This paper contrasts two types of educational tools: a route-type series of so-called statistical minitools (Cobb et al., 1997) and a landscape-type construction tool, named Tinkerplots (Konold & Miller, 2001). The design of the minitools is based on a hypothetical learning trajectory (Simon, 1995). Tinkerplots is being designed in collaboration with five mathematics curricula and is open to different approaches. Citing experiences from classroom-based research with students aged ten to thirteen, I show how characteristics of the two types of tools influence the instructional decisions that software designers, curriculum authors, and teachers have to make.
- Prof Dev