It’s the End of Math as We Know It! (and I Feel Fine)

I’m a relatively new iPad user…just scratching the surface of the neat stuff out there, sometimes thinking how cool it would be to be back in the classroom with these tools, sometimes doing the slow burn when I see great tools go un-used. Every now and then I run into an app which has me running to my colleagues like a giddy schoolboy…such as today when a friend tweeted about the MyScript Calculator.

There’s really not much to this app:  you write a math calculation on the screen, and the app recognizes your handwriting, and performs the calculation.  It doesn’t solve equations, it doesn’t factor…it just calculates.   Check out my hairy knuckles as I take it for a test-drive.  Also, note that I understand that there are a number of goofy ways to record an iPad screen…I’m a newbie….baby steps….

It works for iPhone as well.  Take this app around your school, show it off to teachers, and enjoy the reactions and conversations.  Is this the end of the world?  Will we have a generation of kids who can’t make change for a 5?  Hey, it’s just a calculator…a pretty cool one.

So, how do we adapt math instruction in a world where computations are at our fingertips?  Ask better questions!


By Bob Lochel

HS Math Teacher. Hatboro-Horsham School District, Horsham, PA.

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