4.9

# Geoboard, by the Math Learning Center App Review

Price: Free

### Overview

Geoboards are familiar tools for elementary and upper grade math teachers. The real-life versions have nails or pegs placed on a grid and students can place colored rubber bands around these points to create geometric shapes and conduct experiments with perimeter, area, and more. This app digitalizes the experience, and adds whole new dimensions to a traditional hands-on math learning tool.

Features include:

(Many of these features are only in the iPad version of this app.)

• 8 colors of bands
• 3 boards to use: small square, large rectangle and circular
• Fill, rotate, move and copy shapes
• Optional grid lines with and without coordinate numbers
• Text tool to write equations for shapes

### Quality

Geoboard, by the Math Learning Center is a very high-quality app.  The iPad version does offer a lot more features than the phone version, but both will allow students to learn about and experiment with shapes. The “How-To” section gives short and clear explanations of each icon, so there is ready help available to those who do not find the symbols to be intuitive. The “Overview” section just barely scratches the surface of the types of concepts that students can learn, but does give some web references to learn more about the use of geoboards for elementary, middle and high school learners.

### Education

Geoboard, by the Math Learning Center offers the virtual equivalent of a common hands-on teaching tool that will help most students learn a host of geometry, fraction, coordinate grid concepts and much more.  The app offers the familiar square geoboard, as well as a larger rectangular grid and a circular one.  Users can place digital “rubber bands” around the “pegs” to create lines, triangles, and an almost unlimited variety of polygons.  The evenly-spaced pegs allow students to quickly and easily calculate perimeter and area for squares and rectangles, and to develop formulas to calculate perimeter and area of triangles and other irregular shapes.  Young children can demonstrate multiplication and division concepts and more advanced students can examine fractions and even trigonometry.

With Geoboard, students will quickly figure out ideas about scale, size and shape.  The app’s copy, rotate and flip functions will help students learn about various types of translations, congruence, symmetry, and many other important geometry concepts.  As with many subjects, geometry is often best learned using hands-on methods, and this app offers a convenient (and easy to store!) avenue to these experiences.

### Entertainment

This app isn’t really intended to be entertaining, but many students will find a lot of satisfaction in building with the colorful, stretchy bands and the challenge of creating shapes that they envision. It’s even possible to play the traditional children’s game of Dots and Boxes, where players compete to complete and color or claim squares by connecting vertical or horizontal pegs.

Developers would really extend the independent use of this app if they included challenges for players to try, such as creating a rectangle with an area of 18 or a triangle with a perimeter of 9 units.  As it stands, students can either be left to their own devices to experiment or they can be given such challenges appropriate for their age level by teacher, parent or other adult mentor.

### Value

This app is an excellent value-it’s free!  It’s often tough to find quality free apps for the iPad that teach concepts you are looking for, but this one does a great job of teaching geometry, fraction, trig, multiplication/division and more with a hands-on experience that is hard to beat.