### An ‘Alive’ DGS Tool for Students’ Cognitive Development

#### Abstract

*Abstract*— A basic goal of the current study, which is an excerpt from a larger study, is to analyse students’ interactions in the context of their working on transformations of tools, and specifically of custom tools in a microworld, the Geometer’s Sketchpad. Custom tools are encapsulated objects created in a DGS environment. The construction of a custom tool and its subsequent implementation in a pair of students are the focus of this study. Custom tools can serve as structural units of knowledge, as conceptual objects and hence as ‘schemes’. Moreover, they can become an ‘alive’ active tool for students’ cognitive development. The paper will include the following parts: (a) how students learn in a constructivist framework; (b) a description of the van Hiele model, and especially the meanings of ‘symbol and signal character’; (c) how a DGS environment functions as an ‘alive’ microworld; (d) the role of artifacts-[custom] tools as instruments-[custom] tools; (e) the research methodology of the current study (f) a detailed description of the experimental process (g) discussion and conclusion.

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