In Math 371 we spent the day working with Excel and showing
its uses in the math classroom particularly with statistics. From working with
it, I realize Excel does have quite a few uses in the math classroom setting.
We spent time working with the probability and statistics section which worked
quite well especially for calculating average, median, mode and all sorts of
other types of statistical data. It also had a variety of different charts
useful to plotting data. Another uses of Excel is the spreadsheet. The
spreadsheet allows students to create formulas that are useful for data. The
students can just develop an equation and then copy and paste to put different
values into it which make it easy to solve equations. However as a teacher, it
is much more useful for students to solve equations themselves and when equations
are used it is much more useful to see the graph which Excel cannot do.

This is one of the major reasons I find GeoGebra to be a
better tool for a teacher than Excel. GeoGebra contains both a spreadsheet and
a graphing section which allows the formulas to be shown on a graph. This
allows students to visualize the concept which is a huge advantage over Excel. The
spreadsheet section on GeoGebra does almost all the things the Excel version does
that are useful for doing mathematics. I personally found the Excel spreadsheet
a little bit easier to use but not enough for me to want to use Excel more due
to GeoGebras many other uses. The graphing by itself creates a huge advantage
as it allows points to be plotted to create different shapes and figures while
also doing a variety of different manipulations to the object such as
measuring, translating, dilating, reflecting, and much more useful concepts
especially in Geometry. Also after more experimenting with GeoGebra I realized
that it does have a slider tool which can be extremely effective for showing
how certain changes affect the graphs of lines and other equations. I could
find this especially useful when teaching trigonometry as students struggle to
understand how different values affect the graph of sine, cosine, and tangent
graphs so by using the slider, you can show how different values affect the
graph.

Therefore, while Excel and Geogebra both have good uses in the
math classroom, GeoGebra’s larger variety of mathematics related concepts gives
it a huge advantage in my opinion over Excel. Excel's ability to create formulas
seems like a great tool but really I do not see as many uses in the math
classroom. The formulas allow students to receive a variety of answers quickly
but in the math classroom the process is more important than the solution so it
does not have too much of a use. GeoGebra also has the same spreadsheet feature
even if it does not have all the same features but the graphing portion of it
just makes it a better option to use in the classroom. Plus GeoGebra has an app
which allows it to be used on portable devices such as iPads. And one final
remark on this concept is that GeoGebra is free to download. Free programs are
always a bonus and GeoGebra definitely gives good value for a free program.

By Jayden Streifel