06 February 2013

iOS Ed-ssentials: "The Only Math [Apps] You'll Ever Need"

I picked up this book at a garage sale a couple of years ago. 
The Only Math Book You'll Ever Need: Practical, Step-by-Step Solutions to Everyday Math Problems.

Sounds promising, right? In fact, I think I'm going to use at least one section in here about mean and median next week in my Applied Math classes as a Think Aloud activity (my previous Think Aloud experience here) The real problem with this book as "the only math book you'll ever need," is that many of the sections in the book are all over simple numeracy skills or operations that anyone with a pretty basic mobile phone can have done for them. Here's a quick summary of topics in the book that my basic, feature phone can do:

  • Tipping
  • Unit Conversion (measurements)
  • Unit Conversion (time)
  • Percentages
[These aren't even covered in the book, but I just found out my LG Cosmos Touch can also give me trig and inverse trig ratios, factorials, permutations, combinations, nth roots, logs, and natural logs]
Needless to say, any of the sections that are heavy on computation tips and low on concepts are easily, and wisely replaced by modern technology.

Without further ado, here's my [short] list of "The Only Math Apps You'll Ever Need". If you're looking for yourself, your child, or your MS and HS students, I would start here.

MyScript Calculator, by Vision Objects : I found this one just last week, actually, and there was a tiny bit of a learning curve getting the app to recognize my numerals, but it took out a step for me between writing my work and entering into the calculator. It also tries to guess what you're calculating, and automatically computes what the operations are equal to (saving you keystrokes)

Free Graphing Calculator, by William Jockusch: This app is good as a graphing utility; I like the colors, I can zoom and manipulate the axes with ease, but I really like this app because it has a built-in reference library for basic formulas and mathematical definitions, axioms, and laws. A digital formula sheet, if you will.

Graph, by VVImaging, Inc: All the statistical graphs and data analysis you can't do with Free Graphing Calculator is covered here.

I made the choice NOT to put a regular scientific calculator on this list because I feel like its important for students to continue to carry those in their bags for assessments. Going on the assumption that your students will have traditional calcs with them, then, you don't need them on your devices.

Next in the series, I'll reveal my essential note-taking apps.

Do you agree, or disagree? Could you keep your list to three, or are there other essential math apps for you?

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Thanks for sharing!