Although I *can" visualize math in my head, unfortunately it's more like I *had to* back in the day when most of it was taught with numerals and story problems. I had to memorize everything, which, having a visual memory, was doable but took a lot of discipline for an elementary school kid. It got better when the first wave of "new math" came in, mostly because of set theory. That's highly visualizable. Then in college stat class i learned to do long division in my head because calculators then still cost hundreds of dollars (in today's dollars). This new technology sounds ideal for many kids, whether they visualize or not.
Math is not my forte, and unlike Ann, I definitely can't visualize it in my head so tools like this would definitely help. Although, even with all the interface improvements and graphical capabilities, equations are still equations and you have to understand the basic concepts in order to really put a tool like this to the test. I guess that counts me out!
Checking the term "clickable math," I see that Maplesoft has trademarked it, which is probably a good move. I have a feeling we'll be hearing more of this term, or maybe a similar term from competitors. The product may represent a technical advancement, but I think there's a definite marketing success here, too.
I wish this type of visual interaction had been available when I was learning math way back when. Unlike ChasChas, I do think visually when it comes to math--I remember the pie diagrams in first grade to this day but the numerals on the board often gave me problems.
@Chuck: Clickable math is definitely a Maplesoft term, but I agree with everyone's comments that drag and drop, object-oriented, and more consumer-like interfaces make the high-level math equations more accessible for students. Don't forget, young people are very used to using their phones and apps in a highly intuitive way. They're not going to latch on to any old-school, command-line driven tool even if it feels comfortable to veteran engineers. Maplesoft, as all tool vendors, have to evolve with the times and give the younger generation tools that are as interactive and accessible as the ones they use in their personal lives.
Drag to solve or "interactive" math I like the sound of it. Maplesoft made be on to something with this method of manipulating equations with interaction. Might be a good tool for STEM professionals trying to peak student interest in mathematicals.
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