Laptops In Lessons

Using Internet access devices in Mathematics lessons

Laptops in Maths
Top Ten

Software for Mathematics

Laptops, netbooks and TabletPCs are of little use in class if there is not software to support learning.

Graph Plotter

Some software can be very expensive while other software is free. Some software requires installing while other software can be accessed online. Whatever you choose there is a great deal of potential to support learning.

This area of the Transum website is designed to share information about the software that I personally recommend.

Top Ten Software

  1. Starter of the Day. Well no surprise here. My first recommendation is Transum's Maths lesson starters. They are designed to be projected onto the whiteboard at the beginning of a lesson and give the student a worthwhile activity to do while their laptops boot up. After that there is a student activity to do following on from the idea presented in the starter. Scroll down the Starter page to see the short URL for the students to type into their browser.
  2. GeoGebra. This is free and multi-platform dynamic mathematics software for learning and teaching. It has received several educational software awards in Europe and the USA.
  3. Equation Editor. If you use Microsoft Office you will have access to this nice piece of software which allows you to create beautiful mathematical expression. When you get used to using it you will find yourself pressing the shortcut key sequence (Alt =) more often. Other similar software has a similar tool.
  4. Microsoft Math. The application features such tools as a graphing calculator and a unit converter. It also includes a triangle solver, and an equation solver that provides step-by-step solutions to each problem, 
  5. Logo. A great way to teach the angles of a polygon and lots more. This free online version allows quick and easy access for your students.
  6. BBC Bitesize. A free revision resource for students studying their GCSEs featuring written content, interactive content, audio, video and games.
  7. TI-Nspire Student Software. Powerful computer software that satisfies Maths and Science curriculum needs from middle school through college.
  8. Calc. This free spreadsheet program provides a number of features not present in Excel, including a system which automatically defines series for graphing, based on the layout of the user's data. Whether you use Excel, Calc or the Mac equivalent a spreadsheet is perfect for investigating number patterns or handling data.
  9. Graph Plotter. This online interface (powerd by Desmos) is the quickest way to draw a graph. It has many useful features and settings and is always my first choice when a quick graph is needed. The cherry on the cake is that it is free. Wahoo!
  10. MyMaths. A subscription service providing information and exercises related to the English National Curriculum.

Because I believe 'Blended Is Best' and that a good Mathematics learning programme should include a variety of types of activity including those not involving a computer, here is some software that produces printable game pieces for group work and games. With Tarsia software you will easily be able to create, print out, save and exchange customised jigsaws, domino activities and a variety of rectangular card sort activities.

Activity Ideas

Do you have any tips for using laptops (or other portable computers) in Mathematics lessons? Click here to enter your ideas.


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