There is some really good maths software out there, both for teachers
and pupils, but I have found that many people are put off trying it
because they perceive it as too tricky to use. The aim of this section
is to banish all fears and get everyone using the best software around
NOTE: Please be aware that some of these
prices may be out of date and some of the software may be on a later
/ more updated version than I have seen.
In my opinion, Autograph is the single
greatest piece of mathematics software ever invented - big statement,
I know. The problem is, many schools have it but not enough
ae using it to its full potential. It is an incredibly dynamic
and interactive package, allowing teachers to demonstrate and
students to investigate areas of maths including: graph drawing
in 2D and 3D, vectors, transformations, angles, circles, and
every form of statistics you could imagine. Version 3.3 even
lets you easily export Autograph pages to the web. I may be
a little biased as I have written two
books to accompany the software, but there really is no
better package around.
NEW: I have also created a series
of free online Autograph activities that don't require Autograph
to be installed! Click here to
if you have version 2, please, please upgrade to Version 3.3.
I promise you will not be disappointed!
brief guide to transforming objects in autograph
are a set of tutorials i based on those I originally wrote for
my two Autograph
Activities books. I hope you and your students find them
useful for accessing what is a wonderful piece of software.
I have also started recording a series of short Autograph Video
Tutorials. Click here to have
a look at them.
Please Note: You can download a free trial of Version
3.3, so visit the website
to sort things out!
it is possible, i can whole heartily recommend getting the wonderful
Alan Catley into your school/LEA to do some training on Autograph.
He will tailor the session to match your school's individual
needs, and is truly inspirational. The link on the left takes
you to a page containing loads of Alan's free resources and
also gives you his contact details.
In my experience, GSP is one of the most
undervalued, underrated, and under-used pieces of maths software
around. It is a dynamic geometry package that many schools have,
but few really use to its full potential. It is incredibly powerful
as a demonstrative teaching tool (e.g. for teaching transformations),
but also as a means of independent learning for pupils (e.g.
for deriving circle
At first, the package is a bit fiddly and incredibly annoying
at times, but once you get into its way of thinking, you will
(hopefully) find it to be a very logical and extremely useful
piece of software
Most people have used Powerpoint before,
and the aim of these tutorials is just to help you get to grips
with all those fancy animations and all the other aspects that
can make your presentation look really impressive.
However, just be careful not to go into overkill with Powerpoint.
Whilst it can be an extremely effective teaching aid, it can
also lead to more problems than it solves if presentations are
merely clicked through lesson after lesson
Some people seem to feel that Excel is
on the way out, especially with the rise in popularity of Flash.
There is also little doubt that Autograph is a much stronger
statistics package, but excel still has a lot to offer in generating
interactive worksheets that do exactly what you want them to
do without having to get into all that nasty code
required for flash. As an added bonus it is also extremely easy
pdf to excel should you ever need to!
Please note, in order to get the most out of Excel,
you must ensure macros are enabled by changing the security
settings. Go to Tools > Macro >
Security, and select Medium.
Also, for many of the useful maths functions it is necessary
to have the RANDBETWEEN function enabled by going to Tools
> Add-Ins and ensuring the Analysis
Toolpak-VBA is selected and installed
If your school hasn't got GSP or Cabri,
then there really is no better package around than this. Completely
free, user friendly, and incredibly powerful. Hopefully the
guides below will help you get started with it.