What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology is any kind of technology and/or tool that can be used to enhance the functional independence of a person with a disability. Often, for people with disabilities, accomplishing daily tasks such as communicating with others, going to school or work, or participating in activities can be a challenge. Assistive Technology (AT) devices are tools to help overcome those challenges and enable people living with disabilities to enhance and have access to a quality of life, that may otherwise not be known, and lead more independent lives.

Wednesday

Math, Math and more Math

 



This section will cover:
1. Math Access Support (Assistive Technology)
2. Concept Support (Instructional sites)
3. Math Apps for use on different iDevices
4. Calculator Options
5. Math Resources
6. Low Tech to High Tech AT Options
7. Please see my Pinterest  Board for more: Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

Access Support:
  • Algebra 2 is a link to online calculators, including: Graphing, Statistics and Sequences, Scientific and Algebra Tiles. The graphing calculator and the scientific calculator are both Shockwave/Flash based. As you expand the browser window, the calculators get bigger, providing a much larger clickable area.
  • Bar, Line, Area, Pie... Teaching about graphs? Explore Create a Graph!
  • Design Science has several math programs worth exploring, such as MathType - an interactive tool for Windows and Macintosh that lets you create mathematical notation for word processing. There are 30 day trials to use to see if this program fits your needs before purchasing. 
  • Efofex was designed for students using higher level math, with physical disabilities, who find mathematics and science extremely difficult to write. Their products were designed to make mathematics and science teacher's jobs easier but many students with special needs have found that they also provide the assistance that they need. FX Graph and FX Stat are designed primarily for student use to promote exploration in a powerful mathematical environment. Empower is a great program for high school and college bound students.  It is a bundle of programs (graphing, algebraic equation, statistics, and draw (for math) and a science program is also available with ChemStruct, Chem, and Equation).  It is free with documentation of disability.
  • Equation Editor by Microsoft allows you to type in simple to sophisticated equations. (You may have to install it as an add on. In office 2003 it was under the insert - object tab. Availability varies between version of Office.  Equation Editor allows the user to line up equations.
  • FooPlot is an on-line plotting tool.  
  • FX Equation (Windows and Mac) Provides a way to produce mathematical and scientific equations. To use FX Equation, you just type the equation. FX Equation looks at what you have typed and puts everything in the right place. You never have to touch the mouse. FX products are available free to students with eligible disabilities.
  • Howbrite MathLine - I especially like these for our kids with motor complications as it allows them to experience manipulatives in a controlled manner. (Also great for students with limited control.) Comes in a variety of sizes. 
  • Math Mechanixs is a easy to use general purpose math software program compatible with Microsoft Windows with 2D and 3D Graphing, Calculus, Curve Fitting, Matrices and More...It works using a Math Editor (as opposed to a Text Editor) allowing you to type the mathematical expressions similar to the way you would write them on a piece of paper.
  • MathPad and MathPad Plus by IntelliTools, provides electronic worksheets which act as paper and pencil for students with motoric challenges. MathPad is an alternative and accessible tool used to support basic skill instruction in the areas of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. MathPad Plus: Fractions and Decimals offers the same functionality as MathPad with features that allow students to do addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division using fractions and decimals.
  • MathTalk (which requires Dragon speech-to-text software) provides voice input for Scientific Notebook, so that you can enter even the most complex mathematics and compute with voice commands. You can use voice input to complement the keyboard and the mouse to speed the entry of text and mathematics, or you can use it to replace the keyboard and the mouse. This program works for developing graphs also. More than a calculator, the math notebook products that are compatible with Dragon Naturally Speaking from Metroplex Voice Computing. Compatible with DNS11 & Scientific Notebook so that you get all the higher order math symbols.
  • MathTrax is a graphing tool for middle school and high school students to graph equations, physics simulations or plot data files.  The graphs have descriptions and sound so you can hear and read about the graph. Blind and low vision users can access visual math data and graph or experiment with equations and datasets.
