Embedding Interactive Graphs in Haiku

I’m a big fan of the online graphing calculator at Desmos.com. My students and I use it all the time instead of graphing calculators because it is so much faster, and it is easier to enter functions. And now I just figured out that teachers who use Haiku can embed interactive graphs into their Haiku pages!

First, create a function with sliders. For example, in the function pane, enter y = m*x + b. Desmos will automatically ask you if you want to create sliders for m and b, so click “All”.


Next, copy the embed code Desmos provides by clicking on the “Share” button at the upper right (you have log into Desmos to access the Share feature).


Now go to the Haiku page where you want to embed the graph. Click “Add Content Block” and choose “Embed the Web”. Paste the code into the yellow box:


Haiku will say it doesn’t recognize the code, but go ahead and click “OK”. Give it a title and place your content block where you wish, then hit “Save”. You should now see your Desmos graph in its own content block. When your students click on it, it will load a fully interactive grapher!



Add a Little Twitter to Your Learning Management System

I’ve been using Twitter more and more the past few months, picking up great ideas from other teachers and bloggers. Now I’m considering applications of it with my students. It would make a nice back-channel communication method for students who would like to comment on something without resorting to email. By creating hashtags for my courses, we can all have running conversations on a variety of topics. To encourage that, I’ve embedded a Twitter feed into my courses’ Moodle pages:


Now they can see the tweets my “fractad” feed is getting, as well as send a quick tweet directly to me.

Here are the steps involved in making your very own Twitter feed you can embed in your Moodle, Haiku, or Blackboard page:

1. Go to your Twitter Home page, and click on the gear icon at the top right.

2. Choose “Settings”.

3. In the menu on the left, choose “Widgets”

4. Click the “Create New” button, and select the various settings for your widget.

5. Click the “Create Widget” button, and copy the html code that will appear. Use this code to embed the widget into your LMS page.

One thing that’s very cool – you can create a Twitter feed for any Twitter user. If your school has an account, you can embed that feed into your page. Or, you might want to embed the feed of a professional organization you follow (NCTM, in my case).

If you’re relatively new to Twitter, and you aren’t sure who or what to follow, here’s a list of people and organizations that I’ve found to be very useful:

Math & Science:

@lostinrecursion (Paul Salomon)                             @rmbyrne (Richard Byrne)

@MT_at_NCTM (NCTM Mathematics Teacher)       @Mathalicious

@fnoschese (Frank Noschese, science)                  @ddmeyer (Dan Meyer, math)

@desmos                                                                   @mrbarlow (science)


@Socrative                    @Edudemic

@ASCD                        @KindleTeacher (Meg Griswold, English)

@edutopia                    @kindleworld (Andrys Basten – lots of Kindle tips)

@PatBassett (Former NAIS president)

(Chrome users: don’t forget to install the Notifier for Twitter app!)

Update: I just showed my calculus students the feed on their Moodle page, and they were incredibly excited. I’m already getting lots of interaction with them!

Make Your Own Math Widgets!

This is pretty darn neat: http://www.wolframalpha.com lets you create your own widgets that you can embed in a website, Moodle page, blog, etc. I just put together this one that plots rational functions. You input the numerator expression, the denominator expression, the plot’s xmin & xmax, ymin & ymax, and voilà! it plots the function! Now my students can spend their free time investigating all kinds of pretty graphs.