SPECIAL NEEDS TECH NEWS

A newsletter celebrating enabling technology, the people who use it, and the developers that make it possible.

March 2004 Volume 3 Issue 3

INSIDE


1 AT Canada Listserv
2 Mouse Tracks
3 Math Drill Web Sites
4 Accessible Calculators
5 Math for People who are Visually Impaired
6 Professional Development Math Software
7 Tux, of Math Command (“TuxMath” for short)

Editor's Corner

Math support for special needs – where do we find it? This issue of Special Needs Tech News provides information on this topic. If you’re looking for Web sites that offer math assistive technologies, drills and interactive learning activities, check out the “Math Drill Web Sites” listed. Some of these appear to be commercial sites (currently offering free access), so it’s possible they’ll evolve into fee-based services in the future. Web sites with useful information about accessible calculators are listed. You’ll find some good resources on math for people with visual impairments as well as a brief review of middle school math professional development software. Finally, read about TuxMath, the free Open Source arcade style math drill software. Please feel free to make complete copies of this publication to share with others.

Send feedback to:


Janet Hopkins, ATP
at_consulting@canada.com
or
at_consultingbc@yahoo.ca
Phone (250) 828-1444
Fax (250) 828-1452
Mail: 2265 MacIntyre Place
Kamloops, BC V1S 1H7

Join the ATCanada Listserv


The ATCanada Listserv was initiated on Dec. 30, 2001. Educators and others can join this free discussion group to learn and exchange information on assistive technology issues. Join at: http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/ATCanada or http://ca.geocities.com/janethopkinsbc/

Mouse Tracks

Math and Assistive Technology
http://www.bridge-rayn.org/assistive%20technology/

ATSTAR – Assistive Technology for Math
http://www.atstar.org/at_math.htm

ATTO – Math
http://atto.buffalo.edu/registered/ATBasics/Curriculum/Math/

Math Tools
http://mathforum.org/mathtools/

Math Drill Web Sites

Here’s a list of math drill and activity Web sites that can help kids (and adults) improve their basic math skills. These can help teachers integrate technology into their math programs and lighten the preparation load at the same time. Check them out and have fun!

Math Flash
http://fly.hiwaay.net/~palmer/mathflash.html
This is a flash card program for drill and practice that can be downloaded for Windows.

AAA Math
http://www.aaamath.com
This is a site loaded with interactive basic math drills for K – 8 learners.

A+ Math
http://www.aplusmath.com
This is a site with interactive activities to help students improve their math skills.

Education 4 Kids
http://www.edu4kids.com
This site provides math activities, as well as activities for social studies, language, and science. Some of the resources are free, but a $10 membership provides additional functionality on this site.

MathDrill
http://www.mathdrill.com
Free registration to use this service is currently available for teachers and students. Teachers can select assignments that students can access through any computer. This system will mark assignments and provide progress reports for teachers.

SuperKids Math Worksheet Creator
http://superkids.com/aweb/tools/math/
Create worksheets on addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division for free on this site.

Math Baseball
http://www.funbrain.com/math/
This is a customizable baseball game for one or two players. Set the game for addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. Additional math activities are available through Math Brain at http://www.funbrain.com/brain/MathBrain/MathBrain.html

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives for Interactive Mathematics
http://matti.usu.edu/nlvm/nav/index.html
This is a very cool project funded through the National Science Foundation at Utah State University. This is an excellent resource for Pre-K – 12 visual math instruction and skill-building. This is a free resource. However, a CD-ROM version is also planned that will be available for purchase.

Accessible Calculators

Barrier-Free Education
Accessible Calculators and Accessories
http://barrier-free.arch.gatech.edu/Tools/calc.html
This site provides a listing of calculators with special features for disabilities.

Accessible Calcutors (Tech Connections)
http://www.techconnections.org/resources/guides/Calculators.pdf
This is a ready-to-print document from the Assistive Technology Quick Reference Series
http://www.techconnections.org/resources/QuickRef.cfm

Math for People who are Visually Impaired

Teaching Math to Visually Impaired Students
http://www.tsbvi.edu/math/
This is an excellent site created by Susan Osterhaus of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. Math Products
http://www.aph.org/products/prod_math.html
This page has a good selection of products that will help support students with visual disabilities who are learning math.

Middle School Math Software for Professional Development

Mathematics, YES! 6-8Courses 1 & 2
http://mhpdonline.com

This is a professional development program on CD that middle school math teachers can access on their own time.

Strengths: I like the easy to install autorun CD and Internet connection. It's a pleasure to be able to get into the program quickly without having to read through a lot of documentation beforehand. I found the program to be rich in media features, examples, and choices. The ability to track educator professional development is something many US school districts will be looking for to meet No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements.

Limitations: It would be less cumbersome to have the entire program accessible through the Web alone without the need for so many CDs on different math topic areas. I ran this program on my laptop computer and found some of the transitions to be a little slow. I felt that I had to wait too long for the program to move to the next frame. A bit frustrating, but it would probably be faster with a more powerful machine.

“TuxMath”

(Tux, of Math Command)

http://www.newbreedsoftware.com/tuxmath/

Free Open Source math software with optional onscreen input for children who can’t use a keyboard.

Downloads available at:
http://www.newbreedsoftware.com/tuxmath/download/

TuxMath is part of the Tux4Kids Project
http://ww2.tux4kids.com/tux4kids/

TuxMath and other Tux4Kids applications are now available on the Knoppix for Kids GNU/Linux distribution available through the Open Source Education Foundation at http://osef.org/

The Knoppix for Kids distribution can be downloaded and copied onto a CD for free distribution. Knoppix for Kids is bootable from the CD.

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