Deena Kimmel, Marketing Specialist & Dan Lyons, Math Teacher

A Big Day for EquatIO

Today is a big day for EquatIO®. Not only does it turn 1 today (happy birthday!!) but it also recently hit a major milestone: reaching 1 million users! Thank you to all of the educators, edtech leaders, STEM enthusiasts, and (of course) students who have explored EquatIO, provided valuable feedback, and got us to the place we are today. It’s been wonderful seeing how teachers and students alike are using EquatIO to engage in STEM like never before.

In honor of this special day, we’d like to hand this blog post over to one of those 1 million users, Dan Lyons from Lakeview – Fort Oglethorpe High School in Georgia, to share his experience of incorporating EquatIO into his math classroom. Take it away, Dan!

I entered the field of education through an alternative teacher preparation program and spent most of the first 15 years of my career fostering a teacher-centered environment. I was a rows-and-columns, sage-on-the-stage teacher who knew I could do more, but felt like I lacked the resources to up my game significantly.

I discovered g(Math) and, subsequently, EquatIO, during the 2016-17 school year as I was preparing for our transition the following year to a 1:1 environment where every student would have a school-issued Chromebook in his hands on Day One. I was seeking an equation editor that would allow me to put properly formatted mathematic expressions into a Google Form for an upcoming assessment and g(Math) was exactly what I needed. I absorbed it like a sponge, learning everything I could about it and telling everyone I knew about this wonderful tool that I had discovered. When EquatIO was released in April of 2017 as a replacement for g(Math), I spent a disproportionate amount of my Spring Break digesting it. I knew right away that it was a game-changer.

Within the first few days of class in our new 1:1 environment, I led my students to EquatIO mathspace and gave them time to tool around and discover what it could do and how to use it. I showed them how to employ EquatIO across the Google Suite and explained to them that they would use it to submit many of their responses to online assessments. They found it easy to learn and use within just a few minutes.

My use of EquatIO has evolved just over the last few months as I have utilized EquatIO mathspace in more and more ways to foster a student-focused environment. Students all over the room are critiquing their peers’ work and submitting work to me for feedback and revision. Until very recently, my only criticism of fully online assessments was that there was no practical way for learners to express their reasoning by showing their work. EquatIO mathspace has eliminated this concern, though, as my students can now receive a math problem from me electronically and use EquatIO to show their work and submit it back to me. I can provide feedback and return it to them as many times as is needed for them to correct their errors.  

I also enjoy letting students take on the role of Test Maker instead of Test Taker, having them create, solve and submit their own problems in EquatIO mathspace. Or, I can embed a link in a Google Form to a problem in EquatIO mathspace as part of an assessment. This saves time, effort, paper and energy as I can assign, view, critique and assess their work digitally from anywhere - even during a faculty meeting.

EquatIO and EquatIO mathspace have completely revolutionized my classroom. The environment is more collaborative and my feedback is returned to them in a much more timely manner than ever before. Students have the power to give properly formatted digital responses, and I believe that they are much more conscious of what they are submitting when they have to be more deliberate about typing in the symbols and nomenclature they use.

I believe that the 1:1 mathematics classroom NEEDS EquatIO and EquatIO mathspace. They have become indispensable to me in a very short amount of time and every day I anticipate discovering some new way to use them to increase student engagement and foster an environment more focused on learning and doing.

Author Bio

I'm in my 17th year of teaching math, entering the field of education through an alternative certification program in 2001. I don't know the definition of the word "pedagogy," but I have a Bachelor's of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University. I worked for 10 years an a Naval officer, Manufacturing Engineer and Mechanical Design Engineer before finding my true calling in education. I enjoy connecting with students and making math topics accessible to them. I've been married 21 years and have three sons. When I have the time, I enjoy acting onstage in local theatrical productions.

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.


Hedy Lim 4/19/2018 9:21:52 AM
I had conversation with Dan in twitter last January regarding Equatio. Now, I read his story in Texthelp education-blog. Woww, the powerful of social media.
Nice story and great job, Dan! :)




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