Maple Learn Questions and Posts

These are Posts and Questions associated with the product, Maple Learn

I’m looking for users’ favourite tips and tricks in Maple Learn. Specifically, small pieces of advice that most people don’t know about, but that helped you create better Maple Learn documents. For instance,

  • A favorite feature that you think is hard to discover;
  • Common techniques you use when creating documents;
  • Things about Maple Learn you wish you knew when you started.

These tricks could be for newbies or for experienced users.

To start off the discussion, let me share three of my own favorite tricks in Maple Learn.

1. Using Documents from the Document Gallery

Writing a Maple Learn document from scratch can seem overwhelming, especially for beginners. A much easier way to create documents is to start with a template from the Document Gallery.

There are hundreds of Maple Learn documents in the Document Gallery, available here. Instead of writing Maple Learn documents from scratch, I like to search the gallery for documents relating to my topic. I then select a document, and just modify it slightly to get what I want.

2. Toggling from Math Mode to Text Mode

If you want to write text in a group element, it’s best to toggle to text mode (otherwise Maple Learn will treat your text as math).

While this can be done using the toolbar, there is a nifty keyboard shortcut to toggle to text mode: place your cursor at the beginning of the group element, and press the space key.

3. Using Double Arrows in Plots to Show Distance

Here’s one for the advanced users. The Vector Command lets you draw arrows on a Maple Learn plot. Combine two such arrows of the same colour going in opposite directions, and you get a double arrow (see below), which I like to use to represent distances in my Maple Learn documents.

Indeed, here is an example document where I use double arrows to provide a visualization of the product rule in calculus (plot pictured below). Notice how the double arrows (created using the vector command) represent distances in the plot.

Comment your favourite tips and tricks down below!

Since the start of the pandemic, I have been involved in online mathematics tutoring. I tried many different applications to best communicate with my students, and ended up sticking with Maple Learn. Here’s my setup, and why I chose Maple Learn.

My Setup

When I have an online tutoring session, I join a scheduled video call to “see” my students. I then open a blank Maple Learn document, and share my screen. I explain whatever I need to explain, while writing key information on the Maple Learn document. When I don’t want Learn to interpret what I write, I go into text mode; when I do (e.g. when I want to graph a function), I stay in math mode. When the class is over, I send the document’s sharelink to my students by email, so that they can access it. 

Here is an example of a Maple Learn document (pictured below) that I created while teaching trigonometry to a student. Keep in mind that I typed this while on call with the student, so the document is very simple - it only uses the most basic features of Maple Learn.

 

Why I Chose Maple Learn

My main student wants me to teach him trigonometry ahead of it being taught to him at school. For this, I need to be able to write lots of text and math easily, while on video call with him. 

Microsoft Word is not good enough for this: the equation editor is too clumsy. I also tried drawing tools where you can move your mouse to draw on the screen, but they make it too hard to write text. I even tried pointing a camera at my desk and writing the notes by hand, but my handwriting is terrible, and I could never find the right position for the camera. That’s the main reason why I chose Maple Learn: it lets me write both text and math quickly and simply, unlike many other applications.

There are some other benefits to using Maple Learn. I like that I can organize what I write in a visually appealing manner on the canvas, by moving groups around. I like that I can graph functions within Maple Learn, without having to open a graphing calculator in a separate tab. Finally, I find the sharelink feature convenient for sending the notes to my students after class.

Disclaimer: I discovered Maple Learn while working at Maplesoft during a co-op term.

Are you teaching a calculus course? Then use Maple Learn, Maplesoft’s free online product, to do so.

Below are some examples of calculus documents you can create in Maple Learn.

