MET:Tablet Enhanced Learning Environments in Math

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This page is authored by Leo Chan & Evonne Tutkaluk (2010 Section 65B)


Tablet PC is increasingly gaining attention from the education field in the digital era. More and more school districts are investing their limited budgets into Tablet PCs for their Math department. Classroom teachers are designing computer-integrated lessons to improve student learning. Li et al. (2009) developed a four-dimensional information literacy framework to examine student learning in a Tablet PC supported environment:

  • Cognitive dimension: find, comprehend, apply, analyze, synthesize, evaluate, present
  • Meta-cognitive dimension: awareness, planning, monitoring, reflection
  • Affective dimension: attitude, motivation, value
  • Socio-cultural dimension: communal/cultural, social (Li et al., 2009)

The integration of Tablet PC into classroom instruction enhances student auditory and visual modes of learning. According to Fister & McCarthy (2008), tablet PC brings a number of advantages to student learning:

  • Use of archived notes for students learning
  • Use of colour to emphasize work
  • Ability to involve students and to encourage interaction between students
  • Use of multiple programs to aid in student learning
  • Increase in student learning and ownership of that learning

During an on-going lesson, Tablet PC allows classroom teachers to add digital ink spontaneously on a pre-designed lesson template. It can be a powerful tool for instruction when combined with other tools, such as: (1) note-taking software, (2) videos and multimedia, (3) math learning software, and (4) interactive educational websites.

Fister & McCarthy (2008) indicated a 10-15% improvement in student achievement with tablets when compared with the non-tablet based classroom.

Tablet PC

In general, tablet PC refers to any portable computer device equipped with a touchscreen monitor and operates with a sytlus. Simply put, it is a laptop with a built-in Digitizing Graphics Pad.

Tablet PC can be in various forms (Booklet, Slate, Convertible, Hybrid). Convertible Tablet comes with a base body and an attached keyboard, and be considered as the most closely resemble laptops of all Tablet PCs. Convertible Tablets are the choice by many classroom teachers due to its capacities and potentials for teaching and learning.

Note-Taking Software

Tablet PC allows classroom teachers to generate notes at their will, and to annotate existing files such as PowerPoint presentations, pdf documents or Word files. The spontaneous inking and highlighting allow the notes "to be colour-rich in much the same way that textbooks use colours" (Fister & McCarthy, 2008). Writing spaces can be created easily within the document to address any unanticipated question during class discussion. The ability to archive notes with these software also provide a learning environment that allows different learning styles by students.

- A.nnotate

A.nnotate ( is a Mac/PC compatible system that allows annotation, collaboration and indexing for documents and images. It lets you share and store notes on documents. One can put up a document online, send the link to a group of people who can then read it and annotate to it if needed.

With people using different software/platform for documents, A.nnotate allows easy sharing and collaborating amongst users. It features:

  • Private storage for documents and notes
  • Accessibility from anywhere using only email address
  • On-line annotation of the uploaded documents
  • Shared documents and folders and invite others to add notes to the documents
  • Annotated text with different colors, styles (highlight/strikethrough) and shapes (rectangle/oval)
  • Easy indexes of all documents and notes with searching and sorting by tag, author, and others
  • News and notifications about changes to shared folders and documents

- eNoteFile

Originally developed for physiotherapy notetaking and filing, eNoteFile ( is a Windows-based software that enables one to type or handwrite notes and file them for fast and secure retrieval. It records, manages, searches and shares detailed notations and related documentation with other users in a seamlessly online and offline environment. Students can collaborate ideas for projects and work on their assignments with their classmates in real-time or asynchronously.

Some of its better features include:

  • (1) Secure online access with 128 bit HTTPS encryption
  • (2) text-box overlaying
  • (3) customizable fields and categories for easy document-filing
  • (4) linkage to Vista Snipping Tool
  • (5) easy image platform for inserting, copying, pasting and replicating images within documents or as backgrounds for inking.


- OneNote

Microsoft Office OneNote ( is a digital notebook that allows users to gather their notes and information in an organized way. This proprietory software provides the flexibility to gather and organize text, pictures, digital handwriting, audio and video recordings, and notes-publishing efficiently and effectively. It gives teachers a different way to present their lessons; and its easy-to-use collaborative tools help students work together with a shared notebooks, whether online or offline. Pages can be moved inside the binder, and annotated with a stylus. Images such as screen captures and embedded documents can be searched easily. Its multi-users capability allows offline editing and later synchoronizing and merging at the paragraph level, making it an ideal collaboration tool when more than one person need to work on the same page at the same time. One special feature of OneNote is its ability to audio-record a presentation with the inking, and be replayed later with both the audio and the annotation taken during the recording.


