accessible math applications

Hi folks, I have a student who will be using an ipod touch for note taking in class after she receives it from Santa. She will be using a refreshable Braille display for a keyboard. Her Teacher of the visually impaired and I are wondering if there are any applications that will assist in producing math in readable Braille, so she can use this perhaps to write her homework on something other than a Perkins Brailler and have it interlined by the TVI. Thanks.

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#1 neat

Hi, It's neat to know that teachers are so interested in their students. smile Anyhow, if your student is struggling with math then I urge you to continue allowing the use of a braille writer and paper as the spacial relationships of math are very helpful in setting strong foundations for math. As I recall I had a braille writer and paper waiting for me in my trignometry class and another braille writer and more paper waiting for me at home. If the student is strong in math you could likely work out a very simple process in grade one braille using star for multiplication, slash for division etc. One line per math step. double lines between equations. In high school I never worked my problems in any other format than linear given how cumbersome vertical math was. In college I did calcalculous on an eletronic vbraille device but as I recall I just read my answers out to the teacher or typed them up. I guess it was more convenient for us with no special assistant available.

#2 Forgot to note

Forgot to note that the refreshabraille only has 18 characters of braille which can supply it’s own unique hurtles to working math equations. If you don’t believe me try writing just 18 characters of a problem on a separate sheet of paper. Then flip around between the different sheets of paper to refer back to previous work, make new calculations, etc. Depending on the math subject in question the mechanics of using just 18 cells of braille can create a juggling act totally separate from the mathematical gymnastics we all know and love! smile

#3 I'm no longer a math student.

I'm no longer a math student. I tried out the trigonometry calculator that comes with the IPhone 4. Just open the calculator and tilt to landscape view for the trig and advanced functions. Interestingly the height of the button is the same as the width of a braille character and the width of the button is exactly the same as the height of a braille character. My husband and I were able to label each button with a single braille character. For using the IPod for printing up homework, voice over does make it easy to know what will be printed out when a specific symbol is typed into the refreshabraille. This is called computer braille and is very different from the mathmatical braille that the student will see in her text books. For example in computer braille one and 1 half would be written something like 1 1/2 whereas the correct nemeth braille translates to #1_?1/2#. With a little creative cooperation you and the student might work out a notation that you can both understand. When I was a student, I would write fractions as decimals when ever possible for easier writing and reading. These days I am a programmer and use the computer braille daily. There are some apps noted in the education section of the app directory on this site. The apps seem to be used more to complete the problem than as a means of printing up home work. Best of luck to your student with her new braille display!

#4 Math Melodies

Math Melodies is a very good app for teaching math to students. It comes with fun gameplay where you have to solve different math puzzles to achieve something. It is in the game and education category.
EX: Let's say that you were trapped. You will need to solve a math problem to get out of the trap.

The app includes Adding, Subtracting, Multiplying, Dividing, Fractions, and tons more.