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Free Math App May Be Bad News For Teachers, and Students

Free Math App May Be Bad News For Teachers, and Students

Teachers are wary of new technology is that's being used in math classrooms.

An app called Photo Math may be a concern to a number of teachers, said an article on With the app, the article said, "users can simply hold their phone over a question and wait a few seconds as it makes the calculations. It then produces the answer and shows the steps to get there."

"When I first heard about (the app), I thought, ‘Oh my goodness.’ And then I thought, it’s always kind of been there, it’s just quicker and easier because of the speed of the internet,” said Dr. Jeffrey Theil, who works with staff and parents on Common Core standards for the Chula Vista Elementary School District.

With Common core, Theil said, "students are asked to show their answers in multiple ways, so one would have to know how to ask the question to get an answer on the Internet."

Students, the article said, were asked to do the problems in their heads by rearranging fractions, and "while the app could crunch the numbers, it could not understand the intent of the questions, and the intent is what matters."

“That number sense and fluency is really important,” said Theil, “and I don’t think you can get that through an app or googling that or whatever because we’re challenging your mind and what your mind can do mathematically.”

Technology won't always be behind when it comes to interpreting "the intent and multiple demands of the Common Core math curriculum," the article said. And, "just like in the old days when we could look at the back of the textbook for answers, students need to be taught if they only use the internet as a short cut, they’re only cheating themselves."

Alexa Zumstein, however, said she "appreciates that concept" and "likes doing equations mentally," the article said.

"Not only does it help me practice doing it in my head, it just feels a sense of accomplishment, like I just did 237 times 26 on my own and I got it right and I feel good,” she said.

Learn more in this video below, provided by

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Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor 

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