After discussion, everyone will usually agree that 8 hits occur on a 5 x 3 board, and I finally show them the applet to show that it counts 8 hits on a 5 x 3 board, too. Then I show them a 5 x 4 board with the applet, quickly ask them to predict the number of hits that will occur, and I let the applet do the work this time (9 hits). I then deliver the pay-off pitch: "Okay, so 8 hits occur on a 5 x 3 board, and 9 hits occur on a 5 x 4 board. How many hits do you think will occur on a 5 x 5 board?" Inevitably, the audience yells, "10!" Gotcha! I then show a 5 x 5 board on the applet, and only 2 hits occur. That builds cognitive dissonance, and folks are then usually excited to explore further! That's when I ask them to investigate on their own. If I'm doing a large-group presentation, I ask the audience what other size Paper Pool boards they'd like to see, and we discuss as a group; but if we're in a computer lab, I'll then direct folks to the Paper Pool applet on Illuminations and let them play for a while on their own.

I hope that's helpful. For your enjoyment, here are some of my favorite applets from Illuminations: Paper Pool - This is an r2u applet for math exploration. It allows the user to investigate several different problems related to the game of Paper Pool. (If you don't know this math "game," see the lesson.) Turtle Pond - This is my favorite applet. It's fun, but it's also a great tool/game for kids to play to learn about distance and angle measure. I love to use it with kids BEFORE they understand angle measure, because I think it's a good way to introduce the concept in a tangible, non-threatening way. Dynamic Paper - I guess this is a DIY applet, but I think it's different from the others on your list. It's neither for demonstration nor exploration. It's a teacher tool that can be used to generate materials for students. Perhaps it requires the creation of another category for your list? Mars Orbit and Mars Orbit 2. The first is a model for the Mars/Earth orbit, and the second uses exact values to show the path. This is an r2u demonstration applet that was created with GSP.

Cheers, Patrick

Oct 13, 3:20 pm From: LFS

Response in order of received. Firstly THANKS for your input.

---- Hiya Paul - I totally like your point. The classification in both style and names must be helpful to the user and that should be forefront to our system. If others are reading this thread, I (Linda) would ask that if you have an idea about classification styles that you please include them. For example - I think "this is a resource ready for a demonstration on a class screen" is a good because it says "ready-to-use", "need only a video projector to use" and "demonstration".

One might argue that it doesn't say whether it is dynamic and/or interactive or whether it is show+tell and/or solution. On the other hand, how detailed can a written classification system be before it becomes unhelpful. That is why I am thinking that "this is a resource ready for a demonstration on a class screen" plus a 2 minute screencast showing a sample use would help quickly and effectively help the teacher after an initial classification. Other teachers could then try it and add their screencast to the thread/rating system.

---- Hiya Patrick - I guess I was not clear in posting the thread. The proposal is not about classifying applets - thinking deeply about how to classify applets came to us while working on the proposal. All of your points are extremely valid and I particularly appreciate your point about making a handout. That is a very useful suggestion. The purpose of listing applets under the "classification" was to see whether we (Maria and myself) understood what the other meant by the "classification" name. (This is where Paul's point is extremely valid.) I am most familiar with my own applets and how I use them - hence most of those listed are actually mine. If you read through the thread, you will see that at several points we notice that we are not understanding one another and that this method of giving a sample was helping us. I think there is much more to applets than r2u and even in r2u there is more than demo and input/solve. So I want these applets to be classified also.

Illuminations has terrific applets, but they are 1.1 r2u demo or 1.2 r2u input/solve or 2.1 r2u input/demo. So many types of applets are not included - particularly applets created by students themselves. Further they cannot be downloaded, used offline, changed or translated. I do like the presentation format (the tabs), but not the search format (hence the need for classification perceived in this thread). Finally - I will look at activity paper (must go) but as I recall this is not a diy applet. To me, a diy applet is where the student creates the dynamic/interactive applet himself/herself. Please correct me if I am wrong. I look forward to more discussion here!