OneNote's interface is an electronic version of the familiar tabbed ring binder which can be used directly for making notes, but also to gather material obtained from other applications.

The following is a summary of the benefits of using OneNote:

  • Gather your notes and digital information in one place, and avoid duplicate work by using a central location to collect, store, and search digital documents - including text, images, audios and videos
  • Automatically saves and backs up your notebooks to prevent data loss
  • Powerful search technology makes searching in the notebook more time-efficient
  • Share notebooks give different users access to the same digital binder and make different changes simultaneously, making collaboration more effective and productive

There is an online community[1] to develop specialized OneNote templates for specific uses. More than 150,000 free images and sound-effects are available to download from the Microsoft OfficeOnline website[2].

- MathJournal

MathJournal ( is an all-in-one note-taking software. One can carry out graphical illustrations, algebraic manipulations, and mathematical calculations on the same platform. It features:

  • Handwriting recognition
  • Ability to save MathJournal pages as images (bmp, jpg, gif, tif, png, wmf, or emf)
  • Ability to paste images into MathJournal files
  • Pen button support
  • Scientific constants predefined and available in the Definitions tab
  • Enhanced printing capabilities
  • Numerical prevision of 16 digits
  • Various graphing options (graphing speed, colour contrast, rotate resizeetc...)
  • Support for Microsoft Office (copy-and-paste data set to Excel and image to Word)

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MathJournal makes the pen and tablet a powerful problem-solving and visualization tool. With just a flick of the stylus, it recognizes written formulas and equations on the touchscreen, and performs calculations (including solving equations, simplifying expressions, and plotting 2D and 3D graphs).

Of all the available Note-Taking Software, MathJournal is one of a few interactive programs that are designed specifically for Tablet PC to provide a natural and intuitive environment for solving mathematical problems. In fact, MathJournal was nominated for the European ICT Prize in 2007. The growing role of MathJournal in the Education sector is undeniably strong. As governments and instituations are increaingly seeking new tech tools to improve student learning and understanding to the next level, the trend of using MathJournal in Math Education will outlast other one-dimensional presentation-based tech tools.



Youtube located at: is a website where videos of any sort can be uploaded and shared. Instructional videos and educational videos can be searched and related videos are also listed on the side. The youtube videos can be used as tutorials and embedded in different media such as wikis for display.

- is a website that provides an online community for sharing instructional teacher videos. You can upload lesson plan videos or watch student videos or other relevant instructional videos.


Yourteacher located at: offers over 1000 online math lessons. It is helpful for math homework, tutoring, homeschool math help and test prep. Every lesson includes videos, practice, notes, worksheets and self test sections.


This website located at: is for watching, publishing and sharing videos. It offers the ability to share your videos in different ways such as iTunes, podcasts, RSS, API and customizable video players. Viddler allows you to post comments and tags at specific points in the video. You can record videos directly to the site using your webcam and you can upload as many videos as you want—you get nearly unlimited space with Viddler. The site is also 100% free!


This website located at: offers an online screen recorder. There is no download and it's compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux. The site allows you to capture videos of onscreen action in one click, record screencasts, tutorials, demos, training, lectures and share and stream videos online in Flash and embed them on blogs and webpages or send them by email. The site offers many different categories of videos that it shares such as web videos, mobile, e-learning, software, development, design, gaming, timewasters, partners and miscelaneous.

Math Programs & Software

Many of these programs provide an exploratory environment for students to study mathematics. Students interact and develop strategies together to solve problems in a collaborative learning environment. The community of practices allows students to be more motivated and engaged in their learning.

- Graphing Calculator Emulator

Just by doing a Google search, you can find many different graphing calculator software links that are 90% related to Texas Instruments. HP and Windows have 2D and 3D versions of graphing calculator software as well but are less popular that the Texas Instruments software. The TI software site provides free software downloads available for different calculator versions such as the TI-73, TI-83, TI-84, TI-86, TI-89. It also provides a graphing calculator version for teachers, the TI-Smart View, which may be used on interactive white boards as well. This product must typically be purchased with purchase rights to only be installed on one computer. The following site: provides information as well as software and hardware products available for purchase. The following sites also provide software available to be downloaded including activities, games and other software programs such as Cabri Jr. (which will be discussed next in section 4.2):

The next two sites outline steps to follow to easily download graphing calculator software to your computer successfully:

- Cabri Jr.

