5 min. screencast: Live Geometry overview

5 min. screencast: Live Geometry overview

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Microsoft sponsored a usability study for my side project Live Geometry, and I have to say, it was awesome. It was a lot of fun watching the participants using the software and I got a ton of great and useful feedback.

I have to confess, I didn’t realize that it’s not obvious how to use Live Geometry (especially if you’ve never seen it before). Since I was the one who developed the software, I subconsciously assumed that it’s all intiutive and trivial. Well guess what, it turns out to be not the case. I am not the end user. Things that are obvious for me, might not be obvious for others.

So I developed a plan on how to make things better. There are two ways: improving User Experience and investing in User Education. The former will be a slow and gradual process of me designing the features and the UI, fixing bugs, reworking the UI and thinking through UI details.

Today I’ll start approaching the task of User Education and present a 5 min. screencast – a brief overview of the Live Geometry software and its possibilities (Hint: double-click the video for fullscreen viewing):

Get Microsoft Silverlight

You can also download the .wmv file (15 MB).

More documentation will follow later, but this should at least give a quick start and give you an idea of how things work.

Any feedback is welcome!

  • Thanks :) That's great to hear! I'll definitely make sure to provide a more slow-paced and detailed tutorial at some point.

    It's just for this particular video I had a limitation of 5 mins :)

  • Fabulous tool!  I think this should be a required download for every math teacher :-)  It helps to visually convey these concepts and can make learning about geometry a lot of fun for kids.  Kudos to you on an excellent application!

  • That was wonderful. I used to teach high school math, and have been following the world of math educational tools for a while.

    Now, how do you use this to create the examples? It looks like this either can, or is very close to, be able to create animated demonstrations of concepts - with the student being able to watch the demo, try it themselves, watch it again, and so on. Possibly even with tests of their understanding....

    This could be a wonderful tool for math teachers to create (a repository of) examples. Any thoughts on that front?

  • I love this little tool you created. It's fabulous. You did a great job on it. Nice work!

  • Thanks again everyone! It's really great to hear!

    Graham: yes, definitely, educational content is one of the main goals. For now, you can just save your drawings as XML and open them up later. This already gives you a possibility to create a library of drawings that illustrate certain facts about geometry. I also plan to add step-by-step construction playback (to replay the construction as it was made), and animations (animate point A from here to here with this speed, then animate this point from there to there, then show this text for 3 seconds, then go to this hyperlink, etc. etc.)

  • Thanks Kirill!!!

    That's great tool! I love it ;)

  • Hi Kirill,

    first of all -- awesome tool!

    Second, I know I'm so stupid sometimes -- still can't solve Locus enigma :)

    I'll be appreciated if someone will explain me :)

  • GeoGebra is one fine example of educational geometry software that everyone should know about. I think you should visit their website www.geogebra.org should you ever need more inspiration.

  • Nice tool and great screencast. I like that the screencast is so condensed and quick.

    I tried the tool afterwards and was able to use it.

    One feedback on the demos: it is tricky to "reverse engineer" some of the demos, for example the Pentagon construction.

    I think this is something where Live Geometry could be improved on.

  • Thanks a lot Julien!

    Indeed, I have a plan to build in a "Step-by-step Construction Playback" tool that will have VCR-style controls to step-forward, step-back, slide-show etc. The user will be able to annotate every step with a custom text to create a PowerPoint-like presentation. Maybe even export PowerPoint slides, we'll see.

  • Very good work. I just think that GeoGebra (http://www.geogebra.org) is worth to be mentioned here: i.e. What are LiveGeometry differences / added values using silverlight in comparison to GeoGebra.

    Ignoring GeoGebra work in this domain would otherwise be misleading.

  • Hi Taoffi, thanks for your feedback. Indeed, I should have posted a link to other dynamic geometry software:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_interactive_geometry_software

    I might post a separate blog with an overview of these packages.

  • How about being able to draw any shape and superimpose it on a document or a chart in another platform.

    As an exmample if I want to open a Graph or Chart I created and then Draw A Triangle or Circle right over

    the drawing or data Im trying to measure with the Geometric Shape in real time?

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