20 Things You Didn’t Know About Desmos

If you’re an educator in the public or private school system, then there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of Desmos. If you’re not in this line of work and don’t deal with calculators, then you may not even know what it is. If this is the case, don’t feel bad because there are a lot of people who have never heard of it, so we’re here to share 20 things that you didn’t know about Desmos but might find helpful.

1. Desmos is a graphing calculator on steroids

Eli Luberhoff founded Desmos in 2011. It’s a startup that was launched at the New York TechCrunch Disrupt conference. Luberhoff is a graduate of Yale University who double majored in math and physics. He invented the advanced graphing calculator as well on a web application format and in a mobile app as well. The program is written in JavaScript.

2. Some States allow it to be used in their standardized testing

This super-high-functional graphing calculator has been approved for use in some standardized testing environments. The State of Texas has allowed a modified version of this model to be included for test taking in their Assessment of Academic Readiness Test. Teachers who wish to grant their students with access to the online or mobile version of the calculator may do so by creating a teacher account and selecting the activity modules option for classroom use.

3. Desmos creates graphs from equations

While this is nothing new, what’s really cool about Desmos is that as you’re writing equations through the Desmos Whiteboard, the interactive calculator actually graphs the equations at the same time. You can watch the graph appear as you enter in the data and it draws the equations instantly. If you add updates to the equation, you can watch it make the appropriate changes to the graph right before your eyes.

4. Desmos can be used by all ages

The Desmos application may sound high tech and it truly is, but it can be used by people of any age from kindergarten through the college years and beyond that. We’re living in a new generation where children are learning to use technology like this much earlier than before. The program can be modified to fit any age group. It teaches children how to become comfortable with using a calculator and this is becoming more important as classrooms within the public education system are using them to solve problems more widely.

5. Desmos is an evolution in graphic calculation

When you think about how difficult it was for some struggling college students to be able to afford one of the old TI-83 graphics calculators, Desmos offers a new approach. It can be downloaded onto any laptop, tablet or smartphone and used for free on an instructor account. Desmos is an example of how far we’ve come with regard to technology. This is also an example of how technology is influencing our society and shaping the way that we learn. It’s now become a necessity and Desmos makes it easier for students to gain access to the technology that they need. You’ll never have to worry about losing a calculator or breaking one of the higher priced units again.

6. Google helped to finance Desmos

Here’s a fun and novel fact that you probably didn’t know about Desmos. Google saw it as a good investment and their venture division called Google Ventures raised the amount of investment capital for the new company to over $1 million to invest in Desmos when it was just getting started. This allowed the Desmos team to grow and to expand beyond their 8 person team. Google joins Kapor Capita, Kindler Capital, Elm Street Ventures and Learn Capital who have invested an additional $800,000 in startup capital for the company.

7. Desmos has gone international

In the short time after the launch of Desmos, it has practically gone viral throughout the world. It’s being used in 169 countries throughout the world. Desmos is a phenomenon that is spreading all over the planet. Although the company is not yet in a position to share the actual numbers of users who are enjoying the program, they have shared that the number has grown by 10X and it continues to grow by the time spent per visit so it’s apparent that the app is getting a lot of use.

8. Desmos makes math more appealing

This is a great new tool for anyone who has had problems with math in the past. The app is designed to make math more engaging so it’s actually easy to use and fun. This is good news for those who would like to say they understand math, but really are frightened of it because of negative experiences in the past. Creating graphs from equations can sound intimidating but using Desmos to accomplish the task is actually a lot of fun and when you’re having fun, the mind is more open to learning and it does become easier to absorb the concepts and to retain them.

9. The Desmos site keeps cool examples

You may not have had much interest in math or graphing before, but a few moments on Desmos may change your opinion. The site saves many of the designs that have been saved by other users and it actually showcases them. Some are very simple designs while others are actually novel and interesting. You’ll find everything from Pokemon characters Superman or smiley faces and more. It’s really inspiring to see how Desmos can be used to complete educational work assignments as well as for goofing around and having a lot of fun by creating designs through math.