  • MathType is an interactive equation editor for both Windows and Macintosh that lets you create mathematical notation for word processing, web pages, desktop publishing, presentations, elearning, and for TeX, LaTeX, and MathML documents. You can learn more and download this program from CNET. For algebra and above, you can use MathType with Microsoft Word (Mac or Windows) for typing equations and other horizontal math (it's not well-suited for stacked or vertical math).  MathType is the "professional" version of Equation Editor, the equation-creation tool included with Microsoft Word.  The main advantage for students is that you can type equations (in Equation Editor, you select symbols and formats by clicking menus).  You can use MathType to "show your work" from pre-algebra through calculus using only a keyboard.  (You can line up equations in multi-step problems using the "Align at =" function.) It can be useful for young students, yet continue to use it throughout college. You can dictate using speech-to-text, copy/paste digital info and/or enter via the keyboard.
  • National Library of Math Manipulatives is an excellent resource that is well designed and has a clean layout. Don't get thrown off by your first look. This site is very powerful.
  • Number Navigator is a program that assists those with fine motor problems to set out columnar arithmetic, without the need for a spreadsheet.
  • PDF Pad and Print Free Graph Paper allows you to create and print graph paper. Great for students who have a hard time lining up problems plus numerous other uses!
  • Scientific Notebook is a mathematical word processing program suitable for maths and science reports, homework, and exams. It allows the user to create attractive documents that seamlessly combine text, mathematics, and graphics. Scientific Notebook also does mathematical calculations and creates graphs. Teachers can also use it to create exams for blind students. (The software does have a calculator built into it. So, in tandem with MathTalk, you would have a talking calculator along with a voice activated electronic math paper.) 
  • Teaching Math to Visually Impaired Students - Susan Osterhaus, who has been teaching secondary mathematics for 30 years at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, shares this level of experience freely with colleagues on this website, providing various pieces of information, strategies and ideas.
  • Virtual Manipulatives by Glenco, offers this nice little interactive site that can be set by grade level, and manipulatives desired.
  • A little costly but Virtual Pencil Algebra by Henter Math is designed for individuals who are pencil impaired (blind, motor impaired, or learning disabled) have a very difficult time writing and manipulating Algebraic equations, since operating a pencil effectively is very difficult if not impossible. 
Graphing and Math Sketching Access (These programs have numerous options for drawing graphs, plotting points, and many other related functions):
  Math Access Apps:
  • Panther Technology has developed Math Paper for people with motoric challenges which allows them to work independently on "digital paper". Math Paper offers the foundations to learn simple arithmetic, and the power to do complicated equations.
  • Math Sheet Calculator - is an app which simulates a sheet of paper  
  • Mod Math is a FREE app, that provides you with graph paper and a calculator-like user interface geared toward typical users with dyslexia and dysgraphia rather than users with more complex motor issues. You can shade alternating columns or rows for better visual discrimination, as well as highlight a single row or column.  It will do fractions, carrying, borrowing, and cancels, but not roots, exponents, and simple algebra (as does Panther's Math Paper above).
  • With MyScript Calculator app you can perform mathematical operations using your handwriting. Write the mathematical expression on the screen then let MyScript technology perform its magic converting symbols and numbers to digital text and delivering the result in real time. The same experience as writing on paper with the advantages of a digital device (Scratch-outs, results in real time, ...).
    Concept Support:
    • AAA Math features a comprehensive set of interactive arithmetic lessons. Unlimited practice is available on each topic which allows thorough mastery of the concepts. A wide range of lessons (Kindergarten through Eighth grade level) enables learning or review to occur at each individual's current level.
    • Algebra Homework Help - Algebra, math homework solvers, lessons and free tutors online.
    • Basic Math and Money - having trouble with basic math, calculating percentages, or using fractions? Do you have questions about savings, interest, or credit.
