Equation editor makes digital math accessible

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Price: Free to try
Platforms: Chrome, Web, Mac, Windows

Pros: Slim design with intuitive features that save time. Creates a truly accessible setting for creating and consuming math.

Cons: Menu options, handwriting tools, and prediction accuracy require some hands-on refinement in order to work efficiently.

Bottom Line: Helpful support tool makes math painless to teach and learn.

Equatio is a free equation editor extension for creating digital math. Try creating math quizzes or exit tickets by integrating equations into Google Forms. Use the handwriting feature as an online whiteboard to model working through examples. Save equations you create as favorites to edit with color and hints for remediation. Equatio works with programs that read aloud, and students can solve problems on their touchscreens to show each step in their thinking. Give students problems to solve collaboratively in mathspaces, such as constructing figures, building circuit diagrams, or creating free-body diagrams. Create interesting real-world math problems such as finding scale on a map of the local area, and use the image editor to incorporate the map. Create assignments that contain chemical equations with the periodic table and 3D molecular viewer within Equatio's STEM tools.

As a powerful, efficient, low-stress equation editor extension, Equatio solves problems while it helps users create them. Equatio allows anyone to create digital accessible math from voice, handwriting recognition, typing, mobile camera capture, or screenshot reader. All of the options are available on a straightforward toolbar, which includes video tutorials. Users who are unable to type or write math can say it aloud instead. A helpful smiley indicates its understanding of speech-to-text. Equatio's mathspace tools add on customizable manipulatives such as fraction bars, protractors, or clocks. But there's more: The editor inserts accessible math into documents with ready-made alt text and MathML formulas. There's also a LaTex editor for more advanced editing. The images created in mathspaces will need alt text added by the author, however. Once inserted, equations can still be opened and edited, which is a major plus. Equatio can be downloaded for Windows or Mac, added as a Chrome or Safari extension for the full range of features, or used on a mobile device.

Other features include a graph editor that uses the Desmos graphing calculator, a chemical formula writer, a periodic table, and a 3D molecule viewer.

Since the tool integrates with popular platforms like Google Docs, collaboration among teachers and students is a breeze. Equatio also lets teachers create unique links to assignments and share them with students. Students will see the assignment on their dashboard, and when they return it, teachers can comment and send it back for revisions. Equatio does not have gradebooks or analytics, but it does work with multiple learning management system (LMS) platforms for this purpose.

Equatio is a top-notch equation editor extension for creating and solving digital math equations. Varied input methods, tools, and accessibility considerations save time, but the tool does not provide instruction itself. This means it's up to the teacher to set the context in which the totally customizable Equatio is applied. Most will use it for the application of mathematical procedures, and the predictive features will help reinforce formulas. With integration capability into Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, and Drawings, there's ample opportunity for teachers and students to incorporate math into deeper tasks, and they will find Equatio valuable and relevant to their work or school life.

A 30-minute overview video in the resources section is enough to get going, but understanding how Equatio thinks and predicts will take a little time. It's impossible for Equatio to know exactly what every user wants, but it gets close. For example, if you typically create superscripted twos in a word processor, in Equatio you'll need to type or say "sq" or "squared." Handwriting recognition is mostly accurate but requires some practice to get used to. Still, its options and ease of use should inspire teachers to try new things, or at least save them so much time they'll branch out in other ways.

Creating accessible online tools and content is a huge lift, and developers tend to treat it as an afterthought, cut corners, or skip it altogether. Equatio has paid remarkable attention to this detail by supplying automatic alt text and MathML with each equation generated. Its input options remove frustration when a single method does not fit all. Texthelp's application of Universal Design for Learning to design Equatio empowers all learners to participate in creating digital, accessible math products. 

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The tool relies fully on the user's input, but multiple input methods, accessibility features, and device compatibility options connect to a big audience.


Complete control to create customized experiences should inspire teachers to try new approaches with richer math contexts.


Equatio Academy offers plenty of support with videos, blogs, podcasts, and articles as well as certification opportunities for educators.

Common Sense reviewer
Michelle P.
Michelle P. Curriculum Developer

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