Thursday, October 27, 2016

20 Chrome Extensions, Web Apps, and Add-ons for Math

As awesome as Google tools are for students, teachers, and schools, sometimes they can lack a feature or tool you need for your specific subject area. A common area for this concern is in mathematics. Math teachers may sometimes feel that their content and specialized symbols aren’t always so easy to transfer over from the convenience of paper and pencil to the uniqueness of a digital environment.

While no solution is even going to be perfect, the good news is that there are many digital tools that can be used in the Google Apps world on Chromebooks, PCs, and Macs, that help address the needs of math students and teachers. In this blog post we are going to highlight 21 such tools. They include Chrome Web Extensions, Chrome Web Apps, and Add-ons for Docs, Sheets, and Forms. In each case they add some extra functionality that is not normally available in the standard Google tools.

Hopefully these tools will help you and your students to learn and explore math more effectively in a digital world. Moreover, many of the extensions, apps, and add-ons will actually increase your students’ options for collaboration, critical thinking, inquiry, and exploration of mathematical concepts.


Entering math expressions

1) g(Math) for Docs, Sheets, and Forms
Google Docs add-on link
Google Sheets add-on link
Google Forms add-on link
Adding mathematical expressions to Google programs can be a challenge with the normal built-in equation editor. g(Math) is an add-on that makes it much easier to create and insert expressions, graphs, charts, and more. There is even an option to draw your expression or diagram by hand, and then insert that. This add-on works inside of Docs, Sheets, and Forms.


Geometry and graphing

2) Geogebra Math Apps
Chrome web app link
GeoGebra is an interactive, dynamic math program that provides tools for geometry, algebra, spreadsheets, graphing, statistics and calculus. You can save your creations to Drive, and can access hundreds of thousands of shared resources at https://www.geogebra.org/materials



3) Desmos Graphing Calculator
Chrome web app link
Desmos is an easy-to-use but powerful graphing tool that handles graphing, variable sliders, tables, statistics, zooming, points of interest, inequalities, and more.



4) RoboCompass
Chrome web app link
This web app is a virtual version of geometric constructions. You can select and order commands to use the compass and straightedge to create circles, angles, polygons, bisectors, and other constructions.



5) Tinkercad
Chrome web app link
Tinkercad is a 3D modeling web app that lets you build with a wide range of three-dimensional shapes, and then modify the solids’ size, shape, color, and other attributes. Finished products can be saved and sent to your 3D printer.



Charts and Stats

6) Plotly
Chrome web app link
Plotly makes it easy to create line graphs, bar charts, heatmaps, histograms, box plots and more; import data from files and Google Drive; analyze data with fits, functions, stats, and more; and collaborate and share projects.



7) Statistics
Google Sheets add-on link
This is an add-on for Google Sheets that does statistical analysis of your data including summarizing a single variable (histograms, means and standard deviations, and frequency distributions), summarizing the relationships between pairs of variables (scatterplots, contingency tables, stacked boxplots), and fitting a regression model.



8) WebPlotDigitizer
Chrome web app link
WebPlotDigitizer is a reverse graphing tool. You start by importing any image with a graph or a scale, and then use the web app to identify the graph line and extract the numerical data from image. The tool can also be used on images with a scale to measure simple distance and angles. This is a great to work backwards from a graph to study the underlying data.



9) Random Generator
Google Sheets add-on link
This add-on for Google Sheets can create datasets of random information including numbers, dates, text, true/false, and more. This can be a useful way to generate data when investigating probability and data analysis.



Measuring tools

10) MB-Ruler for Chrome
Chrome web extension link
This extension gives you a pop-up protractor that overlays your screen. You can move, rotate, and resize the floating protractor as needed to measure any angle. There is also an option to create a resizable grid overlay for your screen.



11) Edge: The Web Ruler
Chrome web app link
This web app launches a floating ruler which can be moved and resized as needed. Options include choice of unit (inches, centimeters, or pixels), vertical or horizontal orientation, and always on top mode.



Calculators

12) Calculator
Chrome web app link
This is Google’s official calculator app for Chrome OS. It is a clean and simple calculator with 29-functions for basic arithmetic, algebra, trigonometry and discrete math.



13) GED Calculator
Chrome web app link
This is scientific calculator app is unique for its focus on fractions. You can directly enter fractions, as well as perform operations with fractions, convert between fractions and decimals, convert between mixed numbers and fractions, and more.



14) Basic Calculator
Chrome web app link
When they say “Basic” they really mean it! A very simple 4-function calculator app.



15) Melanto Calculator Extension
Chrome web extension link
This is a simple-to-use pop-up calculator with standard and scientific functions.



Math interactives for lower grades

16) Geoboard
Chrome web app link
This app provides you with virtual geoboards and rubber bands to make line segments and polygons to investigate perimeter, area, angles, congruence, fractions, and more.



17) Pattern Shapes
Chrome web app link
This apps gives you unlimited virtual pattern blocks in seven different shapes. Students can place and rotate shapes, build larger shapes, explore symmetry, make patterns, measure angles with a virtual protractor, and more.



18) Number Pieces
Chrome web app link
With this app you and your students can use virtual base ten unit blocks with ones, tens, and hundreds, to represent multi-digit numbers, regrouping, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing.



19) Money Pieces
Chrome web app link
This web app lets you and your students work with virtual coins and bills including representing money, showing money value as area models, converting money into different units, annotating, and more.



20) Fractions
Chrome web app link
This web app lets you and your students create fractions with denominators from 1 to 100 using circle and bar shapes. These fraction visualizations can be colored in, labeled, moved, superimposed, and more to represent, compare, and perform operations on the fractions.


Conclusion

Hopefully you have discovered some new tools to try out, or have been reminded of a tool you have been meaning to dig deeper into. Use the comments below to share how you and your students use these tools, as well as share any other of your favorite math extensions, web apps, or add-ons not mentioned in the post.


Post by Eric Curts. Connect with Eric on Twitter at twitter.com/ericcurts and on Google+ at plus.google.com/+EricCurts1

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