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What I think about Coordimate

(This post has been updated following an email from Ron Chinitz)

Here’s a new product vying to knock the set square off its throne as Least Useful Tool in the Pencil Case.

CoordiMate is a rubber stamp which prints a teeny tiny set of axes. It’s supposed to help you with your homework.

… for the week or two that you spend learning how to graph functions.

It’s currently the subject of a Kickstarter hoping to raise $25,000 so it can go into full production. Just watch this pitch video.

The inventor, Ron Z Chinitz, is currently an economics undergraduate. That might explain how he’s put together such a competent business plan, and also why he thinks this tool might be useful.

Apart from a reference to his calculus teacher extolling the importance of accuracy when “doing graphing problems”, he doesn’t seem to have sought any input from teachers or non-students about whether a tool to print a set of axes for you is a good thing.

The Kickstarter page says the tool is 2.5″ across, which I think makes the graph axes at most about 3.5″ long. That’s far too small!

This is how I draw a graph:

sketch graph

I know we have quite a few teachers among our readers, so I’d like to ask what you think. Would you prefer it if your students used CoordiMate? Have I vastly underestimated the amount of time students spend drawing graphs that would fit in its template? It all feels a bit Chindōgu.

Top Twitter teacher John Golden tweeted about it, and the ensuing replies seem to indicate that real teachers are equally unimpressed by CoordiMate.

Via Dan Anderson on Twitter, I discover that this is not a new market: a company called Center Enterprises already makes all sorts of fun maths stamps. They’re not as posh as CoordiMate, but was that really the selling point?

Anyway, it looks like a good few people think this is a good idea – at about the halfway mark, the Kickstarter has raised over \$10,000 of its \$25,000 target. Maybe I should try to get in touch with someone who’s ordered one.

logo

The logo is very nice, though. I’d like a stamp of that.

More information

CoordiMate website

CoordiMate on Kickstarter

7 Responses to “What I think about Coordimate”

  1. Jimi

    I’m not a teacher so mine is another unhelpful layman opinion, but it seems like it does one of the things that a ruler does, but none of the other things that a ruler does, and it’s completely inflexible (as in it only works one way, although it’s also less flexible than one of those plastic shatter-proof rulers).

    Personally I think a useful version of this could be a whiteboard version? It’s probably a lot more of a hassle to hold up a yardstick and draw a pair of axes on a vertical surface than it is to draw them on a piece of paper. Then again a gigantic cross wouldn’t be very handy or practical either.

    Back to the drawing board….

    Reply
  2. Andrew Taylor

    I suppose my issue is with the claim that “every semester, you’ll probably have to draw thousands of [pairs of axes]”. It’s not clear how many “thousands” is but let’s say 5,000. That’s the number of stamps they guarantee your Coordimate is good for, so already you’re buying a new Coordimate every semester which is a bit crap. Come on, guys, sort it out.

    Also, they claim a pair of axes takes 30s to draw. That seems at least a 100% overestimate to me, but let’s use their numbers. Drawing 5000 pairs of axes at 30s each takes more than a working week. If a US semester is about 15 weeks that means you’re spending fully $\frac{1}{15}$ of your time at college drawing axes which seems to completely justify this invention and unlikely.

    Reply
  3. Tim Fieldsend

    First time visitor. First thing I saw was Coordimate logo. Liked logo, thought “very clever wordplay”. Assumed it was specialist dating site for mathematicians. Disappointed.

    Reply
  4. Sandra Kivett

    I’m a current math teacher and math tutor….you are spot-on with this! While people outside today’s education field are relying on their own past math experiences, people who are in the field understand the workload. Saving even ten minutes a day AND having more accurate graphs will help reduce frustration on everyone’s part. I’ll be ordering a teacher set! THANK YOU!

    Reply
  5. Emmett

    I got it because I love school supplies and I actually do a pretty fair amount of graphing in my day to day life. Itd be much more useful if it was bigger. Ive got some things going on that i cant quite fix and Id rather have a big, ugly, crooked graph i can read than a perfect little one i cant see at all. My mothers a teacher and my friends who are in my math oriented classes agree that its a decent idea but its again far too small to be useful. Its also pretty expensive for a stamp. Im pretty sure their are etsy shops that would let me order a custom stamp similar to this in the right size and for cheaper.

    Reply

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