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Photomath scanning math equations.

Photomath can scan a wide variety of math equations.

Photomath is a powerful math teaching app that gives students solutions to math problems as well as the steps taken to achieve the solution. The app uses the camera on your phone or tablet to view written or printed math problems then immediately returns the solution with each individual step explained. The app can handle a wide range of equations; even including calculus and trigonometry. The app will also produce visual graphs for elementary functions.

While most educational technologies have been developed to provide students with an enhanced learning experience, this educational technology is controversial in that one can provide a strong argument that this could be a hindrance to a student’s learning experience. This app can be used to help students learn the mathematical mechanics behind a solution; concurrently, this can also be damaging towards a student’s learning experience by making math solutions quicker and simpler to solve for instead of doing the mental work on pencil and paper.

The greatest danger in this app is that a student can use it for academic misconduct; for example: completing homework questions using the app and not doing any mental work. With the app showing the steps taken to reach the solution, it would also be almost impossible to distinguish the work between a student that used Photomath and a student that did not.

For math teachers, it would be very important to be aware of this app’s existence and the possible implications that this app can have on your classroom. Educational technologies has made educators rethink how classrooms should be taught, Photomath is a prime example of a technology that can completely change how the classroom is taught. There are many questions that arise about the future of the math classroom; a future with Photomath.

If a student’s homework can be completed with the use of Photomath, would it still be reasonable to assign homework?
Should all assessed class work be only completed in the monitored environment of a classroom?
Is there a way to distinguish the work between a student who uses Photomath and one that doesn’t?
Should math homework use more “real-world math problems” rather than abstract symbol math?

This app has also become quite popular and come into prominence in the news, earning features on TIME magazine and The New York Daily News.

Video: b/60 (2014). PhotoMath App Can Help Students Cheat Using Cell Phone Camera

  1. Download the Photomath app on Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
  2. Scan a math problem written or printed on paper.
  3. Edit the equation if needed by tapping the pencil icon.
  4. Tap the red box to see the steps taken to achieve the answer.
  5. View the notebook to see your previous equations scanned.

Watch this video to see how Photomath works!

Video: Photomath (2015). Photomath 2.0

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