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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

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

Dr Abi James

Assistive Technology Consultant

iansyst

other factors to consider
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
learning environment
Learning Environment…

Is varied for science students

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Lab sessions
  • Computer lab sessions
  • In the field
  • Work placements
  • E-learning
  • Library
slide7
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
mathematical language
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.
high user of technology
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!
existing solutions support with specialist language
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
existing solutions support with specialist language14
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
existing solutions for note taking
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
existing solutions for note taking tablet pcs
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!
tablet pc software
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
existing solutions for supporting writing
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
existing solutions for supporting reading writing
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.
slide22
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.
the future
The future…
  • Digital cameras, webcams & mobile devices
  • Office 2007
contact details
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: