[Athen] Vertual Pencil

Sean Keegan skeegan at htctu.net
Tue Jul 24 10:30:33 PDT 2007

Hi Robert,

I have played a bit with the Algebra version of Virtual Pencil - nothing
scientific, just playing around to see what it can do. Something to keep in
mind is the software requirements; Virtual Pencil Algebra requires JAWS for
the speech part of the interface (as of right now). You might be able to
use Connect Outloud, but I have never had any positive experiences with that

After playing a bit with Virtual Pencil Algebra, it seems to do a good job
of communicating the structure of an equation - in other words, you can move
through individual parts of the equation or have the equation read back to
you as a whole. For a student who is new to polynomials, fractions, etc. as
well as how the equations are expressed visually, I think it does a good job
of controlling how the student interacts with the equation. It also does a
decent job of allowing a student to input equations that "look" correct to a
sighted user.

It would probably be a good start for a student who is working with
polynomials, fractions, etc., but would not be a great application for a
student taking higher level math. If the student is going to be taking
higher level math, then I think you are looking at WinTriangle as a possible
option (Chatty Infty looks interesting as well).

Take care,

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