 

1. Documents Explaining Concepts with Interactive Visuals

Example: Visualizing the Formal Definition of the Derivative

 

2. Interactive Quizzes

Example: The Product Rule: Practice Questions

 

3. Documents Using Maple to Perform Complex Operations

Example: Taylor Series Approximation Calculator

 

Maplesoft’s learn content team has already created about 200 Maple Learn calculus documents! The full list is here. You can modify these documents easily, and use them to teach your calculus class as well.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, at Maplesoft, I have the privilege of working with some of the most talented and creative minds around. My colleagues are constantly pushing the boundaries of what we can build and what our products can do.Christmas Wreath in Maple Learn

So to close out 2021, I wanted to share a video that one of our brilliant developers, Marek, sent the company. Marek emails a greeting every year wishing his Maplesoft colleagues a Happy Holiday.  Well, this year, he stepped it up a notch and created this superb video explaining "How to decorate for Christmas using Math", where he created a wreath using Maple Learn.

Watching the video brought a smile to my face, and I know it did the same for others.

I hope this video warms your heart as it did mine. On behalf of all of us at Maplesoft, Happy Holidays!

Recently, the Maple Learn team hosted an internal Maple Learn day. The team encouraged Maplesoft employees to create Maple Learn content. A lot of art was created.

Below is a link to an example of Maple Learn art, and a picture relating to it. The document is interactive, so open it to see what it does.

Christmas Art, by Marek Krzeminski - Senior Architect at Maplesoft

If you too like to combine math and art, use Maple Learn here to create artwork yourself, and share it with us in the comments.


 

Recently I decided to compare continuity, related notions, and differentiability. Can a function be differentiable, but not continuous? What about uniformly continuous, but not differentiable? I used Maplesoft's new online product, Maple Learn (free to use at learn.maplesoft.com), to explore.

Here is a Maple Learn document I created. It is an organizational diagram, as shown below. Each rectangle in the diagram corresponds to a different property that a function may satisfy. Within each rectangle, examples are provided of functions satisfying the appropriate properties.

If you click on an example, it will be selected, and the corresponding function will be plotted in Maple Learn's context panel. Try it!

I've also created companion documents to explain certain concepts in greater detail. For instance, below is a snapshot of a document explaining uniform continuity, which you can access here.

By using sliders in the document, you can move and resize the rectangle drawn in the graph. You should notice when doing this that the green function never touches the horizontal sides of the rectangle. This turns out to be the "reason" why the function is uniformly continuous.

You can find a companion document on Lipschitz continuity here.

I’ve learnt a lot about continuity in creating the documents shown. I hope that you too have learnt something from them!

The most frequent question I get asked when presenting Maple Learn is: “How is Maple Learn different from Desmos?”  The second most frequent question is: “How is Maple Learn different from GeoGebra?”. And they are great questions! Why invest time in learning and introducing students to something new if it works and behaves exactly like something you already use? I certainly wouldn’t bother, and I can’t imagine that anyone else would either. So, in this post, I will do my best to articulate the differences as succinctly as possible, and we’ll be happy to arrange a demo for anyone who is interested in learning more.  Are you ready for another top 3 list!?

Disclaimer: Before we dive in, I’d like to start by saying that Desmos and GeoGebra are great tools. This post is not intended to disparage them. Rather my goal is to highlight the things that make Maple Learn unique.

So without further ado:

1. Maple Learn is the equivalent to doing math on paper, just better!

Maple Learn is akin to a digital math notebook. The canvas gives students the same feeling as solving a math problem on paper – the ability to work through a problem line by line, with explanations, notes, and additional calculations wherever they want them on the page – only with extras. Students can also use Maple Learn to perform tedious intermediate steps, see a graph to get a better sense of the problem, vary parameters to explore the effect on graphs and results, do a quick side calculation to double-check an individual step, and verify the final result.

