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.
If you want to look ahead beyond Java then try the Digital Mathematics Environment from the Freudenthal Institute.
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 houses shows several models with their elevations, select drawing then 3d-model to give a model you can rotate to generate different views.
Readers familiar with the excellent Improving Learning in Mathematics materials may recognise the applets for building houses; these are described in SS6 – Representing 3D shapes which has suggested lesson activities and describes the applets (see pages 4 and 5).
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 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.