A desktop application to read and write interactive worksheets allowing embedded graphs, calculations and answerable questions. Possibily as an additional value-added task, a public website where teachers and/or students can share their own worksheets. This may be something that can share ideas with http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Math4Team
The plan is to build in Python, utilising useful modules such as matplotlib and numpy, allowing readable rendered text and equations alongside executable code in a single document. This document will be readable and executable - providing the opportunity for students to experiment with changing values etc, generating graphs/diagrams/results as required to aid understanding.
This is similar in concept to worksheets available in MathCad Explorer such as the ones here http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/msn/book/worksheets.html and the work done here on WebLab http://www.physics.ox.ac.uk/users/santoso/Software.WebLab.html as well as embedded objects in Sage notebooks.
The difference between these applications and the expectation of this project is the target audience. This application needs to have a comparitively simple interface, lowering the barrier to entry and allowing more teaching material to be created and shared.
Target audience is teachers of children aged 10-18, for aiding independant learning.
The worksheets would be written by teachers, and they can allow editable sections for answers, or to try different values in graphs/diagrams/equations.
If the software was set up in a school (one usage scenario) it could be configured to return results to a server. Worksheets could return statistics from integrated questions allowing teachers to target areas of weakness amongst the students.
I've been developing in Python for 4-5 years now, since before I began my degree. I carry with me an interest in improving education from when I was myself at school, and believe much more could be done to improve the current situation. I like the idea of freely available education material, and believe that teachers - rather than large publishers - should be empowered to provide this material by working together.
I've also done two summer placements working in C++ and completed a medium sized group project in Java.
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org, msn:email@example.com
Start of program:
- Establish useful areas to focus on
- Establish requirements
- Investigate similar applications and their methodologies.
- Develop GUI interface, with functionality to add text
- Develop code embedding functionality, allowing a document to be executed
At the midterm I hope to have a functional application that can save and load documents. Simple code can be embedded (just python, not necessarily any libraries)
- Work on other potentially embeddable objects - graphs, equations, diagrams. Establish a common interface that can be used.
- Documentation - User guides for both teachers and students. Create interactive worksheet to guide them through adding code etc.