Demo Slam: Office Lens

Office Lens is a very simple yet useful app that instantly adjusts pictures of whiteboards, papers, and photos.

Instructions to using Office Lens:

  1. Download Office Lens from the App Store. It’s free!
  2. Open the App and select the correct setting: Business Card, Photo, Document, or Whiteboard.
  3. Take the picture of the card/photo/document/whiteboard from any angle. The app will automatically blur out the rest of the image.
  4. Capture the image and wait a few seconds for Office Lens to process the image.
  5. If you’re satisfied, click Done, and export the photo!
  6. If you’re not satisfied, click retake and try again.

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Technology Tool: Remind

Capture

Official website: www.remind.com

Remind is a service that enables teachers to communicate with students and parents via text, without having to share phone numbers. It allows teachers to send notifications to the entire class regarding upcoming assignment deadlines, test dates, field trip forms, homework tips, etc.

Forgot that the forms have to be collected by Monday? Let your students know over the weekend. All it takes is a simple text. The instantaneous nature of remind notifications is convenient in many ways, from informing students about last-minute classroom changes, to locating a missing student during a field trip.

Ultimately, remind removes the communication barrier between educators and students. Due to the nature of remind, this service has a wide variety of applications for teachers, students, and parents alike. In an era where information and communication technology is becoming increasing relevant to our lives, remind bridges the gap between technology and education.

RemindExemplar

RemindManual

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Technology Tools Implementation Idea: Desmos

Subject Area: Mathematics

Course: Calculus and Vectors

Topic: Many Topics

Task: Curve Sketching

Technology Tool: Desmos

Description

One of the fundamental skills that students are expected to develop in the study of calculus is the ability to sketch any given function. More specifically, students are expected to be able to determine the behavior of a function at various key points, through function analysis and differentiation. Curve sketching is a large part of the course, and often times, students find themselves clueless as to whether or not the curve they have sketched is even remotely accurate. This is particularly true when the function involves logarithms, long polynomials, and fractions. Often times, students check their work by plugging in certain values into their calculator, replacing ‘x’ in the function with random values.

Suggested Use of Technology Tool

It is recommended that Desmos is only used after students have already tried their best to sketch a function. There is no need to worry about typing complicated functions, as you can simply type in ‘sin’, ‘arctan’, ‘e’, ‘x^3’, ‘d/dx’, ‘log’, or ‘sqrt’. Don’t have a laptop with you in class? There’s an app for your phone!

Sketching related functions (ex: revenue and cost): Desmos allows you to graph many functions as a time. The functions are color coded, making it very easy to see the point of intersection between two function. In addition, students can define a function in terms of other functions, a very useful feature in calculus.

Checking your steps: When finding the max/min/inflection points of a graph (as required during curve sketching), students must find the function’s first and second derivatives. Desmos can graph not only the function written in the textbook, but the derivative of the function as well! Just type (d/dx) before the name of the function. In the event that a student realizes that his final curve does not look right, he or she can go back and check the accuracy of the first/second derivatives.

Checking your key points: Desmos also provides the coordinates of a function’s key points (max/min, inflection, roots). They are labelled as dots on the graph, which you can press to reveal coordinates.

Why and how would this technology tool improve student learning?

The benefit of being able graph functions on Desmos extends far beyond the fact that it can save lots of time when doing calculus homework. When students check with their calculators, they often only check points that they consider essential to the function. For instance, a student may notice that (2, 30) is a max point on the graph, and check that setting x to 2 will result in 30. However, he or she may not realize that another max exists in the function. Perhaps (2, 30) is a point on the function, but not a max! Thus, Desmos not only saves time, but provides 100% accuracy (given that the function is inputted correctly).

There is no doubt that Desmos is a very useful tool for calculus students who are perfecting the art of curve sketching! It will improve their confidence (and mark!) on quizzes, tests, and exams!

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