10. Desmos may be the ultimate tool for teachers and students

In times when public schools are receiving cuts to their budgets and have limited resources for teaching students, Desmos is an option that gives teachers one amazing resource that can be applied to a few different disciplines. So far, it’s completely free, so this in itself will be helpful. What it means for both teachers and students is that it’s going to save the cost of purchasing expensive graphing calculators. Some parents also find it difficult to budget for expensive devices which were previously required for high schools, colleges and even in some middle school classes. It’s a great resource for everyone involved.

11. Desmos has implications for other professions

It’s immediately apparent the value that Desmos has for teachers and students. It’s also useful for many other professions. Designers are also finding it to be a tremendous tool for creating new designs for their businesses and new product lines. The most wonderful aspect of Desmos is that it has so many potential uses and it simplifies many processes for amateurs and professionals.

12. You can save your work through Desmos

Here’s another cool feature of using the Desmos app. Users are allowed to create their own user accounts. All of the work that you do on the site can be saved to your account. When you leave the site and return at a later time it will all be there just as you left it. You can save the graphs that you created as well as the plots that you created to make the graphs. You can also create a permalink so you can share your graphs with others and if you’re really lucky, your graph may even be considered for a staff pick and highlighted for the enjoyment of other users. Of course, you have to authorize them to do so first.

13. Desmos might disrupt physical calculator sales

The ultimate goal of Desmos is to replace the current class of graphing calculators with their online system. There is the potential for users to have a far better and more comprehensive experience because the tools are easy to use and it provides great visual displays that are easily saved and retrieved at a later time. The new app is not only representative of an evolution in this type of educational device, but it’s also a bit on the revolutionary side as it may well change the way that we use graphic calculation tools. While the handheld model isn’t likely to completely disappear, who knows? They may be replaced in the near future.

14. Desmos represents a new way to learn

The potential for the Desmos app and any future applications developed from the prototype can change the way that learners experience math. It may be a breakthrough that is more useful in giving students hands-on activities that are both engaging and inspiring to make them want to learn more while learning how to use the technology in a different setting than through traditional classroom instruction. It not only teaches new users how to use the tool, but they also learn a great deal about the mathematics that are involved with the process of graphing.

15. Desmos is useful for building lesson plans

Teachers from around the world are already experiencing the usefulness of Desmos in building lesson plans. Although there are plenty of online resources for doing this already, Desmos offers a different approach. It’s great for making lesson plans that students will want to follow because the tasks are very much hands-on and fun, making them great interactive assignments that students of all ages will enjoy. Some of the subjects that it’s useful for include, of course, mathematics, science, geography, the periodic table and much more.

16. Desmos does more than graphing equations and inequalities

There is so much that this useful application is capable of doing that we probably couldn’t list them all here. It’s a math teacher’s ultimate resource as it can be used for creating features lists, regressions, plots, graph restriction, interactive variables, polar function graphing, piecewise function graphing, simultaneous graphing, two different graphing grid types and other computational features that you would find in a graphing calculator.

17. Desmos is available in different languages

When it comes to the language barrier, Desmos is the tool that will break through them. It’s already used in a variety of different languages. It’s used in 169 different countries currently and the application can be created in any language, as well as translated with a good language translation program. This could be the tool that gives everyone around the world something in common, even if we don’t speak the same language. The language of math is universal.

18. You can use Desmos offline

While Desmos is an application that is used offline, there is a built-in option that allows you to switch from online to offline mode and the transition is fast and easy. Another really cool feature of Desmos is that multiple users can collaborate on building a lesson and then publish the work then embed it.

19. The developer wants Desmos to remain free to users

It is the intention of Luberoff to keep Desmos free to anyone who wants to use it. This is something that will be under his control unless other partners gain control of the company, as we’ve seen happen on so many occasions. We’ll all just need to cross our fingers and hope for the best because this unbelievably practical and useful program is benefiting so many already, and there are more who have yet to hear about it.

20. What’ on the horizon for Desmos

Desmos is in its beta phase and it’s being thoroughly tested by users. Any bugs in the system will still need to be worked out if there are any that is, but there are plans to move ahead with the technology and who knows, it may one day come out installed in new electronics. There is a bright future ahead for the company as the new app has such tremendous potential for opening up new vistas in the way that education is delivered in public and private schools throughout the world. Luberoff even indicated that the company has started talks with digital textbook publishers about forming partnerships for making their products more interactive by design.


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