    • Fraction support is available on Conceptua Math. Conceptua is one of several math programs for students with disabilities. Accessed through a computer, via the internet, Conceptua is a supplemental curriculum that provides differentiated instruction, employs universal design, and allows students to work at their own pace. The focus of the program is to teach fractions to students with disabilities. The program provides built in access to learning fractions and is accessible through a range of options including Intellikeys, scanning, and a number of AAC devices.  There are free fractions tools with short video explanations. It also includes sample IEP goals. There will be a premium (meaning with a charge) version that includes lots of practice activities, spoken text, data reporting, activity authoring and sharing.
    • Cool Math has an interactive fun site for kids to explore. Should keep them busy while exploring math through games and lessons. Very visual.
    • CountOn offers numerous interactive math activities from England. Use the links on the left to fully explore what’s here, including numerous links and helpful resources. The activities themselves are straightforward and engaging, making it a useful classroom tool.
    • Cynthia Lanius' Lessons: This is a great site to help your students in understanding fractions with colored pattern blocks.
    • Daily Dose provides various math sites in helping to keep math alive. Choose a link and explore!
    • Education 4 Kids provides numerous drill games. General Math is where you will find Math Flashcards and Math Tables as well as some of the other more general drill games. The other math sections have been established to cover math in specific areas, like time and money.
    • Equals Math is a curriculum designed for students with disabilities. It comes in a kit with just about everything that you need to teach math lessons that have been strategically aligned to state standards. The lessons have been differentiated into three levels for students with mild, moderate and more significant disabilities, presenting objectives using concrete, semi-concrete, and abstract instructional strategies to address different learning styles across all grades. The materials and presentation are appropriate for all learners and ages. 
    • GCF Learn Free site provides quite a few lessons in math with some excellent money and life skills resources. Be sure to check out the: Job Development, Money and Everyday life sets! 
    • Gizmos offers over 450 on-line simulations for grades 3-12 for math and science. Virtual manipulatives! "Most of all, Explore Learning Gizmos are all about the “Ah-Hah!” moment, that miraculous instant when something inside your brain clicks and suddenly whatever was puzzling you now makes perfect sense." You may use this as a 30-day trial or you can view each activity for 5 minutes per 24 hr. period or you can pay for the full use.
    • Harcourt School Publishers offers on-line activities and teacher supports. This is one that is highly recommended by many teachers in the field from RSP settings to SH settings.
    • H.I.P. Pocket Change is a fun educational tool for students and teachers that generates interest in coins, the United States Mint, and U.S. history.
    • Hot Math provides support for individual problems from many of the math books. You actually chose your textbook, chose the specific problem and they will help you though it. It is a homework and concept support.
    • Hurley Calculus provides lessons on calculus. There are currently 73 videos in the Hurley Calculus channel.
    • Use the free math games and math activities to review, and keep math wits sharp, or use one of their math foundations programs to develop basic brain skills that are required to succeed with math at KidsNumbers.com.
    • Illuminations is an NCTM website with many tools similar to the library of virtual manipulatives. Be sure to look at their web links section.
    • Interactivate is a set of free, online courseware for exploration in science and mathematics. It is comprised of activities, lessons, and discussions. This site is loaded with goodies. Take your time exploring.
    • IXL is designed for pre-K to 8th grade and has skills broken down by grade level.  Very friendly in its layout and design not to mention the clarity of the skill support.
    • Johnnie's Math Page where you can find over 1000 activities. Very rich site. 
    • The Khan Academy site offers a library of  videos covering everything from basic arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and practice exercises. Worth checking out (but not meant to stand alone). 
    • Math and Project Based Learning… 22 Amazing Resources provides a  four part series intended to provide Math teachers with some outstanding PBL resources.  
    • Math Doodles are designed to provide a place where children can discover the joy, wonder, and fun of mathematics providing several fun math activities.
    • Math Doctor Bob's YouTube channel offers nearly 700 video lessons on statistics, algebra I and II, calculus, geometry, and much more. The lessons feature Doctor Bob giving the lesson in front of a whiteboard so you see him and don't just hear his lessons.
    • Math for Morons Like Us This site has been designed to "assist you in your pursuit of increased mathematical understanding," or whatever sounds good to you. The subjects covered range from Pre-Algebra to Calculus.
