John McGowan, Product Manager

Working it out together: collaboration with EquatIO

EquatIO is our newly-launched Chrome extension that makes math digital, letting students and teachers create equations and other mathematical expressions on their computer or Chromebook. And one of its biggest strengths is as an enabler for truly collaborative working – something that’s been elusive in math classes until now.

Doing math can often seem like a pretty lonely exercise for many school children. Once the teacher demonstrates something – like solving a simple linear equation – then it’s just you, armed only with your pencil and exercise book to work through the problems you’ve been set.

The irony is that ‘grown up’ math in the real world is anything but a solitary experience. It’s true that mathematical progress is still driven by the extraordinary insight and tenacity of gifted academics, who can wrestle with a problem on their own for months or even years.

But equally, many of today’s breakthroughs in math and science come from collaboration between groups of researchers all focused on the same problem. Everyone brings their own skills and specialties to the table – gradually building the solution piece by piece, like assembling a huge jigsaw puzzle.

As a classroom teacher for over 15 years, it frustrated me that kids had to learn and practice math in effective isolation, with little or no collaborative dimension to their working. And my frustration was compounded over the last few years with the rise of Google apps in the classroom. Suddenly students could work together in English and humanities classes, adding their own real-time inputs to a story or class presentation.

It seemed like math was getting left behind. And that’s what spurred me to develop EquatIO – the first genuinely collaborative, easy-to-use environment where students and teachers can work together on math problems digitally, just like sharing ideas and notes in a Google Doc.

This friendly new Chrome extension makes math input easy. Just type or handwrite on your computer or Chromebook - EquatIO instantly creates clear, accurately-formatted expressions to insert into documents or worksheets with a click. It’s a whole lot quicker and more intuitive than struggling with hard-to-learn mathematical coding languages to create something as simple as a fraction - or more complex algebraic and trig functions.

Why not try EquatIO for free – and find out how math doesn’t have to be the lonely relation in today’s collaborative classrooms.


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