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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

8 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
      • Sachin

        I think that the coordimate is a good tool for students who have problems with hand-eye coordination in drawing good x- y axis. This takes a lot of time. With the coordimate all they need to do is to stamp in their graph paper and move along in learning the concepts. For the teachers it saves time for creating quizzes and other other math related assessments.

        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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