    • Math Play you can find a wide variety of fun games that you can play online. Most games are suitable for elementary and middle grades. They are organized by grade level, content, and game type.
    • Math Playground is designed for elementary and middle school students. Students can practice their math skills, play a logic game and have some fun. This “playground” is really a portal to a whole world of high quality math activities and resources. Most of these resources are geared for elementary students, but there is also a significant section of the site, called SAT Math Pro, dedicated to grades 7+. It is evident that the activities at the Math Playground have been put together by experienced math teachers.
    • Maths Dictionary is a powerful online resource for young math students. As the names says, it is a math dictionary. The name doesn’t adequately indicate how well organized and how well illustrated it is. The straightforward user interface also makes this dictionary easy to use. Simply click on the letter, then find the term you’re looking for and click on that. Here’s what you get when you click on C and then select “chance”. As you can see, there are even interactive illustrations for some of the terms. There are also practice exercises for some.
    • Mathtrain provides math video lessons for middle school students where kids are teaching kids.
    • There are  some really good videos at MathTV.
    • A math teacher who has some neat conceptual videos is at Math Village --  he does a really good job of including concepts and drawings in the videos.  He tackles some of those critical concepts like ratios and what variables mean.
    • Mathwire has activities and support materials. This website is rich with Standards Based Math Activities shared through topical themes. For example, pumpkins, Halloween and fall figured prominently in the October 2009 activities. A wide range of concepts are represented on this site and all are based on NCTM standards.
    • Microsoft Mathematics 4.0 has a step-by-step equation solver, graphing calculator, formulas and equations library, triangle solver, and a unit conversion tool. From basic math to pre-calculus, Microsoft Mathematics 4.0 can help you visualize and see mathematical concepts. It includes step-by-step instructions and explains fundamental concepts. The wide range of tools to help students with complex mathematics includes a full-featured graphing calculator that’s designed to work just like a hand-held calculator and ink handwriting support to recognize hand-written problems.
    • The Mint is devoted to building "money smart" kids. Activities, quizzes and lessons help teach concepts of saving, spending, giving and owing money.
    • Mrs. McGowan's First Grade is a site where several teachers share enrichment activities and math resources.
    • Multiplication.com contains the techniques, tips, and secrets used by teachers.
    • National Library of Math Manipulatives is an excellent resource that is well designed and has a clean layout. Don't get thrown off by your first look. This site is very powerful.
    • On the Online Calculator site you can find helpful online calculators for fractions and scientific functions. Explore this site!
    • Patrick JMT doesn't cover as many topics as Khan or Math Doctor Bob, but the videos are equally solid. 
    • PBS Kids has some great interactive activities. Go to their search and type in math and see all that they have to offer.
    • RainForest Math Provides interactive math activities categorized by grade levels K through 6.
    • Research Project Calculator helps high school students break down large projects into more manageable chunks, complete with suggested interim due dates and resources for each part. It's based on Univ. of Minnesota's Assignment Calculator
    • SELECT Math was designed to provide teachers and students access to virtual manipulatives that directly support our district's math and technology curricula. Begin by selecting a grade level from the menu. The main page for each grade contains a Scope and Sequence calendar describing which book or chapter is being used in math classes during each month of the school year.
    • Teaching Tools is a worksheet generator to enable you to quickly generate printable worksheets and their answer keys for almost any math function you can think of.
    • TenMarks is a web-based learning environment that simplifies assignments, automates grading, and drives student learning through engaging videos and interactive lessons based on the instructional philosophy - practice, instruction, assessment, and intervention. It is meant to help students build conceptual understanding as well as develop computational and procedural fluency, resulting in strong math foundations. It is free.
    • Thinking Blocks is an interactive math tool developed by classroom teachers to help students learn how to solve multi-step word problems. Using brightly colored blocks, students model the relationships among the components of each word problem. With the help of a virtual teacher, students walk through a simple problem solving process and arrive at a solution. When building the models, students must identify information that is given as well as information that is unknown.
    • Time for Time is a resource for teachers and students to learn everything you could want to know about the concept of time.