2. Maple Learn takes a more holistic approach to learning

Where other tools focus predominately on visualization and getting the final answer, the Maple Learn environment supports much more of the teaching and learning experience.  Students can articulate their thought processes and mathematical reasoning using a combination of text, math, plots and images that can be placed anywhere on the canvas. Teachers can devise lessons in Maple Learn that focus not just on solving problems, but on developing skills in mathematical thinking, communication, and all the competencies and standards outlined in the curriculum. For example, instead of having your students work through the minutia of solving for x from two equations, you can create a document that focuses on having them set up the problem correctly, and then let them use the content panel to get the solution. Or you can use interactive supports, such as Algebra Tiles, to allow them to explain the concept of Completing the Square. Or give them an equation, and ask them to jot down features of the equation. The questions you can pose and the discussion that arises as a result is what sets Maple Learn apart from the rest. Because ultimately, the study of mathematics and science is about understanding, not the final answer.

3. Maple Learn is about math not commands

Maple Learn is an environment for learning math and math-based subjects, not about learning commands. So how do you perform an operation in Maple Learn? Easy! Maple Learn’s intelligent context-sensitive panel offers students a list of relevant operations to choose from, based on the mathematical equation or expression in question. This feature was first introduced in Maple over two decades ago, and it’s one of the most beloved features of students, teachers, and new Maple users, so of course we included it in Maple Learn. The context panel means that you and your students can focus on learning math not commands.

And here’s a bonus for making it all the way through:

4. You can pull math into Maple Learn really easily using the Maple Calculator

Let’s face it, for now at least, there will always be students who will feel more comfortable doing math on paper. It’s like tomato soup and grilled cheese – some things are meant to go together. So to make the transition from paper to digital easier, students can take a picture of their problem, or even their completed handwritten solution and bring them into Maple Learn instantly. That way, they can have the comfort of paper, AND the advantages of the digital environment. (I’d say something about having their cake and eating it too, but all this talk of food is making me hungry!)

One of the things I love most about my job is working and collaborating with math teachers across the globe. Every discussion leads to additional insights into the challenges facing teachers today, and new ideas on how to make Maple and Maple Learn better. And sometimes, I even learn some math I thought I already knew!

A few months ago, I introduced Maple Learn to a friend of mine who teaches high school math in Kingston, Ontario. I showed her how she could use Maple Learn to teach many concepts during our call, including Completing the Square. I walked her through Maple Learn’s free-form canvas and explained how her students could work through a problem line-by-line just as they would in their notebooks. I highlighted the live plot window and showed how her students could graphically verify that their solution was equivalent to the initial expression. And, I demonstrated the power of Maple Learn’s intelligent context panel and how her students could check their answers algebraically. I thought I had done a good job, until she said: “Karishma, that’s not how we teach Completing the Square anymore!”. Huh! I was floored. What I had shown was the way I had learned the concept so many years ago. I was surprised to learn that there was a new way.

My friend then introduced me to Algebra Tiles and how she used it to teach Completing the Square. Once we went through a few examples, I realized that I had never fully appreciated what I was doing when I completed the square. I had memorized a series of steps without really understanding what I was trying to do. The progression of our discussion naturally led to the inevitable question: “Karishma, does Maple Learn include Algebra tiles? Because that would be a game-changer for my students. Currently, we use physical tiles, but with remote learning, we need something digital.” At that time, my answer was ‘not yet’; however, with the introduction of image support last week, I’m happy to announce that Maple Learn can support algebra tiles and other interactive supports.

Here is the Maple Learn document I created on Completing the Square using Algebra Tiles.

Feel free to change the expressions listed in the document and share it with your students. To see algebra tiles in action inside Maple Learn, take a look at the short video that I created.  If you have any suggestions for improving this application, please feel free to let me know.

 


 

Yes, that’s right! You can now add images to your Maple Learn documents! Whether you’re adding a diagram to help visualize a physics concept, inserting the logo or your school or organization, or just adding a cute selfie so that everyone knows how great you looked while making this document, you can add any image you’d like using the image icon on the toolbar. You’ll need to be logged in to access this new feature, but luckily making an account is completely free!

To insert the image, just click the image icon and select the image you want from your computer or tablet. To resize it, highlight the image and click the image icon again. You can also turn the image into a hyperlink by highlight the image and clicking the link button! Now, not only will your document look snazzy, but it can take you anywhere you’d like.

