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Calculator Woes
OneOutofOrderScrooball
#1 Print Post
Posted on July 04 2006 03:27 AM
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Hi everyone, I was reading some posts about cell phones and text messaging. In truth I've never used one but I was wondering about calculators.Ah yes those little machines that seem ever to be the answer to a dyscalculiac's nightmare. Press in the numbers and the operation and presto! instant answer! Fine for one problem but more than one problem . .?!Angry Let's see , did I type in the plus sign and oh the equal sign uhm I don't remember :ShockAngry! Start over Sad Concentrate Shock Add, subtract . . . .Oh no distractionShockAngry . Can't add or sutract with or without a calculator! AngryAs if being A.D.D and Dyscalculiac wasn't frustrating enough!!!ShockAngry Anyone else have this sort of difficulty usin a calculator? Sign me, OneOutofOrderScrewballPfft
 
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Bubble
#2 Print Post
Posted on July 05 2006 06:20 AM
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Hi Screwball

I know, it sucks doesn't it?! I'm forever typing in numbers to work something out, but then I can't "read" the answer!!

Don't worry too much about this, I always just yell for help, even at work. I get "the look" from some people but I'm learning to not care so much about that anymore.

Take careSmile
bubble
(Katie) Wink

Be different, it suits you

 
eoffg
#3 Print Post
Posted on July 05 2006 09:38 AM
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But the more important question, is what would a Dyscalculic Calculator be like? What features would it have and what would make it user friendly?

Given the number of different companies producing calculators and the competition between them.
Also that their is no Dyscalculia Friendly calculator on the market.
As well as the fact that up to 10% of the world are Dyscalculic.
Their is a huge potential market, just waiting!

But the problem is that Calculator producers dont know what Dyscalculics want and need in a calculator?
So how about we talk about what we want in a Dyscalculic Calculator?
Then we can send the results of our discussion off to various calculator companies.
So what do want in a Calculator?

GeoffSad
 
Bubble
#4 Print Post
Posted on July 05 2006 10:08 AM
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Wow, do you think that could actually happen Geoff? I think this is something way off in the future yet.
Shock
bubble
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eoffg
#5 Print Post
Posted on July 05 2006 10:45 AM
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Yes it would be some way off, I was thinking by Christmas?

But in terms of it actually happening?
Imagine that you run a Calculator Manufacturing Company.
Then I tell you that up to 10% of people, about eight hundred million people are Dyscalculic.
But they dont yet have a Calculator that suits their needs?
If importantly, I also provide you with a summary of what features that Dyscalculics want on a Calculator?
How long would it take you to start producing them?
Perhaps a few months, or sooner?

It's nothing to do with helping Dyscalculics, but just eight hundred million potential customers, who are just waiting to buy one?

Geoff.Sad
 
Bubble
#6 Print Post
Posted on July 05 2006 01:16 PM
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Good point Geoff - i never think in terms of monetary value, i guess because of my dyscal. It's weird isn't it? I'd be interested to know if anyone else does that.

But going back to calculators, I suppose they would just need to slim them down and get rid of all the fancy functions (you know the ones I mean, scientific ones) and just go back to basics.

Having the numbers in an easy to read format would be good, as in only two digits after the decimal point. Any more than that just confuses me, don't know if it's the same for anyone else? My boyf just popped over and suggested a talking calculator! One that actually spells out the answer for you. What do you think?
Edited by Bubble on July 05 2006 01:30 PM
bubble
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cem
#7 Print Post
Posted on July 05 2006 08:28 PM
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i have just read this thread and my sonwho is nine has problems using a calculator, he forgets what it is he is trying to work out and how he was going to use the calculator.
I think a calculator with a screen that records what you are doing would be very useful. So if he was working out fred has two sweets and betty has one more than fred. How many sweets has betty. His calculator could show his workings.

2
2+
2+1
2+1=3


If we were talking PDA and not calculators he could enter 2 and see 2 dots ( or marbles).
He could enter 2 x 10 and see two lots of ten marblems

Pre programmed questions with require an inserted number could take this format.

