PhotoMath or Brainless Math?

Sometimes there's an App that comes along and makes people question teaching and education. PhotoMath by Micro Blink has caused interesting discussion . In fact the application has caused debate among many educators. PhotoMath is available for Windows, iOS and Android. Basically, PhotoMath "reads and solves mathematical expressions by using the camera of your mobile device".

Discussion centers on whether the application has gone too far by presenting answers with complete ease without any necessary mental effort. The ability to point, capture and access answers has removed the need to calculate answers and may have made Mathematics brainless.

The company's website claims that their application "makes math easy and simple by educating users how to solve math problems". Although the application does present answers for a mathematical expression, it also provides steps taken to solve the problem. This aspect of the application makes it a useful tool in building mathematical confidence.

Here's how;

1. With the App enabled, enclose the problem within the applications red frame.

2. Select 'Steps' for coaching and instruction.


PhotoMath is still in development. Currently it doesn't assist with complex calculus and geometry, however, it does support mathematical expressions, fractions and decimals, powers and roots and simple linear equations. In addition the application does not presently recognize hand written notes. Despite limitations PhotoMath is an excellent addition to student devices, for it can assist mathematical instruction, evaluating processes and checking answers.

The ability to present steps for completing a mathematic equation is the most outstanding feature of the App. It chucks information in simple steps that can assist understanding and organization of information. Within elementary education the application could be used to assist with education on regrouping, while in secondary the application could be used for more complex situations. Within the work environment PhotoMath may prove useful in saving time with calculations to improve productivity.

PhotoMath or Brainless Math? You decide.


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