Helping maths to get back to the future Texthelp
Friday, 14 June 2019
Edited and compiled by Robert J Smith @RJS2212
'Texthelp - Helping maths to get back to the future’ is a blog post by Alan Sharpe, Education Sales Executive and exhibitor Texthelp who will be at #MathsConf19.
The maths department has often been overlooked by edtech developers, but change is coming...
Today’s ‘always-on’ digital culture means students are rarely found without a smartphone in hand, and the virtual world at their fingertips is just as important as the physical. Technology in the learning environment is important for creating experiences which engage today’s modern learners, and that’s why educators are keen to harness the value of technology in the classroom. In fact, UK schools spend more than £900m a year on education technology - in some cases, iPads are replacing notebooks, mobile apps are being used for collaborative group work, and teachers are providing valuable 1:1 instruction through technology. While education technology is rapidly transforming teaching and learning, it sometimes seems that maths has been left behind in the rush.
Getting the maths class back to the digital forefront
Despite maths being the first subject to incorporate tech with the pocket calculator in the 80’s, it is often left behind in today’s tech-inspired classrooms. Complex coding language makes it challenging for both teachers and students to create digital maths, and therefore, the valuable supports that EdTech tools provide across the rest of the curriculum cannot be easily integrated in the same way. Supports that help students to access and process content, such as text to speech; prediction, inputs in multiple formats; and, the flexibility to work collaboratively and instantaneously in shared workspaces. At Texthelp, we wanted to make sure that access to EdTech is available across the entire learning journey. That’s where EquatIO fits in.
With benefits for both students and teachers, EquatIO digitises maths. Teachers can quickly and easily create digital maths content that is engaging and accessible for all students, while students can explore maths concepts in a way that best suits their unique needs and learning preferences.
It also offers a huge leap forward for accessibility and inclusion, allowing learners with diverse needs to engage and interact with content in ways that are easier for them.
EquatIO helps all students express themselves
When it comes to expressing their knowledge with EquatIO, students can choose to handwrite, dictate or type their solutions.
As student’s type, EquatIO predicts the expression the student is typing, so they don’t need to memorise every tricky formula in the maths language. As students speak, EquatIO ignores the ‘umms’ and ‘errs’ so only the maths appears on the screen, just like magic. And for those students who prefer to scribble down their thoughts, the handwriting feature transforms student writing into digital (legible), accessible text.
Not only that, but students can use EquatIO mathspace digitises maths. Teachers can quickly and easily create digital maths content that is engaging and accessible for all EquatIO mathspace, a web-based application similar to a digital whiteboard, to add annotations and manipulatives to their work. This allows them to engage with maths concepts in a variety of ways, encouraging them to demonstrate their thinking on a deeper level. In turn, the teacher can provide feedback directly into the mathspace, creating an avenue for meaningful one-on-one insight, without using up valuable class time.
Integration that’s not only simple, but engaging
Whether you are a Google, Windows or Apple school, EquatIO can be integrated simply and easily. It can be used within the G Suite for Education environment and in Microsoft Word on Windows and Mac devices. Plus, with EquatIO mathspace, we also offer a smart workspace where maths sheets can be stored and shared between teachers and students time and time again. Through this robust integration, students can now use the same devices and digital applications they’ve become familiar with in their other classes across the entire curriculum. Rather than resorting back to pen and paper when they enter the maths classroom, students can use EquatIO in all its forms to engage with maths digitally and benefit from all that EdTech has to offer.
If you would like to know more about using digital technology in the maths realm, stop by stand G3 at MathsConf19 on 22nd June for a chat with the Texthelpers. In the meantime, visit https://text.help/BiQftv for more information about EquatIO.
You can see Texthelp as an exhibitor at #MathsConf19 at the Penistone Grammar School on Saturday 22nd June
Don't forget in July we also have our 'FREE' Maths Teacher Network events in association with Oxford University Press and AQA.
We look forward to seeing you at our next La Salle Education Event if you don't already, follow us on Twitter @LaSalleEd