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Harnessing the Power of Technology to Support Mathematics: Challenges, Solutions & The Future. Dr Abi James Assistive Technology Consultant iansyst. The Challenges: Understanding & recognition of the student's difficulties . Science related subject.

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Harnessing the Power of Technology to Support Mathematics: Challenges, Solutions & The Future

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Harnessing the power of technology to support mathematics challenges solutions the future l.jpg

Harnessing the Power of Technology to Support Mathematics: Challenges, Solutions & The Future

Dr Abi James

Assistive Technology Consultant

iansyst


The challenges understanding recognition of the student s difficulties l.jpg

The Challenges: Understanding & recognition of the student's difficulties


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Science related subject

How many student's with SpLD are studying math or science?


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How many student's with SpLD are studying math or science?

Science related subject


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Other factors to consider

  • Identifying students who will struggle with the course requirements

  • Understanding by students of the requirements of the course

  • Departmental & Institutional change required

    • Use of technology, the web and different teaching styles


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Learning Environment…

Is varied for science students

  • Lectures

  • Tutorials

  • Lab sessions

  • Computer lab sessions

  • In the field

  • Work placements

  • E-learning

  • Library


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Need…

  • Support for note taking

    • For specialist language

    • Diagrams, equations & mathematical notation

  • Support for proof-reading

    • For specialist language

    • Diagrams, equations & mathematical notation

  • Support for understanding & visualising mathematical concepts in an accessible format


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The Challenges: Mathematical and scientific language


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Mathematical Language…

  • Needs to be learned and manipulated by scientists, engineers & mathematicians.

  • Symbols & expressions must be accurately recalled during lectures, exams, lab sessions & assignments.

  • Support through technology does not bypass this knowledge requirement.


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The Challenges: Integrating with existing technology


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High user of technology

  • Many science students will be required to use computers & technology as part of their course

  • Each course and department may use different systems

  • Making each system and program accessible is challenging!


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Technology Solutions


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Existing Solutions… support with specialist language

  • Spellex adds subject specific terminology into MS Word’s available for medical, pharmaceutical, legal, biotech, botanical, technical, geographical

  • Wordbar provides a word bank for quickly entering phrases or keystrokes


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Existing Solutions… support with specialist language

But…

  • Most resources have to be created for re-created for each student or course.

  • They can not handle symbols or equations


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Existing solutions…for note taking

  • Need tools for digital storing of equations and graphics.

  • Audio recordings do not work on there own.

  • Tablet PCs, Webcams & digital cameras may provide solutions

  • Word 2007 greatly improved equation entry


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Existing solutions for note taking: Tablet PCs

Windows XP plus ink facilities to write on screen. Enables users to:

  • Annotate Office documents

  • Draw on screen

  • Select, copy, paste & highlight using pen

  • Convert handwriting to text

  • Convert hand written equations to text!


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Tablet PC software

  • Equation Writer (part of MS Education pack) converts handwritten equation to text via clipboard.

  • Maths Journal 2 (www.xthink.com) evaluates & converts hand written formula. Saves as Tex or MathML.

  • OneNote will be included with Office 2007 Student Edition

  • WriteOn lets you annotate over any application


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Microsoft OneNote


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Existing solutions…for supporting writing

MathTalk with Dragon NaturallySpeaking & Scientific Notebook enables scientific notation to be dictated.

  • Good for writing reports but not note taking

  • User needs to be fluent in terminology and symbols

  • Suits auditory learners and disadvantages visual learners


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Existing solutions…for supporting reading & writing

  • PDF or postscript file currently used by academics from LaTeX

  • OCR software don’t recognise equations

    • Can convert from digital photos and screen captures.

    • Recognise some programming languages

  • Equations can be read aloud if in MathML format – a version of html.


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Need…

  • Academic staff to produce notes & worksheets in an accessible format

    • Currently produce PDF files

    • Can be made accessible using PDF Accessibility Editor but time consuming

    • Create html files with MathML equations – accessible to all.


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The future…

  • Digital cameras, webcams & mobile devices

  • Office 2007


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Abi James

Iansyst

Fen House

Fen Road

Cambridge

CB4 1UN

Email: abi@dyslexic.com

Tel: 01223 420101

Web: www.dyslexic.com

www.iansyst.co.uk

www.itspc.co.uk

Contact details:


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