UDL Supports for Math and Science
Articles Blog

UDL Supports for Math and Science

So, my name is Martin I’m from texthelp. I’ll just give you like two minutes of background Steve did a really good job of kind of introducing me there but for the last 15 years or so we’ve been really working hard on trying to create software Based around solid UDL principles to help kids with reading and writing But there’s a in doing that and we’ve done a really good job of You know getting publishers to make materials available digitally and excessively fellow People to really implement a strong UDL practice based on that accessible text But during all that time math has not been all that accessible. So over the last year, we’ve been switching our focus We’re kind of growing our team and we’ve got a team looking at accessible science and accessible math notation So I just want to show you some of that stuff today I’m used to looking behind me to see these screens so lots of kids get turned off math early and when they get turned off math early They get afraid of math and then they kind of they don’t engage with it. And that’s That’s a problem. It’s kind of problem for society You can’t see some of the things in the bottom of the screen here, but there’s a there’s a you know if kids get switched off math in elementary school They’re much less likely to get involved in a math career and 26 percent of the jobs that are around Are twenty percent of all the jobs that are around at the moment really need a strong math foundation lots and lots of STEM jobs around and We want to try to do what we can to stop kids becoming disengaged with math Because of their the perception around it in the same way that you know Lots of kids become disengaged with reading and disengaged with reading similarly. Lots of kids get afraid and scared and they disengage with math Um, we want to try to prevent that disengagement from happening in their first instance. So We see math and is this animation going to appear Didn’t appear so I’m gonna have to describe the animation that didn’t appear so there are three things about math There is the math notation itself So the mathematician itself what it looks like so you can imagine the square root sign The pie symbol if something has got a superscript 2 or 3 that you know that that tells us that it’s squared or cubed and That’s one thing that’s the notation and kids have to get their head around the notation And then there’s the terminology and the terminology is how we describe that math. So x squared X cubed The square root of x and pi you guys are all enjoying pie At the moment, so but it’s difficult for kids to bridge that gap it’s kind of like a language of its own math is a language of its own and If you were to just say to a kid write down, you know the square root of pi over theta They wouldn’t know how to do that That’s something they have to learn in the same way that if they had to learn how to do something in Spanish or French It would be difficult for them. And then the third pieces that is the actual concept of the math itself so if I say x squared and I write down X superscript 2 Well, that means we take this thing X and we multiply it by itself. So they’re really three pieces There’s the there’s the terminology. Hope you talk about it the notation what it looks like and then the math concept itself and that can be a complicated and scary thing and so this is what math this is what math looks like and Software companies really have not been part of the solution But we have really been so for companies have really been part of the problem if you ask your kid to make math or Write some math very often. Even if they’re a really young kid we end up presenting them with like a pallet of math tools that are appropriate for high school or higher ed and it makes me scary and You know, that’s that’s just not a good idea so we’ve been thinking about this for actually for a very long time and It’s taken us years to Get this right? but we’ve made a thing called Equatio show and Equatio is a new kind of universally designed tool to help teachers and kids Express our math how they want to express the math and help them to consume their math a little bit more excessively as well so the whole idea is It doesn’t matter if you want to handwrite your math or type your math Or if you’re a programmer and you know kind of latech Does anyone know low tech connect from a show of hands how many people know what la tech is you see? Not very many people Yeah, how many people can say x squared right load or read it with their fingers? Hi everyone. So we’re trying to take that approach We’re trying to get people to be able to write their math the way that they want to write them off So the idea is to to really change the way teachers Create math and change the way kids can respond to their math of their math homework so it’s been in the market for about a year and We’ve got a few versions of it. We’ve got a Microsoft version that works with Microsoft Word and also a Mac version that works with Pages and Microsoft Word on on pages and there’s a Chrome extension that allows it to work in Docs and sheets and forms So I’m going to show it it’s just sure one of these things today But I think one of the important things is this the number of different ways that we allow kids to input their math so again, kind of based on these UDL principles We want we want to take away the difficult stuff and just we should take care of the hard stuff I just tell our kids to type their math so and I think if you look back 10 years ago when people were learning about HTML and You would have have people in a text editor and they would have like they would know how to do the angle brackets for bold give it to like angle brackets B for bold and But nowadays we don’t expect anyone to do that You just you know you you just write the content that you want to have in your website and someone else takes care of all that markup and So we’re trying to do the same thing for math and a lot of people to type in plain English. So They can just type in x SQ and will predict Squared in the same way that if kids are typing English and we predict some English words to help them with the writing if they’re typing some math or science We can also predict that math or science and whenever they select the thing from the list we take care of all that Laughs tech nonsense and we take care of all the accessibility and just give them a nice easy user experience Similarly speech input and we all have people to dictate their mouth so you can just say x squared plus three y equals seven and it’ll pop it in there and it will take care of the Alternate text and it works really well even in noisy environments it’s pretty good and It’s also got handwriting recognition These days can I by a show of hands does anyone how many people in your school district are using? Touch devices like Microsoft Surface devices or yeah