Although the Desmos application is mainly associated with the field of mathematics, the online educational tool has evolved a lot since its creation and can easily be used in all school disciplines, both at primary and secondary level.
Frédéric Ouellet, educational advisor at the Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup school services center, and Stéphanie Rioux, advisor at the RÉCIT national service, in the field of mathematics, science and technology, have been using Desmos for many years.
“We want to undo the myth that Desmos is limited to mathematics. The application offers several possibilities for teachers of all school levels, ”says Stéphanie Rioux. This is what she demonstrated, with her colleague, during the workshop Desmos for all disciplines, presented at the recent AQUOPS conference.
If, initially, the application was limited to a graphing calculator, specifically designed for mathematics students at 2e secondary cycle. Over time, it has evolved tremendously, especially over the past year. Note that Desmos is completely free for everyone. You just need a Desmos account or a Google account to access it. Links are also possible with Google Classroom.
Real-time interactive activities
It is the “virtual classroom” function of Desmos (student.desmos.com and teacher.desmos.com) which allows teachers to create multiple interactive activities for students (association of cards, choice of answer, open answer to be written. , elements to be placed on an image (card or other), scheduling, etc.).
And beware, virtual classroom does not mean "at a distance", as the two presenters specified. The activities can very well be experienced in the classroom.
Moreover, Stéphanie Rioux specifies that Desmos is a tool intended to stimulate discussions, to lead a specific activity, in short to boost live teaching. Some functions are specifically designed for this purpose.
In particular, the teacher can put a sequence of activities "on pause" so that the pupils stop working for a while (to give an additional explanation, for example). He can select an activity and it instantly appears on the screen of all the students. It can limit students' work on a few specific activities for a period of time. It can isolate responses, anonymize them, and show them off to everyone to spark a group discussion.
Finally, the teacher has access to a dashboard which gives him a real-time portrait of the completion of the activities (which student completes which activity, what has he completed so far, etc.). He can also give written feedback to the student. For the moment, it is one-sided, but students may soon have the opportunity to respond to the teacher, according to Frédéric Ouellet.
In addition :
Several resources are presented in the presentation Desmos for all disciplines, whose :
Self-study First step with Desmos on Campus RÉCIT
Facebook group Desmos pedagogues
Facebook group Math differently
CréaCamp training on the activity creator Desmos, live on April 16 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on registration.