Interactive Geometry Activities and Investigations by Texas Instruments.

Cabri Jr. can be located at: The site provides users with a online activities and learning tools to be used in math or science for all levels of education including elementary education through to college and university education. The website provides links to professional development seminars, conferences, webinars and hands on workshops for teachers or professional users. The site also houses user support as well as information on test preparation and specific information for students and parents to help getting started with the software program. The software is available to be downloaded to TI calculators as well as computers and the site houses these links as well as other links to other sites discussing Cabri Jr. The site includes classroom-ready activities, including freely downloadable activities, application software, guidebooks and games. The site also provides products for purchase and student editions available as well. You can also find information on research, funding and testing standards.

- Geometer's Sketchpad

The Geometer's Sketchpad, located at: is mathematics visualization software that enhances student learning and aids teachers in making math more interactive and visual for students. The origins of The Geometer's Sketchpad date back to the 1980s and to the Visual Geometry Project, a research project at Swarthmore College which dealt with interactive computer graphics. The project aimed to develop new technology-based materials for use in the teaching of geometry. The website is well designed with links to general resources, how to get started, instructor resources, JavaSketchpad and technical support with ways to contact the site managers or the "help" team. The site has excellent links for tips on how to get started as well as prepared curriculum modules for math courses grades 6 through 12 and links to professional development workshops, courses, and videos to help teachers make the most of the program in the classroom. The site houses project ideas, a program to be downloaded to TI calculators and links to other sites discussing Sketchpad or presenting Dynamic Geometry activities, lessons, and ideas. The site includes classroom-ready Sketchpad activities, including freely downloadable activities, commercial activities in print, and links to other activity providers. The site also provides products for purchase and student editions available as well.

- GeoGebra

GeoGebra, located at: is free and multi-platform dynamic mathematics software for all levels of education from elementary education to university education. This software can be used for learning and teaching. It has received several educational software awards in Europe and the USA. The website has been well designed to offer support for learners and users of all ages and almost any language. The site provides users with a online activities and learning tools. Geogebra has a wiki with a free pool of teaching materials for the software. Anyone can contribute and upload materials and all contents may be used for free. The idea behind GeoGebra is to connect geometric, algebraic, and numeric representations in an interactive way. Geogebra joins arithmetic, geometry, algebra and calculus. It offers multiple representations of objects in its graphics, algebra, and spreadsheet views that are all dynamically linked. You can do constructions with points, vectors, lines, conic sections as well as functions and change them later. GeoGebra also allows you to directly enter and manipulate equations and coordinates. Thus you can easily plot functions, work with sliders to investigate parameters, find symbolic derivatives, and use powerful commands like Root or Sequence.



This website houses a free mathematics software system licensed under the GPL. It combines the power of many existing open-source packages into a common Python-based interface. Details of features, download, and developer information. Sage can be used to learn and study elementary and advanced, pure and applied math. This includes a huge range of mathematics, including basic algebra, calculus, elementary to very advanced number theory, cryptography, numerical computation, commutative algebra, group theory, combinatorics, graph theory, exact linear algebra and much more. Sage combines various software packages and seamlessly integrates their functionality into a common experience. The site is well designed, user friendly and excellent for education and research. The user interface is a notebook in a web browser. Using the notebook, Sage connects either locally to your own Sage installation or to a Sage server on the network. Inside the Sage notebook you can create embedded graphics, beautifully typeset mathematical expressions, add and delete input, and share your work across the network. Sage also has interactive drawing capabilities that keep learners engaged and motivated.

- Microsoft Math

From basic math to precalculus, Microsoft Math, located at: helps you visualize and see mathematical concepts and tackle tough math and science problems with ease. It gives you step-by-step instruction, while providing you with a better understanding of fundamental concepts. It includes an equation solver, a unit converter, a formula and equation library, a triangle solver and a full-featured graphing calculator. It has an Ink Handwriting Support that works with Tablet PCs and Ultra-Mobile PCs and recognizes handwritten problems. The site offers videos, demos and a free trial but the software package must be purchased to experience the full benefits.