good three people or Chromebooks with touch screens so that’s starting to happen more and more and So we really want to be able to do something that allowed a kid to use a stylus to express their math knowledge But one of the challenges about writing stuff down is sometimes when you write stuff down it loses Accessibility because it’s just a bunch of scribbles so so what we’ve done is some handwriting recognition that will turn that math into nice clean typeset accessible math and again, it works in Word and Docs and really wherever you want to use it We’ve also done a thing, so lots of schools, you know have invested already in laptops and Chromebooks that don’t have touch screens and what we really wanted to kids to be able to handwrite their math math is you know even if you’ve got fractions and you’re simplifying a fraction and you kind of strike out part of the numerator and the denominator That’s you can’t type that sort of thing So it is very important to be able to empower kids to be able to express their math with a with a pen or pencil and if they don’t have a touchscreen device Then that’s difficult, but every kid has a touchscreen device Every kid has got one of these things here So we’ve we’ve built a piece of equatio that allows you to use your phone as an input device You can either talk to your phone and dictate the math Or you can finger write your math on your phone Or you can actually write some complicated math on paper and just snap a photograph and we’ll turn into a nice accessible math and pop it in and So it really means you it doesn’t really matter whether you’re using a Windows device or a Chrome device or whether you’ve got touchscreen or Not there should be something here to allow you to do your math excessively and at this stage I a like I’m really scared now because I Have to do a demo but I want to thank ray at the back the AV guy because No one else has had this complicated stuff was having a laptop up here. So ray. Thank you you are a star Hopefully this hopefully this works now I just want to show you very quickly two or three of the things that we’re doing with math. So I’m gonna switch over here and show you So I’m gonna show you this in a Google Doc, but it works exactly the same way in in Microsoft Word It’s just easier for me to have this on the screen here today so if I want to do some math in here I can press this blue button and a equatio toolbar Appears across the bottom and I just want to insert some math in a couple of different ways here So the first thing I’m going to do is just type my math in plain English so I can press this this button the math panel pops up and I’m just going to type in plain English with one finger and I’m gonna type in The square root of x cubed over pi with one finger so I type in sq and you can see it predicts square root and Then I’m going to type X. CU. Let’s predict cubed over pi okay, so that’s pretty easy and we can insert the math and You can see now You know, it’s put that math in the document and for the accessibility folks in the room I should be able to show you the The alternate text. Let me just get rid of this toolbar You know what I’ll just read it alone instead The fraction with a numerator the square root of x cubed and denominator pi so you can see and You can just type in plain English and we’ll take care of the of the accessibility and so on so that it’s read out loud It’s very very flexible and as well as doing math It’ll do kind of formulas and scientific stuff as well. So if I was to type in the quadratic formula All I need to do is start typing the beginning of it and it’ll predict all the rest of it for me I know to put that sort of thing in if you’re into science and You could type in Yeah, there’s like sulphonic acid and it’ll do all that sort of stuff for you So you can just start to type int in English and we’ll take care of the notation and the accessibility and all that sort of thing so super easy to use and I want to show a couple of other things. I want to show the handwriting recognition So again, if you’ve got a touchscreen device, I don’t have a touchscreen device. So I’m gonna write with my mouse I’m not very good at writing with my mouse so you can kind of Cut me some slack on that one. But if I want to type in the square root of x over PI Cubed and you can see that it recognizes that handwriting and it just pops it into the document So again, super easy if you’ve got like a Microsoft Surface device or a touchscreen Chromebook, you can just write on the surface of the screen and pop it in. It is pretty cool It’s also I’m gonna see if this works. I don’t know what the background noise and all the microphones and stuff But let’s have a go of this. So I’m just going to add. Oh No, this will be fine. So what I’m gonna do is try to use my microphone and put some math in That 3x squared plus 2y plus 17 equals 9 And you can see You can see that it just inserts the math In the dock So if I just insert that math, it’ll pop it in. Oh, it’s already in the document So you can see we can type in clear English and it’ll take care of all that stuff You can Handwrite your math and you can also dictate your mouth and it pops it in and it fits all the accessible stuff in there but there’s a couple of other things that we do there very cool and I want to just show you this very very briefly. And this is the place that could just really go wrong So, um What I’ve got here is this is the mobile phone version of the product and so what I’m gonna do is the mobile phone knows that I’m I’m using this document so I can go here and on my phone Type in the square root of 3 over PI to the power 4 And We should see it Just going in here. So that means that If you’ve got another device somewhere you can just use your phone as your input device and even if I’ve got Got some math written down here. If you want to play with this later. We’re just at the booth just outside and I’m gonna get my camera and I’m gonna take a photograph of some math here that I’ve got Okay, and I’m gonna see if this as as math and insert it into my doc But you can see it’s all neat and typeset so my scribbly old handwriting has turned into nice neat Handwritten math and I can even do kind of some fraction stuff here so Let me just take another photograph And So it’s gonna do the same thing. It’s gonna pop in some accessible math. It’s all accessible It’s got alt text and all of that good stuff so super easy to use and you can even if your microphone doesn’t work on your Chromebook or your Windows laptop, you can also dictate your math 3x squared plus 2y equals 17. Oh I turned my microphone off too too early. Let me try this again 3 x squared plus 2y equals 17 Something wasn’t going to work. This is it so it’s too noisy and Anyway, so I just wanted to show you some of that stuff so that you can see what we’ve got going on Thank you for your time

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top