Home » Designs » Graphing in Groups

Graphing in Groups


In Graphing in Groups, students work alone or in pairs to construct graphs of linear functions by using their respective iOS devices to move points in a shared Cartesian window. The Graphing in Groups Hubnet model allows a teacher to view and display the graphing windows for all student pairs. Two pairs, one yellow and one green, can form lines on in each graphing window. As students move their points in their respective graphing windows, they can mark select locations to form lines, the y=mx+b equation for which is displayed above or below the graph. This configuration allows students to participate in a variety of structured or open-ended collaborative mathematics tasks involving generating lines with particular properties—a specific slope or intercept, a parallel or perpendicular relationship to another group’s line, passage through a select point, and so on.

With the Graphing in Groups application students can

  • give their point a custom name
  • use arrow keys to move their point on a Cartesian graph
  • draw lines between their point and a second point
  • learn about y=mx+b, by observing the effect of point movement on the equation
  • use the camera or photo library to generate graphing background images
  • change the scale of their graphs
  • work individually, using a second point to construct their own lines
  • work collaboratively, seeing their partner’s point, creating lines together
  • send photos and graphing commands to the teacher’s computer, for the whole class to see


Application Screen Shots: iPod and iPad

screen shot of application running iPod in collaborative mode
iPod client for Graphing In Groups
screen shot of application running on iPad in collaborative mode
iPad version of Graphing In Groups

NetLogo Screen Shots

Screen shot of NetLogo - two groups of two lines each.
Collaborative mode: 4 groups of 2 students
screen shot of NetLogo model for graphing in groups
Collaborative Mode with photo background

Get The Application

The Graphing in Groups application runs on iOS devices and can be downloaded for free from the iTunes store by clicking on the Download icon:


The application can be used in one of two mode: 1) individual, standalone mode and 2) as a client in a networked, collaborative classroom setting. Detailed instructions for using each of the two modes can be found on the following pages. Note, it will be necessary to install additional software to use Graphing In Groups in collaborative mode.

Getting Started

The Graphing In Groups application can be used individually to experiment with points, lines and the existence of linear features in nature. The Getting Started instructions cover the basic functionality of the application for both individual and collaborative mode.

Using Collaborative Mode

Graphing In Groups can also be used in collaborative mode, connecting each student with an iOS client to a classroom network. Additional hardware and software are required to use collaborative mode. The Collaborative Mode instructions cover all additional requirements and additional commands.


White, T., Wallace, M., & Lai, K. (2012). Graphing in groups: Learning about lines in a collaborative classroom network environment. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 14(2), 149-172.