Category: Learning Design

Site for Teaching Math to the Visually Impaired

I want to point you to a collection of resources for teaching the visually impaired. The site Teaching Math to Visually Impaired StudentsĀ is put up by Susan Osterhaus, who has been teaching math to the blind and visually impaired in Texas for almost 30 years. I have never even heard of many of the techniques and materials she refers to on the site, like Nemeth Code and Thermoform Tactile Diagrams. I wish there was a little more explanation of what these things are, but I am perfectly capable of searching on the Internet(which is what I did). Nemeth code is a special Braille used for math and science notations that allows arithmetic calculations, algebra, trigonometry, calculus, etc. There are a variety of Thermoform Tactile diagrams, but the general idea is that these are diagrams where the lines and curves that create the diagram are raised on the paper. Some papers are available where you can draw on the paper with black markers, and after running it through a copy machine, the lines become raised (the technology is based on light absorption). This would certainly be a great option for 2-D graphics. I have seen a machine that will make tactile 3-D graphs – when I was in Kentucky last year. More to come … Possibly Related Posts: Contemporary Algebra Collection (new resources 2/4/2019) Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about...

Read More

Assistive Math Technology Product Matrix

Design Science has built a great resource to use if you need to find out what kind of math accessibility your software has, to find out which accessibility software you might want to buy, or to compare different systems in general. Check out the Design Science Assistive Technology Product page. Possibly Related Posts: Contemporary Algebra Collection (new resources 2/4/2019) Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens Add Graphs In The World to Courses Taking the Algebra Out of College Algebra Group Exploration in...

Read More

Hammer and Nail Problem

Believe it or not, I have been at MathFest for three days and have only managed to attend four sessions (besides the one I presented in). But I talk to a lot of people and talk to a lot of the exhibitors and because MathFest is a lot more research-oriented and focuses more on upper level math, there are actually not a ton of sessions that I am interested in – although, as is always the case, the sessions I did want to go to were all scheduled for the time I was speaking. I haven’t seen Kien Lim since graduate school – I saw him walking down the street one night in Madison and recognized him. Kien and I used to be involved in some great discussions about how students learn. He invited me to his talk on the “Hammer-and-Nail Problem in Mathematics.” His talk (10 minutes) was briefly about his interest in math education and his experiences with students in Math for Elementary Ed. What he’s seen in teaching future teachers, is the same problem that I think we’ve all seen in different courses. Here are some examples that I’ve seen in math classes: After you teach algebra students how to multiply polynomials, some can suddenly no longer add polynomials and will multiply an expression like (x + 3) + (x – 4). In Calc II, I...

Read More

Is EASY captioning around the corner?

I just read on Google Blogoscoped that in some circumstances, you can now search the audio of selected videos loaded into Google Video. In particular, you can search election speeches of the candidates for specific words (try it out here). Every time there is a “hit” in the video for your keyword, a yellow mark appears on the video timeline. I did a search for the keyword “math” in the video collection. When you hover your mouse over the yellow mark, you see the text of the speech at that moment. One can only assume that Google has processed the audio through a speech-to-text program and are actually searching the transcript of the videos for the keywords you choose. As a side benefit, wouldn’t it be cool if one of my students could search my collection of videos for a key phrase, like “logarithmic differentiation” and see every instance of it? I think this means that Google is pretty darn close to being able to automatically caption videos. If nothing else, hopefully this means that cheap captioning services are just around the corner. If putting your video lessons on Google Video or Youtube meant they were captioned, would you do it? Release your content to the world? Possibly Related Posts: Math Graphs for the Blind ADA and Hyperlinks MathDaisy 1.0 for Accessible Math Site for Teaching Math to the...

Read More

A MATH reader for Blind Students

When I was in San Diego two weeks ago, I met with Bob Mathews, from Design Science and he mentioned a product called MathPlayer that they produce to help the visually impaired. The player reads mathematical text aloud, and you can alter the way it reads certain functions aloud (for example, you may prefer close parens or you might like it to just say parenthesis). The program understands the need to know whether a portion of a fraction is the numerator or the denominator, it understands that you would need to know when the argument of the square root ends, etc. I asked Bob if he could find a way to share the demo that he showed me and he has put some time in to create a web page to demonstrate the product’s capabilities (thanks Bob!). You may want to open the Audio portion in a separate window so that you can still see the text that it was set up to read. You can download the MathPlayer (free) on the Design Science website and play with it yourself. The voice is pretty mechanical-sounding, but Bob told me that if the listener has paid for an upgraded voice, it is pretty realistic. Our college paid thousands of dollars to have a math book printed in braille last year for a blind student. With all the materials available on...

Read More

Subscribe to Busynessgirl via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe.

Categories for Posts

Top Posts & Pages