Home > Technical Support > FAQ > Starting New

FAQ: Starting New

I'm a new Sketchpad user. Where should I start?

We recommend starting with the Getting Started Tutorials in the Learning Center - which is accessible from the Help menu in Sketchpad. These tutorials describe brief activities that introduce you to essential Sketchpad techniques and operations. If you complete them all, you'll have a very broad overview of Sketchpad's features and capabilities. These tutorials are also a useful tool if you are interested in introducing other new users to Sketchpad. You can find more information about professional development opportunities here.

We also recommend you take some time to browse the example documents that come with Sketchpad (Click on the link for Sample Sketches & Tools in the Help menu). These examples showcase some of the range of mathematics that can be explored with Sketchpad, and may inspire you to try applying to new material some of the techniques you've already learned.

If you're a teacher, don't worry too much about becoming expert in Sketchpad before sharing it with your students. Students often learn new software best by activity-guided or free-form exploration and by trial and error. Read and watch other teachers' experiences in the Teaching with Sketchpad section of the Learning Center. Consider starting your students directly on one of the activities from the library of more than 40 classroom-ready Sample Activities in this section. These activities are organized by subject area and level and address a wide array of mathematical topics. Each activity includes an overview, teaching notes, student worksheet, and sketches as needed. Encourage students to share with each other what they've learned, and they'll be up to speed in no time.

Finally, the program's contains the Reference Center accessible from the Help menu. Consult it when using the software when you want to know more about a particular tool, dialog box, menu command, or program feature. Most dialog boxes have a Help link embedded in them that take you to the relevant page in the Reference Center.