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Digital Math

This message was posted by Jonathan Cruce on Jul 28, 2009.

I have a client now who is going to be taking college math classes and who cannot physically manipulate books due to her CP. I'm working on the use of a webcam as a CCTV for her to see the board during class, but she doesnt' feel that audiobooks are an option for her to learn math effectively. I've pointed her toward Bookshare, but don't know if they'll have her textbook already digitized or not.

I did find something interesting while researching software that would let her type her math homework. MacKichan Software, makers of Scientific Notebook, sells a version of Scientific Notebook that comes with a Calculus text already digitized, that uses video and other computer-based methods to teach "a three semester calculus course." It looked interesting enough that I wanted to share it with you all.

Any other ideas out there for math at a college level? Any ideas on software to help use a webcam as a CCTV?

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  • Re:Digital Math posted by Annette Cerreta on Jul 28, 2009

    Very recently, several technologies have entered the market that will display, read out loud, and properly navigate mathematical notation. The math needs to be written in a Mathematical markup language called MathML, an application of XML. There is software that will author and play MathML. Design Science,, is a website that sells math authoring tools and also has some good resources that explain the process of authoring MathML using Microsoft Word, Save as DAISY, Mathtype, and MathDaisy. Students will need to use book players that will read and play MathML. Right now these include: ghPlayer, Dolphin EasyReader (that I know of). Another good resource for learning about mathML is the World Wide Web Consortium: Authoring Tools: Microsoft Word, MathType, MathDaisy & Save As DAISY Players: gh PLAYER -OR- Dolphin EasyReader Resources: Design Science World Wide Web Consortium

  • Re:Digital Math posted by Joy Zabala on Jul 28, 2009

    Just a note about Bookshare. If they do not already have the textbooks that is being used in the student's classes in their collection, since she clearly qualifies for their services, it is my understanding that you can send them a copy of the book and they will prepare the digital (DAISY)format for her. Betsy will be able to give more details about this and also correct me if I am mistaken. There is another resource that would probably be of interest to your student and others in higher education who need specialized formats. Have a look at The following ppears in the intro to the website..."The AccessText Network facilitates and supports the national delivery of alternative electronic textbooks to higher education institutions for students with documented disabilities. AccessText provides these textbooks by leveraging an online database powered by Intuit QuickBase® and incorporating publisher-provided information on thousands of textbook titles." It is FOR SURE something to check into.

    • Re:Digital Math posted by Betsy Burgess on Jul 29, 2009

      Joy, Thanks for the note. Students CAN request books for school if the book is not already in the Bookshare library. However, we are NOT currently able to process math and science books due to the challenges of things like math equations. We are working on it and hope to be able to provided this much needed resource to students in the near future. In the meantime, college students can request non-math and science book requests to Bookshare simply by making a request here:

  • Re:Digital Math posted by on Jul 30, 2009

    I would check to see if the publisher can send an etext copy. I had a student at a community college and we were able to get it from the publisher.

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