- Other Related Math Software Websites

1. The following site houses many different related math websites with software available for easy download:

2. Guide to Available Mathematical Software (GAMS) - or You can search for software according to: what problem it solves; package name; module name; and text in module abstracts.

3. LiveMath - Computer algebra and graphing tool for Mac, Windows, Linux and Sun, formerly sold under the product names Theorist and MathView, with ancillary product Expressionist. Includes a browser plug-in.

4. Math Tools for Professionals - Maple and Mathematica packages for calculations in modern differential geometry and approximation theory

5. Peanut Software - Free mathematics software for Windows. Individual software packages handle geometry, equations, statistics, discrete math, fractals, matrices, and games.

6. Mathematics Archives - Other Software Sites - The Mathematics Archives' collection of links to other software sites.

7. 3D-XplorMath - 3D-XplorMath is a mathematical visualization program for Macintosh computers running version 9 or later of MacOS. It is free for non-commercial use.

8. Mathematics Software - Collection in the Math WWW Virtual Library at the Florida State University, USA.

9. Oberwolfach References on Mathematical Software - Collection of detailed information and links on mathematical software.

10. Yacas Computer Algebra System - Acronym for Yet Another Computer Algebra System, an open-source software package. Supports arbitrary precision arithmetic, matrices, and differential and integral calculus.

11. Equation Editors by MGCSoft - Math equation and graphical editor.

12. Jep Java - Java library for parsing and evaluating mathematical expressions. Trial version available for download.

13. Calculus 1.0 - Software for Windows by Ashay Dharwadker. Compute and graph functions, derivatives and integrals. Free limited evaluation version.

14. VisualMath For Java - An online symbolic math and computer algebra system.

15. Mathematics Software - Mathematics software from Global Shareware directory. Free downloads of Windows 95/98/2000/XP shareware.

16. Atlantis Graphing/Math Software - Includes Graphing, Curve-Fitting, Statistics, Roots of Polynomials, Matrix Algebra, Integration. Windows; free evaluation version, on-line ordering.

17. Free Statistics - An index of free mathematical software. Sorted alphabetically by program name. Includes screenshots. Most are for use with Windows only.

18. & A parallel linear algebra package from the University of Texas at Austin. It performs vector and matrix manipulations, with a high level of abstraction.

Interactive Educational Websites

- Cut-the-Knot

Cut the Knot! located at: is an interactive column using Java applets to help high school students visualize, interact and learn math. The site houses links games, puzzles, bookstore, Google search embedded on the site, a link to a site for parents, interactive activities, a math wiki as well as a math blog and a link for math help and online support. The site is well designed with bright colors to catch students attention and keep them visually stimulated. The site also includes a Google feature to translate information into many languages.

- Teacher Tap: Interactive Websites, Games and Activities

This website, located at: provides lists of websites that get students actively involved with learning rather than just reading off the screen. The site provides interactive practice activities for students that contain tutorials, simulations and problem solving activities. It also includes links to drill and practice, puzzles and quizzes

- MathXL for School

The following site MathXL for School by Pearson, located at: is a well developed interactive website to supplement their textbook, CD, DVD and workbook resources for teachers and students of high school education that provides links for support and training for teachers as well as refresher courses for teachers. It is just one of the "teacher tools" available to teachers when they are using a Pearson product in their classrooms. It provides products available for purchase as well as software downloads. The "tour" is an excellent descriptor of how to get started and use the website. Pearson also has other interactive websites and DVD's to supplement their textbook resources for every grade level. One example is their Foundations and Pre-calculus Mathematics 10 website which houses their student e-book as well as links for teacher events and workshops.

- located at: is an interactive site that allows students to learn math, have access to tutorials and videos as well as games. It is designed by topic and includes assessments, on-demand modular courses that target key math concepts, 24/7 live online tutoring, and expert answers to math questions. In addition to solutions, offers exploratory and recreational introductions to the world of math that will lead to deeper understanding and enjoyment. The website also has a store which sells items such as software, DVDs, math books and calculators. The site includes Google search access with in the site and has links to test preparation and study tips as well as formulas and tables and "cool tools - graphers, equation solvers, calculators and unit converters".

