Teachers Criticize App That Solves Math Problems
Developed by MicroBlink, PhotoMath uses the smartphone's camera to take a snapshot of a written or printed mathematical equation.
Through the app's optical character recognition feature, PhotoMath identifies the figures and symbols in the equation. It then solves the problem and provides an answer.
For teachers, however, apps such as this are taking away the fundamental purpose of homeworks and textbook lessons.
One of the criticizers of the app, Glenn Wardell of Nevada's North Valleys High School, sent an email to his colleagues to warn them about how PhotoMath endangers their profession and the well-being of students.
"Hate to be the bearer of unwelcome news this morning, but if you are not keeping up with the world of math technology, it is reaching a tipping point of changing what we do," he wrote.
"Check out the site: https://photomath.net/ and think about what it means to our profession and our classrooms," Wendell added.
He then called on his fellow teachers to develop new methods in order to update the learning environment inside classrooms, according to IntSpine.
"We need to think deeply about how we can create an environment of learning both in and outside the classroom, because the technology is making outside the classroom a moot point unless we make some changes long term," he said.
As for MicroBlink, the app developer said PhotoMath was not designed to replace classroom lessons or provide students a high-tech tool for cheating. Instead, the app is meant to help students understand lessons they have a hard time grasping, NY Daily News reported.
"Most of the news about PhotoMath focuses on its uses as a cheating tool," the company stated. "Let's be honest: Many kids cheat anyway, and an app which solves math problems automatically won't make this problem worse."
"However, PhotoMath can be really helpful to many children when they are stuck with their homework and there is no one around to help them figure it out," MicroBlink added.