Images aren’t the only exciting new feature in Maple Learn. If you were excited by all the circles in the last set of updates, then you’re going to love this one, because we’ve introduced the Circle command! Just plug in the centre of the circle and the radius, and bam, circle. What’s more, you can easily turn your circle into an arc by adding the angle measures of the two endpoints of the arc. Infinitely customizable round objects, right at your fingertips. To learn more, check out the How-To documents Using the Circle Command and Plotting Arcs.

Ancient Greek mathematicians thought that there was nothing that couldn’t be constructed with only a compass and a straightedge. A wise math professor once tasked my class with using these same tools to draw a pretty picture. With Maple Learn’s Circle function and ability to graph straight lines, you have all the tools you need to complete this same task! We look forward to seeing the results.

 

This is my second try---my previous post about the Maple Conference  https://www.maplesoft.com/mapleconference/2021/ seems to have vanished into thin electrons.

Anyway!  The conference opens tomorrow!  There are many really interesting prerecorded talks, three live plenaries, two excellent panels, and registration is free!  See the above link.

I look forward to "seeing" you tomorrow.

Rob Corless, co-Chair of the Program Committee

on behalf of the organizers

Do you have a Chromebook?  Are you a student or a teacher looking for the mighty power of Maple, but find yourself limited by your web-only computer? Well, have no fear, because Maple Learn is here!

As a web-based application, Maple Learn is fully supported by Chromebooks. You can create graphs, perform and check calculations, and share documents all within the comfort of your own browser. No need to download any kind of software—just go to learn.maplesoft.com to get started!

Students, if you’re looking for some use for your school-provided Chromebook and wondering how it can help you learn instead of just weighing down your backpack, Maple Learn can help. It’s the perfect, all-inclusive tool to help you learn, visualize, and check your math. And, if you’re looking to brush up on all that math you forgot over the summer, you can check out the Maple Learn Example Gallery, home to hundreds of examples and explanations of a wide variety of math concepts. And it’s all accessible on your Chromebook!

Calling all fans of customizable documents! What am I saying, we’re all fans of customizable documents here. Well, we’re all in luck, then, because with our latest updates to Maple Learn you can tailor even more details of your documents to your exact specifications. Read on to see what’s new!

As we all know, graphs are not merely a method of communicating mathematical concepts, but are of course an art form that can be used to display both mathematical and aesthetic beauty. But sometimes, you may find a little something getting in the way of that beauty… those darn gridlines. Even the most elegant of graphs can be tarnished by this faint, criss-crossing lines. But have no fear! With our latest updates, you can fix this problem with the click of a button. Simply select “Plot Settings” from the graph controls to the right of the plot window, and set Axes to “None”. Finally, your graph is pristine. What’s more, that’s not the only new feature we’ve added to the Plot Settings menu. You can also set the axes to “Boxed”, allowing you to see the gridline labels no matter how from the origin you are on the graph. You can also manually set the boundaries of your axes! No more scrolling and zooming to get the perspective just right.

As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve also added another exciting feature that will help make your graphs look exactly as you want them. By clicking the small graph icon to the left of your expression, you can customize the colour of your plot! You can choose from a wide variety of pre-set colours, or you can use our colour selector to get the exact shade you want. Any custom colours will be temporarily added to the bottom of the colour palette, so you can be sure that your graphs are consistent. At last, you can rest assured that your Maple Learn graphs won’t clash with your outfit.

What’s more, if you’re a fan of graph customizability, then this is the set of updates for you. We’ve added two more features that will help make your graphs both pretty and easy to understand. Tired of trying to draw shapes, only to have each side be a different colour? Well, no more! We’ve adjusted the Segment command to accept as many coordinates as you’d like, allowing you to create polygons (or just funky zigzags) to your heart’s content! As well, we’ve introduced a new command: the Label command. Now you can add text right onto the plot window and label your graph as you see fit. Or maybe you could use the Maple Learn plot window to start drafting a best-selling novel. The possibilities are endless!