- Cool Math

Another interactive website is: located at: The site is designed for learners ages 13 and older and is designed to motivate students to learn math by making math fun. The site houses math games and many math lessons, tutorials and related websites for specific math related topics as well as puzzles and books. It is a very brightly colored website that is attractive to users, keeps them visually stimulated and encourages them to revisit the site. It has been in existence since 1997 and is run by a team of teachers and web, technology and game designers as well as a variety of interns with various roles such as legal and accounting.

- Cool Math Sites

This site located at: is an interactive math website designed for high school students that houses links to websites of various games, puzzles, problems, brain teasers, calculators and other technology, lesson plans, math software, real life/real time stats data pages of various topics books, historical and multicultural references, directories, references, research modules and webquests and online help. The website is very user friendly, has bright colors and is visually stinulating. The site's links are organized per topic and level.

- High School Math - HomeworkSpot

This website located at: is a free homework information portal that houses resources for general math sites as well as sites that are organized by math topic. The site also includes links for contests, fun sites and quick references for learner, teacher and parent support. The site is well organized and includes links to all core school subjects as well as life skills, technology, college prep and study break/skills.

- Other Related Interactive High School Math Websites

1. Woodlands Maths Zone - Fun Interactive Math Activities & Games Woodlands Maths Zone was created and is kept up to date by Mandy Barrow ( You need Java and Flash installed to play these games. The site is user friendly, well designed and bright colored to encourage users to revisit.

2. Interactive Math & Science Websites This site includes a slideshare presentation listing a variety of interactive math and science websites that are organized into age level either elementary, middle school and high school.

3. Funmaths Game Station The Funmaths Game Station is high school math computer games covering many major mathematical concepts. It has arcade-style animation that stimulates learners and encourages them to revisit the site. The site is bright colored, user friendly and designed for teenagers. Its fast, fun action all the way. The site has been quoted as motivating students and improving grades. It is interactive, exciting, effective and fun at the same time. It has also been designed by teachers as well as teacher tested and approved. The site provides links to downloading the software, taking a tour, screen shots, ordering a CD ROM and worksheets.

4. Interactive White Board Resources This website includes links to research and elementary, middle and high school white board lessons and activities. It also includes links to the Amphi Smart Board Wiki, Whiteboard Setup and Ideas and links for training.

5. High School Math This site is an interactive math website that is designed specifically for high school students. The site is bright colored with links organized by topic including algebra, geometry, statistics, calculus and trigonometry. It has links to many different interactive activities for every topic as well as links to Power Point presentations, tutorials and real world math application sites.

6. Online Math Games & Interactive Tutorials This site is a resource math website that is designed specifically for high school students. The site is bright colored with links organized by age level and has links to ebooks, online resources, worksheets, curriculum guides, reviews, lessons and articles, It has links to many different interactive activities for every topic

7. The Fun K-12 Online Interactive Learning Center The site has links to hundreds of various K-12 educational quiz games and samples, favorite educational websites, practice tests for state exams, games & puzzles and a link to high school "ACE" help for student support. It has a login procedure for you to become a member of the "Quiz Hub" to join the site to play online and have access to all of the quizzes, games and activities. Math, social studies, english and science.

8. Middle - High School Awesome Math Library This site includes links to projects, papers, materials, lists by math topic, lesson plans, games, discussions, curriculum standards, assessment information and problem solving. It is a simple information site that is not as visually appealing as some others.

9. Math 10 Principles The following website houses specific grade 10 mathematics curriculum material with links to youtube video tutorials, review lessons and worksheets.

10. Simulations, Models & Worksheets This website delivers resources for users of Maple, Mathcad and VisSim. It provides engineering and maths worksheets, together with tutorials, hints and tips for high school and college education.

11. others: a.Smart Board Resources - Lee's Summit

b.Smart Board Website Resources - Interactive Internet Resources

c.Top 10 Math Websites - From Sylvan Learning

d.Sites for Math Teachers - "A" Technology

e.Manipula Math with Java

f.Math Play - Free Online Math Games

g.Math Education Sites - Legacy Educational Resources

h.Middle and High School Math Resources

i.Sites for Teachers Math

j.High School Interactive Websites

k.Math links for Students

l.Free Interactive Math Games Websites for Homeschoolers activities

m.General Math and Math Games

n.Math Games for High School

o.Math Websites - Spartacus Educational Websites

Stop Motion Video

Tablet enhanced learning environments for math in 2017: by Gary Ma


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