By Keri Wilmot,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Instantly solves handwritten math equations; watch cheating.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
App can reinforce math skills and boost confidence, when it's used to check math calculations. Young kids can practice number formation. Older kids work on properly lining up equations before solving them. May motivate children to participate more in math, especially if they prefer technology over the use of a pencil and paper.
Ease of Play
Using a finger, stylus, or Apple pencil, numbers can be easily written on the iPad. May take time for some kids to understand the need to write problems in a left to right format, rather than stacking numbers in place value columns.
Parents Need to Know
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What’s It About?
In MYSCRIPT CALCULATOR, users write math equations on the screen with a fingertip, a stylus, or an Apple pen. The answer instantly appears on the screen, unless the automatic calculation feature is turned off. The types of problems solved include addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, percentages, square roots, fractions, exponents, and other advanced concepts used in calculus (sine, cosine, tangent). A grid format on the screen, similar to graph paper, helps kids use a consistent number size and organize their numbers when writing the equation. The calculator solves one equation at a time, and it can only be written from left to right, in a horizontal format. Students learning to solve problems in a vertical column format will watch their vertical equation transform into a complicated fraction, rather than a correct answer. After kids complete a problem, they can send screenshots to a teacher, tutor or parent, which may be a great alternative homework option.
Is It Any Good?
This calculator helps kids easily find the answers to a wide variety of math problems. MyScript Calculator has many uses and appeals to a variety of age ranges and skill levels. The free version is enough for younger kids doing single-step problems, but it also has complicated calculation features that are suited for advanced math. Older students in middle school and high school who are learning difficult math concepts can use it to check their work. Younger elementary-age kids can write a number on the screen and then watch it magically transform into text, to build confidence with accurate number formation. Parents who might not be confident in solving difficult math calculations can use the app as a strategy to provide a solution. Because many kids are required to solve problems vertically, it's too bad this calculator doesn't support that orientation. However, for children who have dyscalculia, which impacts their ability to learn new math concepts, the app can be used for additional instruction and educational activities that may help improve their overall success and confidence. As with any app that readily provides answers, parents will want to supervise when and how it's used.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how MyScript Calculator can benefit a kid's ability to understand mathematical concepts at home: kids can use it as a reference to check their finished work after they've tried it on their own first.
Discuss how spending time learning and understanding the processes of solving complicated problems is important. A math calculator is a tool to support learning and check work; it should not be used to "cheat." What would the risks of using a calculator dishonestly be?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Math: addition, algebra, arithmetic, calculus, counting, division, equations, fractions, functions, multiplication, numbers, ratio, sequences, statistics, subtraction
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, making conclusions, prediction, problem solving, strategy, thinking critically, Tech Skills: using and applying technology
- Pricing structure: Free (in-app purchase for Power Pack $.99)
- Release date: November 6, 2015
- Category: Productivity
- Publisher: MyScript
- Version: 1.3.2
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later
- Last updated: July 16, 2019
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