Recently I discovered the app PhotoMath. It was described as the following on the app store:
"PhotoMath is the world's smartest camera calculator! Just point your camera to a Math problem, and PhotoMath will instantly display the answer.
Join millions of users worldwide and make your learning progress faster and more enjoyable.
Use it to get help when you're stuck with a problem. Hit the steps button, and see a full step-by-step solution!
Students can use it as a tool to learn Math, while parents can use it to quickly check their kid’s homework. With PhotoMath, you can have a Math teacher in your pocket! 🙂"
As I am teaching Algebra in my maths class at the moment I thought I would give it a try. As long as the equations are written on a computer (as opposed to handwritten), the app works great. It shows comprehensive steps for each part of an equation that are easy to understand.
To show how it is used, check out the following steps:
1) Choose the equation that you want PhotoMath to solve
2) Open the app PhotoMath, and hover the camera over the equation. The app should recognise the equation, and give you an instant answer. The best part from here is that you have the option to then select the button that says 'Steps' to see how the equation is worked out.
3) When you click on 'Steps', you are taken to this screen which shows each step of the equation until the eventual answer is given.
4) You can then click on each individual step to see further information on how to work that particular part of the equation out. For example, the picture shows where I have selected step 1, and at the bottom of the screen a detailed explanation is given. The user can do this for every step of the equation.
The app also keeps a collection of all of the equations that it has worked out. To see this you will need to click on the button that the arrow is pointing at in the picture below.
You will then be taken to a screen with all of the equations that have been worked out previously. For each equation you have the option of viewing how each one was worked out.
What I love most about this app is that it doesn't just tell you the answer, it shows you the working out process, step by step. Therefore it is a great tool for teachers to help their students with their learning, and it gives students another tool to direct their own learning. From what I have experienced so far, it works best with equations that have been typed up, rather than handwritten (the app developers mention this). Overall, I would highly recommend PhotoMath as tool that can enhance the learning process. It is also free!