Deanna Toxopeus, Itinerant Teacher of Assistive Technology, OCDSB

Why EquatIO is Setting Teacher Twitter Ablaze

This is a guest blog post from Deanna Toxopeus, an Itinerant Teacher of Assistive Technology at Ottawa Carleton District School Board. The original can be found on Deanna's personal blog: Muffins and Shenanigans.

EquatIO is a program that is setting Teacher Twitter ablaze. It works on top of several different programs and browsers to allow you to do math on the computer. Unlike many other things on the market, the user still has to do the thinking and the work. It doesn’t do the math for you.

I was exposed to EquatIO at the beginning of the year as part of my new job, Itinerant Teacher of Assistive Technology (ITAT). The ITAT team was looking for something to support students in STEM. We found Equatio and fell in love.

I have taught math for almost all of my career, and using the computer to prepare resources has always been difficult. I have become very adept at using superscript and inserting special characters. No student, even those who use a computer for all other work, has done their math on a computer in my 20 years of teaching. EquatIO has the possibility of changing all of that.

With EquatIO you can easily type math expressions and equations. The program allows you to type the name of an operation or other math symbols and insert it as an image. For example, typing “sq” brings up a menu with squared. Clicking on that inserts a 2 as an exponent. “Times” brings you a multiplication symbol and so on.

math prediction

You can also dictate your math, which blows my mind. Saying “open bracket, negative 7 plus 8, close bracket” brings you “(-7 + 8)”. If you have a touchscreen, you can even hand write math. Let me repeat, the computer turns my chicken scribbles into readable math.

Handwritten Math Equatio

The program even has a mobile interface that gives you access to a touchscreen and mic if you don’t have one on your computer by using the touchscreen and built-in mic. The mobile interface will also allow you to take a picture of math, be it handwritten or typed, and add that to your document.

All of this math is turned into an image that is not only editable but can also be inserted into many G Suite products (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Drawings). This means that math is as easy to do with a computer as language is now. And as a math teacher, that is really exciting.

Author Bio

Deanna Toxopeus is a teacher in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She is currently an Itinerant Teacher of Assistive Technology with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board. In her almost 20 years of teaching, Deanna has taught most subjects and grades at the elementary level but has spent a lot of that time teaching math to Grade 7 & 8 students. She also helps run #OttEdChat, a Twitter chat for educators in the Ottawa Area. In her spare time, Deanna reads, sews, crochets and plays lots of board games and RPGs with her family and friends. You can find her on Twitter @DeannaToxopeus and blogging at

Looking for more tips on how to use EquatIO and all its features in the classroom? Check out Ben Rouse's pre-recorded webinar series on how to make maths (or math) digital in your classroom. Ben is a renowned educator and technology specialist who now works as a Google for Education trainer with AppsEvents. So, he knows what he's talking about! Access the series right here.


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