Does PhotoMath have any learning potential?

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Image courtesy of PhotoMath

PhotoMath is a new mobile app that allows users to take a picture of a math equation on their phone and instantly receive an answer. As of now the app can only read printed equations. So it’ll be most useful when students encounter a tricky math equation on a textbook. Also the app can solve only arithmetic, fractions, decimals, powers, roots, and linear equations a well as functions like log, exp, sin, cos. This means that it won’t be much help if students are faced with a word problem.

At first the app sounded like a great way to cheat on Math homework. After a little digging around on the PhotoMath homepage, I’ve learned that it does more than pop out an answer. The app also provides a step by step solution to the equation. But does this makes PhotoMath a learning app? I think it does have the potential to become one. One idea to increase its learning potential can be if the app provides the users with similar or more difficult problems after viewing a solutions. This is so that they can use what they’ve learned from the step by step solution and apply it to more advanced equations. This can be a good way to reflect on the original problem for deeper learning.

After reading the PhotoMath blog it was clear to me that they didn’t create the app for cheating. I’m really interested in seeing if this app will be able to solve more advance math concepts like integrals and derivatives. What do math teachers think about the learning potential of PhotoMath? Sound off in the comments section below!

Until next time keep calculating everyone!

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