Desmos and the Modern Math Classroom

Today, we welcome Eli Luberoff, founder and CEO of Desmos to the podcast. His math identity began to take shape when he was just four years old, but it didn’t help him stay engaged in the k-12 curriculum. To this day, he does not have a high school diploma. He does, however, have a degree from Yale. So how does a high school drop out graduate from Yale and create an ed tech tool that impacts hundreds of thousands of learners around the globe?

Accessible and Visible

He set out to make math accessible and visible. He wanted to provide a tool to do math that didn’t require a separate, expensive technology when the tech in our pockets had all the necessary computing power. Desmos is most well known for being and online, graphing calculator, and it’s free to use. I asked Eli about the business model behind Desmos. We also discussed the modern context of math, and it’s impact on math instruction. It doesn’t have to be a constant battle of relevance.

Desmos Teacher Fellow

Each year Desmos accepts applications for their teacher fellow program. The Desmos fellows gather for an intense weekend of learning face to face, and then the fellowship continues in asynchronous online learning opportunities throughout the year. Here is a link to the application.

And They Are Doing Curriculum Too?

Eli mentioned the middle school math curriculum they are piloting in the upcoming school year. I told him we’d invite him back to follow up on that work. Check it out here.

Did you miss last week’s podcast with Conrad Wolfram? It’s a good one! He really digs into the importance of computational thinking.

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2 thoughts on “Desmos and the Modern Math Classroom”

  1. Great interview, Missy! Your questions were spot on. Eli is a delight and I would go anywhere to hear him speak. (I did at the last NCTM meeting in San Diego.)

    My only “problem” with Desmos (and Geogebra) is that their interfaces are only friendly to a upper middle and high school school audience. I would prefer a blank screen with a graphing option like in Geometer’s Sketchpad. That would make Desmos a better “low floor” app. It certainly has the high ceiling well covered.

    1. Missy

      Shoot…I meant to ask him about his plans for expanding into applications for the elementary level.

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