Math App Causes Frustration Amongst the Math Department

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Math App Causes Frustration Amongst the Math Department

Students can take a picture of a math problem and the app provides a step-by-step solution.

Students can take a picture of a math problem and the app provides a step-by-step solution.

Students can take a picture of a math problem and the app provides a step-by-step solution.

Students can take a picture of a math problem and the app provides a step-by-step solution.

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There are many websites as well as applications available to students to gain help on homework or with classes at school. Recently, a math app called PhotoMath has become increasingly popular. While many teachers view it as a study aid, Math Department Head Angela Mosier said she was not fully aware of its functions and decided to try it for herself.

“Since I teach a couple different classes, I decided to try a problem from geometry and a problem from precalculus to see what level of math does this thing actually work for,” Mosier said.

PhotoMath allows you to take a picture of a math problem, and it will show you the solution as well as the steps taken to solve it. Mosier said that she could see this app being helpful to students in the more basic math classes, but higher level courses would have problems too complex for it.

Math instructor Karen Anderson said that the hope of teachers is that students use this app to help on homework. Unfortunately, several teachers have caught students using it to cheat on tests.

“When it comes to tests what we want to know is what can you do,” Anderson said. “Not what can an app do; that’s truly what we teachers believe.”

Mosier said that though the app can provide step by step solutions, they are often different from what is taught in class. She said that in the long run, the app may confuse the students rather than help.

“Use your technology kids, but use it correctly,” Anderson said.

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