    • To address students’ gaps in math skills and understanding, Voyager Learning offers VmathLive, a web-based online math solution. VmathLivehelps students learn and master math skills and concepts with 24/7 connectivity from any computer with Internet access. Students receive immediate, targeted feedback to ensure they are on track for success as they prepare for high–stakes assessments.
    • Visual Fractions allows you to explore adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, comparing, investigating in a very visual way.
    • 2 + 2 Mathematics for Children (downloadable program) is a completely free downloadable program that is well designed to help build numeracy. The program offers a variety of activities for students to practice basic number facts and computation skills–addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Activities are accompanied by soothing music and a human voice to provide encouragement. You have the option of downloading an Italian or Polish version of this program if you happen to need that.
    • WebMath  online tool that helps students solve math problems, showing step-by-step solutions. general math through calculus.
    Concept Support Apps:
    • Basic Math is a skills drill app that will help your students practice their basic math facts. The included exercises have varying levels of difficulty and cover addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. A timer can be added if students want to play against the clock, and you can even set a delay between between questions depending on whether they were answered correctly or incorrectly.
    • BBC Numeracy Sites for ages 4-11 offers support for teachers and for parents within their fun and visually pleasing activities. (Your students may get a kick out of the British accent.)
    • Bills and Coins can be leveled.  It works on money skills including: counting money, making change, and showing value.
    • Educational Math Apps, by iDevBooks, allow students to practice and reinforce the specific computation strategies taught in class, with as much or as little scaffolding as necessary. It doesn't do the work for the student.  They still have to do computation, but it takes away the paper and pencil factor.  There are about 17 different math apps, for around $4 each.
    • Hands on Equations is an educational app that provides video lessons, examples and practice exercises for learning to solve basic equations. It is presented in conjunction with a scale (or see-saw) view in which pawns represent unknown values, or “x” and through visual representation, kids attempt to “balance” or equalize the scale. This process provides a straightforward means of demystifying algebra and sets them up to grasp the beginning concepts.
    • iFormulas contains over 330 formulas, definitions, laws and properties and would be a great quick reference guide for secondary level Math classes. Algebra, Geometry, Calculus and Trigonometry are all covered by iFormulas.
    • Jungle Time is a telling time app using an analog clock.
    • Kids Math is great for students who still need visuals to help them add and subtract.
    • Make Change has students figure out the amount of money using the 4 basic operations of math.
    • Math Magic works on the four operations and can be personalized for each child.
    • Math4Mobile enables users to perform mathematical functions as advanced calculus and as basic as elementary geometry.
    • MathMelodies is a free accessible app created for all children but specifically designed for students with visual impairments.  The game has fun stories, math activities and lots of motivating sounds. It is currently geared for 1st - 3rd grade students. 
    • MathSquared puzzles are grid-based that use basic math operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, as well as logic and problem-solving skills. MathScaled has a balance-scale format to support understanding of equations, as well as logic and problem-solving skills. The goal is to place the shapes on the balance scale so that the scale is balanced. Teachers will find tips for integrating the puzzles into their lessons, short tutorial videos, and specifics about using the digital puzzles to support student persistence on the freely available iSolveIt website.
    • MathTerms is an illustrated glossary of mathematics terms in English and Spanish. The app includes almost 1,000 entries for middle- and high-school mathematical concepts. 
    • Math Tutor helps you to practice basic math skills. Whether you want to brush up on addition, multiplication, subtraction or division, you will find that all skills are covered.
    • Math-U-See is a K-12, skill-based, Core Replacement intervention curriculum. With a built-in progress monitoring that includes a systematic approach. It aligns with Common Core goals, philosophy, and math practice standards. Lesson-by-lesson video instruction for teachers in the classroom and more.
    • McGraw-Hill Education Offers Free iPad Math Apps - The Math apps are designed to give students in kindergarten through sixth grade a quick and easy way to practice and reinforce different math concepts.  Kids can practice multiplication, brush-up on fractions, review number line skills and more with this collection of apps.
    • Next Dollar up app is a great way to teach practical money skills.
