Just a couple of minutes ago I was watching this video:
This video presents an application (PhotoMath) that acts as a smart camera calculator or problem solver. It reads and solves mathematical expressions by using the camera of your mobile device in real time. My first thought about it just after this video was ‘Awesome app; I would like to use it!‘ But then I decided to start reading some of the comments and I realized that in fact, this is a controversial idea (if you think deeply about it). And here come some questions:
1. Would you let your child use it? My personal answer is a total ‘No’. And this is because I believe that knowing how to solve some maths problem is extremely important for every child’s development.
I would never ask a secondary student to use it (obviously not a primary one, either). One reason is that this app will just take away some of their creativity. It’s well known that some math problem have different solving strategies, and just letting the child think about it, try different things (even if the outcome is wrong) improves their confidence, develop their intuition, think logically about situations and be creative. Another reason is that by knowing those hard and sometimes time-consuming solutions, will totally help you in your future career. Not understanding the basic concept of things will let to poor engineers, accountants, economists, physicists and so on.
Another thing is the fact that they advertise it as if ‘It makes math easy and simple by educating users how to solve math problems.’ And I feel that this sometimes can be misunderstood and, even if the motive behind it is a good one, can be used as a way to find the solution faster, leaving the creativity behind.
2. Would you use it? And for this my answer is ‘yes’. The reason is: I am doing mathematics at university level, and sometimes it is way easier and not that time-consuming to use apps or other programs like this one to help you in some higher math problems.
I believe this is the same for any other job that has just a little math hidden there. But should never be use as more than a tool, it should never substitute your creativity, or thoughts.
As a conclusion, I like this app a lot, and I would totally use it, but I would never let my child use it for basic school problems.
What do you think about this app? Answer this question and the ones above in the comment section bellow. Let me know your opinion about this.
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