Oct 13, 3:25 pm From: Maria Droujkova

It looks like our applet-tagging system has evolved three dimensions, so far, which I call purpose, style and authorship. Linda and everybody, please take a look at what I did there: http://mathfuture.wikispaces.com/Types+of+applets+presentation

I will populate it with examples next. There are 24 possible combinations of all tags, and I am sure we will have fun tagging our favorite appletdepositories - Illuminations, NLVM, MathPlayground, GeoGebraMath, Scratch, IntMath, Cut the Knot, etc. etc. If I did not name yours yet, be assured I still love it very much and will index it ASAP. But also see what Patrick did there - it is very helpful, because creators are the best people to index their applets!!! What do you think about this taxonomy here?!!


Oct 13, 4:54 pm From: Paul Libbrecht


don't tag repositories, tag individual things.
At least if you wish to be somewhat precise and useful in your tagging.


Oct 13, 5:28 pm From: Maria Droujkova


Right on! The idea is to tag individual applets, or possibly series of applets. A good example of a series that Linda brought up - a group of student applets about modeling acceleration, from David Cox:

Maria Droujkova

Oct 14, 1:04 am From: Ihor Charischak

Hi Patrick,
Couldn't agree with you more that the Illuminations applets should get a prominent billing. Your workshop strategy advice is right on. Loved that you included Paper Pool. It's been one of my all time favorites over the years. I learned about it in Harold Jacobs Human Endeavor in the 70's and created a Logo Microworld of it in the late 80's and switched to the NCTM version when it became available.

Publishing Applets

From: Ken Blystone
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2010 11:58:22 -0600
Local: Wed, Sep 22 2010 7:58 pm
Subject: Re: [geogebra-na] Calculus GeoGebra Applets
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I use GeoGebra frequently in my classroom. I've been learning how to design GeoGebra apps and I would be glad to contribute to a library/repository. I would suggest calling it a "universal" library rather than a "national" library since GeoGebra is worldwide in scope and the Pythagorean Theorem tends to work the same in Austria as it does in Texas!

I would also suggest that such a database be organized by mathematical concepts. There are "apps" that I (and others) have designed that help to teach a concept that are not necessarily done with GeoGebra. For example, there are many apps done with Java or Flash that would be useful to math teachers. Honestly, I would like to rewrite some of my Flash work in
GeoGebra, but I'm still too much of a novice to know exactly how to go about it. Perhaps the library could contain files and/or links to whatever might be useful to math teachers or students regardless of what program created it. Over the past 10 years I have created 100's of Flash-based tools that I would be happy to share, but over the last year I've only had a chance to create a handful of GeoGebra tools (learning as I go).

Again, just some suggestions and thoughts. Thank you for supporting GeoGebra...it's a terrific tool!

On Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 8:30 AM, Todd Edwards wrote:

I'm currently in the process of setting up a website that will operate like the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (but exclusively with GeoGebra Applets) - I'm thinking of calling it LIMA (Library of Interactive Mathematics Applets). A link to a rough prototype is available below (note that it is hosted on my DropBox account (!!)). In the next few DAYS, I will have a MUCH IMPROVED version on a REAL server, with a rating system akin to the iTunes Store or Amazon Marketplace. For now, check this out:
Once I have the site operational (and more public), why don't we "join forces" and place your applets on the site? (With your name and affiliation included, of course).
- Todd

On Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 10:37 AM, Markus Hohenwarter wrote:
Dear Todd and Marc,

>working together on applet sharing is very important in order to avoid reinventing the wheel and sharing things world-wide.
We are working since a while on a system called "GeoGebraTube", see http://www.geogebra.org/trac/wiki/GeoGebraTube that will work like YouTube but instead of for videos for GeoGebra applets. The idea is that all applets will be hosted on our GeoGebra server making them easily searchable. Then they can easily be embedded everywhere (just like YouTube videos). "Florian Sonner" is the contact for GeoGebraTube.
Joel Duffin is also going to help us developing GeoGebraTube and to collaborate with his site http://geogebramath.org So, I suggest that you stay in touch with Joel as well.
Thanks, Markus

On Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 8:40 AM, Todd Edwards wrote:
GeoGebra Friends:
We (Chris Rose and I) were thinking along the lines of something like this (click on each link to see a different level of a proposed Applet Library Site):
Level 1 (Top): http://www.christopherrose.com/lima/
Level 2 (Page of Applets Level): http://tinyurl.com/LIMA-level2
Page 3 (Individual Applet Level): http://tinyurl.com/LIMA-level3
We are working on a prototype for an upcoming MUOhio-AIMS presentation in October that will (hopefully) help us fund our regional conference at Miami University (in June, 2011). If we are LUCKY (and can obtain funding), we anticipate that money will be shared with whoever decides to design / maintain an applet library. My personal hope is to hire a design team (perhaps headed by Chris Rose - a local high school teacher and gifted designer) to make the site as polished and user-friendly as possible.
I'd love to know your thoughts . . . positive or negative. My only goal: make GeoGebra utterly accessible to ALL . . . .

Maria Droujkova
Ken, Can you please take a look at http://geogebramath.org/lms/nav/index.jsp and comment on the organization? It only has a few things now. Joel is also working on tagging. Cheers, Maria Droujkova
From: Ken Blystone
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2010 12:29:15 -0600


I don't know how to create the apps above in GeoGebra...or even if it would be advisable to try. These are examples of Flash apps I have created that Iwould like to share through a "YouTube-Like" interface that math teachers might be able to make use of. I don't know if you want to limit the site to only to GeoGebra...or open it up to all things that might serve math
teachers. Perhaps it would be better to limit the scope of the site to only GeoGebra, but then again, it could be useful to make it a universal site for mathematics tools of all types. Just a suggestion (and examples) for discussion.
Thank you!

From: Zekeriya Karadag
Hi Ken,
Thanks for sharing the following examples with the group. They seem to have been created under the supervision of a strong experience accumulated throughout years.
If you want to really make your examples more public you may check teachertube.com, which is a collection of educational video files. They may allow to share flash files as well, if not, I would create a video file and post to the teachertube with a link to your website. We have a video expert (Maria) in the group...:)
Best, Zekeriya

On Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 9:20 AM, Todd Edwards wrote:
I haven't heard any word about funding after our presentation . . . sadly (but predictably) . . . isn't this how it ALWAYS is? I'm still holding my breath . . . . I think Chris Rose could play a valuable role in the creation of a high-quality, INTUITIVE site for KIDS (and teachers).
So I haven't done much with this (for now). However, I will be collaborating with a classroom teacher in a nearby school to construct GeoGebra applets for her students. This will be the focus of our methods course in the Spring. (In previous years, we have constructed entire textbooks worth of activities using Adobe Indesign . . they are a productive bunch).
I've attached a prototype of what several of us would like to see in a GeoGebra Applet Library (see pages 11 and 12 of the attached PDF for a rough idea). I'd love to hear your thoughts. Likely we are re-inventing the wheel (all too common amongst teachers, right?).
Michael Todd Edwards

On Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 12:57 PM, Bill Lombard wrote:

The idea of a GeoGebra Applet Library is a most excellent idea - those of us in secondary education are looking for applets that address the standards in algebra, geometry, etc.
When teaching a particular standard/topic, it would be tremendous to be able to look up that topic and find applets related to it. Having this type of thing in place would cause a great deal more interest in using GGb in the classroom. It's especially timely considering the new push toward national standards.
We're moving toward electronic classrooms which are independent of a textbook and having these apps would give GGb a leg up on any and all competition.
Bill Lombard

