GBM reader Kevin Bals passed along some information that educators might find interesting. Key Curriculum Press is apparently adding support for Tablet PC functionality in its next version of Geometer’s Sketchpad. A little bit of background on Sketchpad from the Key Curriculum site:
With Sketchpad, students can construct an object and then explore its mathematical properties by dragging the object with the mouse. All mathematical relationships are preserved, allowing students to examine an entire set of similar cases in a matter of seconds, leading them by natural course to generalizations. Sketchpad encourages a process of discovery in which students first visualize and analyze a problem and then make conjectures before attempting a proof.
The following is a blurb that Kevin received via email from Key Curriculum Press regarding the upcoming support for Tablet PCs:
“At the User Group meeting, Nick Jackiw announced the coming release of Sketchpad 4.07. This release will contain a number of minor improvements for all users, and particularly for those of you with the new Intel-based Macintosh computers or with Windows tablet PC computers. This update will be available in August, in time for the start of school, and will be free to all current Sketchpad users.”
Kevin added the following comments from his blog:
While the email did not mention what specific enhancements will be included in the update, this is welcome news. I contacted Key Curriculum a month or so ago and asked them about adding the ability to annotate right on the sketches. I was told that this was being considered. Hopefully the ability to write on sketches is in the upgrade. Geometer’s Sketchpad is a powerful software application for all levels of mathematics, not just geometry.
In another of Kevin’s posts, I learned that his school gave all Math and Science teachers tablet pcs. It appears that educators and education focused ISVs are seeing the natural use that Tablet PCs have in the learning process.
Thanks for the info, Kevin. I’m subscribed to your blog!