A happy discovery on Twitter, a conversation with Christian Bokhove of Southampton University led me to another home for the Wisweb widgets. Try the Digital Mathematics Environmentfrom the Freudenthal Institute.

Explore Secondary Education (also the DME Widget list)

A guest login has restrictions but you will be able to explore and use resources, many of which make excellent demonstrations.

A site very well worth exploring to become familiar with what is available and one I’ll return to.
Some examples follow:

Choose Secondary Education, Algebra and also the Algebra Widgets to explore resources such as the following :

Algebra Arrows illustrated above is excellent for exploring functions. Form inputs, operations and output by dragging them onto the main workspace, connect them up and optionally connect to a graph. Click inside any of the elements to change the content.

The Digital Mathematics Environment has much more than the original Wisweb applets – a quick glance at Secondary Education shows we have resources to explore.

Choosing Secondary Education/Algebra/Exercises – Equations/Linear equations led me to another favourite. A whole series of these exercises is available. I like the way the steps and working are clearly shown

There are useful demonstrations that could work well in class:

Choosing Secondary Education – Geometry will give you the following choices:

I am very happy to see widgets such as Building Blocks again. This is useful for demonstrating plans and elevations. I discovered I could clear a block by selecting both left and right mouse buttons simultaneously.

Statistics and Probability widgets includes a widget illustrated here on the Normal Distribution; try experimenting with the various variables.

Probability Trees could be useful for creating diagrams as the basic diagram is very easy to set up – simply enter the number of branches you require.

These versions of the excellent Wisweb applets from the Freudenthal Institute do require Java which is a problem as most modern browsers are moving away from plugins and toward standard HTML5. There are certainly issues with Chrome and Java, Oracle say “If you have problems accessing Java applications using Chrome, Oracle recommends using Internet Explorer (Windows) or Safari (Mac OS X) instead.” This too is of limited value as Microsoft Edge does not support Java, though see further information. This includes the statement that “Internet Explorer 11 and Firefox will continue to run Java on Windows 10”.

If you still get Java error messages even though you have an up to date version of Java installed, check that Java is enabled in your browser. Additionally, it may be that you need to Configure Java (see your programs list) and under the Security tab add an exception site, eg: http://www.fi.uu.nl/wisweb/ I left my security setting as high and this did solve the problem.

Try Algebra Trees for example. Form inputs, operations and output by dragging them onto the main workspace, connect them up and optionally connect to a graph. Click inside any of the elements to change the content.

Once you have tried a few of these applets you will find them intuitive to use.

Algebra Arrows for example could be used to compare different orders of operations. Build a tree, make the input x and note the output generated:

How to use Algebra Arrows

(I used Screencastomatic to create the thrilling video! This is very easy to use.)

Try this applet which shows how a solid is formed from a net, just move the red slider from 0 to 100.

There are several applets which are excellent for showing plans and elevations. The applets work well on the interactive whiteboard for demonstrating to students, they are also ideal for students to explore themselves.

Cube housesshows several models with their elevations, select drawing then 3d-model to give a model you can rotate to generate different views.

Building Houses allows you to create buildings and see the plan, front and side elevations as you build. (If that link does not work – try this).
You can add (build) or remove (break down) bricks and control the size of the square base.

Building houses with side views challenges students to construct 3D models given the plans and elevations; the task is made more challenging by specifying that as few cubes as possible should be used.

Note that in order to achieve the minimum number of cubes, ‘floating’ cubes are needed.

Note that these resources have been added to the ‘explore‘ series of pages on the companion blog for students. Update – these resources worked well with my students – they particularly enjoyed the challenge of trying to build models using the minimum number of cubes!

Readers interested in the Improving Learning in Mathematics materials note the other resources including Interactive Whiteboard resources Malcolm Swan’s excellent Improving Learning in Mathematics – Challenges and Strategies.