A few days ago, I was teaching a girl mathematics, specifically, optimization with linear programming.

We needed to draw a graph and get the vertices then use the vertices to get the maximum and minimum value from a function.

The goal is to get the max and min value, but the process requires drawing a graph.

After explaining with an example, I asked her to solve a question and she protested thus;

“Mr. why should I draw a graph when I can use desmos.com to graph and just get the vertices?”

I gave her opinion some thought for a second and then allowed her to use the online graphing calculator on her computer.


The truth is we can’t continue teaching in the traditional way and expect a modern result.

We can’t be teaching like we are in the stone age and expect students to be 21st century compliant in the workplace.

In today’s workplace, you don’t need graph drawing skills with pencil and paper because there are softwares that can do it better than you, no matter how smart you think you are.

The skill you need is an analytical skill to make sense of the data. Since what the girl needed is to get vertices to further make meaning out of it, why bore her with graph drawing task when she can deploy that cognitive capacity into something more valuable such as analysis.

So, we used desmos.com on her PC to get the graph and we eventually discuss that. That is a better way to teach in this century.

She taught me how to teach her in the 21st century way. And I appreciated it.