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There are several careers that encompass math on various levels. Writing mathematical equations can be difficult for some individuals. Do the results of your penmanship leave you questioning what it was you wrote prior? Writing math equations requires detail to attention and good fine motor skills to align the numbers correctly. Trying to type math on a computer can be a daunting task unless you are utilizing specific software programs dedicated to help you type math. These software programs often fall into a category classified as virtual pencils.

Below are some math software programs you might like to consider:

MathTalk with Scientific Notebook allows you to enter complex mathematics and to compute the equations with voice commands. You are using speech recognition to dictate the equations. One can dictate prealgebra, algebra, trigonometry, calculus and statistics, through graduate and Ph.D. level. You can even dictate graphs as well. Click the link to see a demonstration.

EquatIO by Texthelp is a Chrome browser extension that allows you to type, handwrite, or dictate equations, formulas and more directly on your computer or Chromebook. You can add expressions to Google Docs, Forms, Slides, Sheets and Drawings. The features listed are:

- Enter math expressions via your device’s keyboard, touchscreen or voice input
- Easily insert accurately-formatted equations and formulas into documents with a click
- Intuitive prediction speeds up accurate entry of simple and more complex math expressions
- Removes ‘umms’, ‘errs’ and other unwanted non-math words when dictating aloud
- Built-in library of ready-made formulas, equations and other math expressions
- Integrates with Read&Write for Google Chrome for Math-to-Speech capabilities

This program is targeted to students on their website. However, the concept can be used by anyone. Click the link to learn more.

Photomath is an app for iOS and Android. You use your phone’s camera to take a photo “scan” a math problem and Photomath will show the result with a detailed step-by-step instructions. It also has handwriting recognition. Photomath supports arithmetics, integers, fractions, decimal numbers, roots, algebraic expressions, linear equations/inequations, quadratic equations/inequations, absolute equations/inequations, systems of equations, logarithms, trigonometry, exponential and logarithmic functions, derivatives and integrals. This is not a virtual pencil program but it is a great tool to help one better understand math.... and, I think it is amazing since math is not my forte. Click the link to learn more.

Math Assistive Technology (AT) tools are finally starting to gain notice in the industry. Prior, there were not many options for virtual pencils. There are several others in addition to the three noted above. Some of the math tools offer computation and comprehension support and features, yet others will only offer virtual pencil features. You will also need to address if the program will allow integration with specific programs, spread sheets, and forms your work place uses when you are using virtual pencil math software. Additionally, there are several calculators for low vision needs on the market.

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