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Math teachers have a new tool courtesy of IU researchers


Erik Weitnauer of Graspable Inc. demonstrates the Graspable Math technology, which allows users to physically manipulate algebraic equations. The company has integrated its educational technology with Google Classroom. Courtesy Photo Buy Photos

A new technology devised by IU researchers is going to make it easier for math teachers and professors to engage with students learning algebra digitally.

Graspable Inc., a startup hinging on IU intellectual property and licensed through the IU Innovation and Commercialization Office, created the technology.

Since its creation, the IU ICO has helped create 3,000 different inventions which have generated more than $115 million in funding for various IU departments and researchers.

Erik Weitnauer, the president of Graspable, said in an IU press release the algebra education program could be used in conjunction with Google Classroom. 

Students use the Graspable program by clicking a URL link, after which a set of equations appears and students can then touch, click and drag math elements around to solve the problem. 

"The integration provides teachers with a good method to assign Graspable Math worksheets to their students and survey the results," Weitnauer said in the release. "When students click the link to the assignment on Google Classroom, they are forwarded to the Graspable Math canvas, to their own copy of the assignment. After they electronically turn in their assignment, teachers access the work, grade it and return it to the student with their comments."

The program requires no special training. A teacher can just log into the Graspable system by using their Google Classroom account.

"We believe the integration will allow teachers to go beyond using Graspable Math as a presentation tool," Weitnauer said in the release. "Teachers now have an easy way to invite their students to work with Graspable Math."

Dominick Jean 

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