I would like to use this post as a shout-out… an atta way… an unpaid advertisement, if you will.
There are a lot of tech tool providers out there. Not all of them want to work with you. Not all of them want to hear your feedback. Not all of them provide their products openly for free on lots and lots of different platforms. (In fact, I sat in a focus group with an instructional tech developer once. The producct in question was being sold to districts for $10,000 per building. When we all picked our jaws up off the floor they said that they set the price high on purpose. If too many people bought it, they didn’t think they would be able to properly support everyone who was using it.)
Desmos is not any of those things. I’ve never gotten responses from instructional tech providers and developers quite like I’ve gotten from the folks at Desmos. I have two anecdotes that will help illustrate this.
— Desmos.com (@Desmos) January 26, 2015
I want to make sure you clicked both my “made this” and their “few possible ideas.” If you didn’t do that, do it now. Do you see the difference? Do you see what happened there? They took the little bit of an idea that I had and added to it stuff that I didn’t even know how to make Desmos do. The tweets that followed were an exchange between them and me that helped me learn how to do that stuff.
That was a unique event. That had literally never happened to me before. The developer of the tool reached out to my feeble attempt to use their tool and personally improved it and instructed me all the while giving me the credit?
At least it was unique until it happened again. Last week I had an idea. This idea. And I tweeted out the post. And then…
— Desmos.com (@Desmos) June 6, 2015
Once again, be sure that you check out their idea compared to mine. Mine was a nice start (I hope you see the progress I’m making learning how to use the tool). There’s was expert level. The folks at Desmos are eager to build on the ideas of the educators who are trying to put their free tool into play in the classroom.
If you haven’t gotten a chance to try some Desmos work? Maybe consider redesigning a lesson and then, just maybe, they’ll have a few ideas for you, too.