On Oct 13, 2010, at 12:39 PM, Todd Edwards wrote:

Bill: I'd enjoy seeing a library of GeoGebra applets, with an individual page for each applet that includes the following components:

1. an inline applet along
2. links to a student worksheet and teacher lesson plan,
3. video sample of applet being used in a classroom by a REAL teacher and REAL students (e.g., modeling conversations that might be generated by the applet)
4. place for students, teachers, and preservice teachers to post asynchronous comments / questions about the applet (and the mathematics underlying the applet)
5. link to live discussion forum (e.g., Big Blue Button?) - a place where one can discuss the applet with others who are viewing in real-time
Our university has an Interactive media Studies (IMS) center whose mission is to support faculty who want to pursue the creation of sites such as this. The trick is to generate interest in this sort of enterprise. Frankly, I fear my presentation seemed a little too "nuts and bolts" to folks who live on the cutting-edge. For instance, my talk included no augmented reality, cellphones, avatars or 3D virtual environments. For this reason, the topic may have lacked appeal to some. The technology I'm interested in has been available since the 1990s, although not widely available in SCHOOLS. I'm interested in content that can be used in SCHOOLS with modest resources . . . as little as one or two computers with a decent internet connection and a USB camera).

My over-riding goal is to provide collaboration and communication capabilities to the masses . . .and to connect teacher preparation programs to REAL CLASSROOMS using low-cost tools . . . bring down barriers between university and K-12 classrooms, with GeoGebra being a focal point of this collaboration.

Michael Todd Edwards

On Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 11:22 AM, Maria Droujkova wrote:
I would like to bring this back into discussion. Todd, how is the prototype building going?
I have a comment about the architecture. Can you make user taxonomies (tagging) possible? As our recent effort to classify applets (Linda's thread) shows, different categories may emerge depending on how you look at collections. The ability to attach tags is a powerful way to create taxonomies.
Maria Droujkova

On Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 5:07 PM, Mike May, S.J. wrote:
Some disconnected comments.
1) I like your general idea. I have proposed similar things.
2) The best attempt I have seen at an implementation of that idea is a project Marc Renault is working on at
3) My development people have put the following blurb in an email I got today.

1) *Gates Foundation Launches Initiative to Advance 'Next Generation' of Education Tools* - the Next Generation Learning Challenges <http://nextgenlearning.com/> initiative will award grants every six to twelve months to organizations and innovators working to bring promising technology tools to more students, teachers, and schools. During the inaugural funding round, grants ranging from $250,000 to $750,000 — up to a total of $20 million — will be awarded to organizations working to increase the use of blended-learning models combining face-to-face instruction with online activities; deepen students' learning and engagement through the use of interactive applications; make high-quality open courseware more readily available; and help institutions, instructors, and students benefit from learning analytics.
November 19, 2010 Pre-proposals due
January 24, 2011 Invitations for full proposals issued
February 21, 2011 Full proposals due
http://nextgenlearning.com/the-grants/learn-more I am attaching the RFP.
I would envision something like what Marc is doing. With the focus of the RFP, I would gear it to college algebra/pre-calculus.
It would be good to have a mix of people from the math ed and math sides of the shop.
I think there would be an advantage to having a writing team that cut across a number of institutions, probably with a number of kinds of institutions.
We would probably like to at least get a like to hosting some material on Geogebra central.
It would fit with the sense of the proposal and plays to the strength of GeoGebra as an international movement.
Anyone interested in doing this?
Mike May, S.J.

Oct 14, 1:56 am From: Maria Droujkova
This sounds interesting. The content I am focusing on at the moment is Early Algebra (algebraic ideas for kids ages 3 to 7).
Joel's system is along these lines. We should all get together in our online room and talk about these ideas!
Maria Droujkova

From: Melanie
Good start. Can you add some columns? I find the description and grade level columns in this example <http://www.ccmr.cornell.edu/education/lendinglibrary/> quite helpful.