    • Number Line will help students learn about fractions, decimals, percentages and their equivalents. It features several levels where the object is to drag objects onto a number line in the correct numerical order. Points are awarded for the correct placement of the numbers, as well as for completing the level in a quick time. Points are subtracted for placing numbers in the wrong place.
    • Oh no Fractions! - allows students to compare fraction values - asks the students to make a choice and then prove their thinking - provides visuals to help support understanding of fractions.
    • Pi Cubed allows you to actually use your screen as a notepad on which you can do math equations. The interface supports animation and touch input, so it’s easy to enter and delete numbers and symbols.
    • Sudoku apps are worth exploring. This link provides you with a variety to explore.
    Calculators:
    Calculator Apps:
    • Jumbo Calculator for iPad - A calculator with big buttons to make it easier to tap the buttons. 
    • Math Resources - Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center has a list of resources and handouts worth exploring. 
    • MyScript Calculator for iPhone (and Android) uses your own handwriting, and not only recognizes the equations you write, but works them out for you. You are presented with a blank sheet of graph paper, start writing equations and it will start auto converting what you're writing into typed text to make it cleaner. For example, if you draw a division sign underneath a block of numbers you've already written, the content will be moved upwards so you can continue working. If you make a mistake, just scribble a number out and it will disappear. What's more, MyScript will automatically start calculating for you.
    • Talkulator - A talking calculator that is compatible with VoiceOver and has large buttons for those with low vision. More information.
    • TalkCalc - says the number as it supposed to be read (78 is read seventy eight), can sub words on keys for numbers (1=one)
    For beginning math/number sense- check out the apps listed on Best Math Apps.

    More Math App Lists:
    Of course this is not all, nor is it meant to be, as this is a field that continues to grow and grow. This is meant to just get you thinking and beginning to explore.

    More Math Resources:
    • Blackline Masters - Download hundreds of reproducibles from the Nova Scotia Department of Education to support mathematics instruction aligned with the Common Core State Standards.
    • Wondering about Touch Math? This is a site for teachers to learn, find resources/training and to explore free materials.
    • Math on the Web: Resources and Essential Downloads for Math... Great sites with lots of resources. If you haven't found it on this page, try these sites!
    • Math Resources from Guide to Online Schools has a very extensive listing of sites worth exploring if you ave not found what you need here.  
    • Tech Learning article Top 50 Math Sites and Apps  
    AT - Methods and Materials to Support Math:
    1. No Tech
    •     Reduced workload, e.g., solve every other math problem
    •     Minimize the number of problems per page
    •     Extra time
    •     Use graph paper to help with organizing problems
    •     Turn lined paper sideways to help with lining up numbers
    2. Light Tech Options
    •     MathLine
    •     Enlarged worksheets
    •     Math facts charts
    •     Calculators (with print out or large keys or with special features)
    •     Giant Calculator or Talking Calculator
    •     Highlight math signs, key words in math problems or instructions
    •     Tape record answers to math problems, formulas, etc.
    3. High Tech Options
    •     Software for demonstrating simple math functions (i.e., MathPad, MathPad Plus)
    •     Software for writing higher level math problems (i.e., Scientific Notebook,   MathType)
    Resources:
    • For notation software that works very well with a mouse/trackball, you might want to consider MathType. 30-day trial available. For more information on using MathType with students who have physical or vision issues, see "Guide for Physically Disabled and Low Vision Users".
    • Articles on a variety of issues relating to making math accessible to students with various disabilities, explore this Accessibility Solutions website.
    • The following article on the University of Washington DO-IT website is a useful resource worth exploring: "Are there commercial products designed to make math accessible to students with disabilities?"
    • A great blog dedicated to Making Math Accessible for students with vision and physical disabilities has numerous resources worth getting acquainted with.
    Further Informational Resources:
    For more information, visit the HIAT website which lists sites along with a description and grade level appropriateness. Another great site is the MATNOnline Wiki which has a goal to provide educators with resources to support the education of all students with disabilities the use of assistive technology.