Kids can struggle with many aspects of math, from understanding math concepts to doing simple arithmetic. Tackling word problems and writing out math equations may also be hard for them. Fortunately, assistive technology (AT) software can help. A wide range of features can help with everything from the most basic to the most advanced math problems.
Here are some of the tools these programs may offer:
Math notation tools to write or type math symbols and equations
Graphing tools to plot the path of an equation
Drawing tools for drawing lines, shapes, and other geometric objects
Equation-solving tools to help manipulate and solve multi-step problems and functions with variables (example: x = 2y - x → x = y)
Virtual manipulatives, which allow kids to work with virtual objects like number lines and ten frames (typically a two-by-five rectangle that helps kids “see” numbers and place value). Manipulatives can be helpful for illustrating abstract math concepts.
for math to help break down and lay out the steps for solving a math problem
You can also add on the FX Draw Bonus Tools (FX Equation, FX Graph, and FX Stat).
With the math notation:
FX Equation lets kids write out equations very quickly. Kids can type in the equation using their keyboards. They can also easily insert the equations they create into Word, PowerPoint, and other programs.
With the graphing tool:
Kids can type out an equation and plot it or draw various lines and curves directly on virtual graph paper. They can then print out the results.
Kids can also view the plot in 3D, add math notations, shading, and notes to different sections.
Kids can dictate math symbols and equations. They can use their voice to type out everything from pre-algebra to high-level calculus.
MathTalk requires that a computer have Dragon (formerly Dragon NaturallySpeaking) installed. You can order MathTalk with Dragon for $675. It also requires the program Scientific Notebook (which is included with the software).
MathType: $39.95/year for students (Mac or Windows)
By typing out or clicking on commands, kids can generate complex math equations using thousands of symbols.
MathType can handle advanced math like derivatives, statistics, and matrices. Once kids type out their answers, they can print or save and email their work.