MyScript Calculator - Handwriting Calculator

App review by
Keri Wilmot, Common Sense Media
MyScript Calculator - Handwriting Calculator App Poster Image
Instantly solves handwritten math equations; watch cheating.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

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.  

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that MyScript Calculator is a useful productivity tool and educational app that helps kids quickly get the answer to math problems. Problems range from simple addition to complicated calculus. Using a fingertip, stylus, or Apple pencil, users write a number or math equation on the screen. Within seconds the app converts numbers and number signs into text, and an answer to the problem automatically appears, unless that feature is turned off in settings. Adults will need to monitor the equation to make sure it is written correctly before it is solved. There are many other ways to use the app to help young children improve their confidence and participation in math activities. A paid version of the app offers features that remember the answer to a recently solved problem for use in another step, which is not necessary for younger school-age users. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

In MYSCRIPT CALCULATOR - HANDWRITING 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 - Handwriting 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 - Handwriting 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?

App details

  • 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
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free (in-app purchase for Power Pack $.99)
  • Release date: November 6, 2015
  • Category: Productivity
  • Size: 21.40 MB
  • Publisher: MyScript
  • Version: 1.3.2
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later

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