[Blindmath] Audio Calculus WAS Re: relearning calculus
Lorne Webber
lorne.webber at gmail.com
Thu Mar 21 01:43:21 CDT 2013
great discussion.
This is my first post, and I apologize for its length.
I'll comment first on this particular discussion, and in case I haven't
bored you to tears by then, I'll introduce myself below that.
I have a particular fascination with this topic, as I am not a strong
Braille user (lost sight and started learning Braille as a teenager, lacked
motivation to practice as much as I should, use a screen reader at 500+ WPM,
etc, etc.).
I've seen this topic of the benefits and drawbacks of learning math via
audio arise several times in the archives, however the piece I feel is being
left out of the discussion is the distinction that it all depends on the
responsiveness and specific level of control you have over the navigation
around a math formula, expression, etc.
Naturally we all know the problem with someone just reading a complicated
multi-level fraction out loud linearly, without obeying any rules of some
system like Nemeth Spoken Math; and if you are trying to do so using a
non-digital medium, such as back in the days of audio cassettes, etc, the
amount of control to move around to various parts of a math problem is
usually inadequate, and quite frustrating to do. Using this method, you
would definitely have to be able to keep many variables and relationships in
your working memory; many more than you would have to as compared to having
a Braille expression at your fingertips.
However, if you were using a system like Virtual Pencil, chatty, Lambda,
etc, in which you have very precise keyboard access to move to very specific
parts of a problem, at will, without having to ask someone to repeat
anything, etc, it would be very similar to the freedom one has when looking
at a brailed math problem.
so the controversy in my opinion comes down to the question: does the
software tool you're using give you the same level of dexterity as your
fingers have for Braille?
In my opinion, for one of us to assert that you cannot learn math
efficiently with audio, is similar to a sighted person claiming they could
no longer do math efficiently if they lost their vision; which is obviously
untrue, based on the level of math proficiency I've witnessed of other
members on this list.
and then there are the other drawbacks to Braille; i.e. Braille displays and
embossers are quite costly, Braille production and instruction requires
highly specialized instructors, etc.
after all that, you might think I am against Braille, which is untrue; I
just think it has certain disadvantages, in addition to its many many
advantages.
Introduction:
I finished my undergraduate bachelor degree arts, minor in computer science
5 years ago.
I took calculus using nemeth and tactile graphs mostly, and somehow made it
through formal logic/discrete math.
Naturally there was the usual gambit of undergraduate computer science
courses, However specializing on low-level computer organization and
architecture, including Logic Minimization, Karnaugh Maps, Multilevel Logic,
Implementation Alternatives, Combinational Logic Technologies, CMOS Logic
Circuits, Programmable Logic Technologies; finally practicing my skills on
a Frequency Programmable Gate Array, using hardware description languages
such as VHDL. My path through my studies was rather crooked; and I ended up
taking courses in Physics, Astronomy, geology, meteorology, neuropsychology,
statistics, social sciences, etc, etc. Because I do not work in this area, I
am often frightened and ashamed of how much of the above I've forgotten.
I am currently working as an assistive technology specialist for a community
college. I assess, train and support students with all disabilities to
overcome academic related disability barriers.
I've been a subscriber for a few months, but I've mostly been lurking, and
trying desperately to catch up on the archives.
-----Original Message-----
From: Blindmath [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Ken Perry
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 6:53 PM
To: 'Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics'
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Audio Calculus WAS Re: relearning calculus
I started with matrixes in college what they called math 105 and did all the
way up to the third level Calculus using audio. In all 5 classes including
Trig and I did it all with audio and a reader. I got to the point I could
do 5 page math problems without a reader (I actually did that ona oral test
once) So it is something you can do but understand I was sited till I was
20 and had an equivalent to an AS in electronics before I lost my site. So
I am still a visual learner even though I am 100% blind. It's just the way
my brain works. When I was sited I could flip through a math book right
before a test and using the examples I saw I would Ace the test. So when I
study I actually have to think of the pictures. I used all the books from
RFBD to get my degree and it worked great for me. Now with that all said.
I now work for APH and have seen the benefits of braille. I am sure you
have all seen the project I am working on with Orbit research and TI which
is the new Talking / audio graphing calculator and it will have braille out
simply because it's something that is a very important part of math for
someone who cannot conceptualize in pictures in their mind. It's important
to be able to see the whole problem and if that means you have to do it on
paper braille is the way to go. So yes for some people they can do
everything from audio but I think the number is far lower than those who
cannot.
Ken
-----Original Message-----
From: Blindmath [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Amanda
Lacy
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 5:11 PM
To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Audio Calculus WAS Re: relearning calculus
I need Braille along with things I can touch, and even then with too much
visualization my brain simply shuts down. I tend to use algorithmic (step by
step) techniques to solve problems whenever possible.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tami Jarvis" <tami at poodlemutt.com>
To: "Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics"
<blindmath at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 4:03 PM
Subject: [Blindmath] Audio Calculus WAS Re: relearning calculus
> Yikes! I'm still a ways away from my own relearning of calculus...
> Gotta get my grip on the braille codes and conceptualizing it all
> without seeing it. I can't imagine doing it in audio only, though! Hm...
>
> Now I want to ask how many can manage calculus with audio courses? I'm
> suddenly curious. Also, I'm thinking that if I hear a bunch of other
> people can do it, I'll get over my own struggles with conceptualizing
> math and a couple of other things through audio. I prefer braille,
> honestly, for many things, but have a feeling I limit my own resources
> by whining when I'm trying to listen... /grin/
>
> Tami
>
> On 03/20/2013 11:20 AM, Ken Perry wrote:
>> When I like to buff up I go back to the books I learned it from on rfbd.
>> Of
>> course now I have to go to learning Ally but hey who's keeping track
>> of all those things. I can tell you they have lots of text books
>> though and if you're a book learner who can learn by audible it no
>> class needed.
>>
>> With hat said a lot of the colleges like MIT and others now have
>> their courses you can audit on line. You don't get the credits but
>> you can watch the class.
>>
>> Ken
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Blindmath [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of
>> John G.
>> Heim
>> Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 2:10 PM
>> To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
>> Subject: [Blindmath] relearning calculus
>>
>> I need to relearn calculus. I have a BS in math so 30years ago I went
>> way beyond calculus. But I don't remember a darn thing from back then.
>> Can anyone recommend a good on-line course or perhaps just a place
>> with good accessibility that offers on-line math courses?
>>
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>
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