What is half of .....? then press enter for answer
What is ...% of....? then press enter for answer

Questions could be upgraded for business to help with tax or VAt. The trick would be to keep the questions in the language that society uses.

Just a thought...


 
ert
#8 Print Post
Posted on July 06 2006 03:16 AM
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eoffg wrote:
Imagine that you run a Calculator Manufacturing Company.....


This is a GREAT idea!!! Should we start something here at the forum? How could we do that?
 
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OneOutofOrderScrooball
#9 Print Post
Posted on July 06 2006 03:41 AM
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Ah, Yes a Dyscalculiacs calculator! Brilliant Idea, Geoff!CoolCool The features I would find Essential are as followes: Indistructible quality,
Affordable, Basic math color coded operations and numbers and screen.
Numbers written in both numeric and word answers.
A display screen that shows pevious step taken and the next one to do.
Voice activation
Be able to run on all power sources And last A carrying case that proclaims in contrasting colors "I Am DYSCALCULIAC I AM NOT DUMB.
IF YOU THINK DYSCALCULIACS ARE DUMB HONEY YOU HAVE WORSE PROBLEMS THAN I DO!" LOLPfftGrinCoolPfftGrin Sign me, OneOutofOrderScrewball
Oh yes Where is that Dyscalculiac catalogue with that State of the art calculator. Wha-a-at. . .? ShockIt won't be made until the end of this millinium?!AngryGrinPfft But I need it NOW!!!PfftGrin
 
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eoffg
#10 Print Post
Posted on July 06 2006 09:04 AM
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Hi EveryonePfft,
It's really great to read all of your ideas! In just a day we already have defined many of the essential features!
Though I would suggest that we think beyond what we currently know as a Calculator?
To the new generation of HHD's/ Hand Held Devices ?
Which are not much bigger than a Calculator, but are in fact a hand held Computer. So that a microphone could be built into it, and also 'voice recognition software'. Also they can be connected to a computer.

Though an essential feature that seems is needed, is a Larger screen.
So that the whole calculation process can be seen on the screen.
Also large enough so that the numbers can also be displayed as Words instead of number symbols, as an option?
Or as as Cem suggests, an option for a 'graphic display', where numbers are represented as rows of dots. Perhaps like an electronic Abacus?

Perhaps making the 'Buttons' changeable, like a 'mobile phone'?
So that both numbers and letters can be typed in?
For example, say you want to calculate a quarter of 374?
So that you could type in 'quarter of 374'. Instead of '0.25 X 374.
Or maybe just type in '374', and then say the words 'quarter of'?

But the most important feature, as Screwball suggests, is an Indestructable Quality!
So that it can thrown at the wall, or kicked out the door, and still work!
GeoffPfft
 
cem
#11 Print Post
Posted on July 06 2006 10:56 AM
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Perhaps once we have decided on the idel take the idea to Mr Branston (or similar) These large corporates ussally have a policy about helping the community and would welcome the international press coverage ( and the money they would make!!!)

If we dont tell them who will.

I think that geoff is right what is needed is more than a calculator. So perhaps we should also try and think of a name for the new gadget!!!


Maybe a dysculator??GrinPfft

 
Bubble
#12 Print Post
Posted on July 06 2006 11:24 AM
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Great idea Cem! Richard Branson is an ideal person to ask. Smile
bubble
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eoffg
#13 Print Post
Posted on July 07 2006 10:18 AM
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Though if we add someone like Richard Branson, it will just make it more expensive? As he will want his percentage as well?
If Dyscalculics were only one percent of the population, perhaps we might need such support?
But Dyscalculics are at least eight percent of the population in the Western World, or hundreds of millions of people!
Hundreds of millions of potential Customers!
So if a company develops a Device just to suit Dyscalculics, then they have a large potential market. With no competition!

It needs to be realised, that Dyscalculics have the Power of the Money in their Pocket!
Where the basic principle is: You Buy= We Make!

We just need to tell them exactly what we want them to make!

So what other features do we want?
GeoffSmile
 
OneOutofOrderScrooball
#14 Print Post
Posted on July 07 2006 05:25 PM
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Hi Bubble, Yes I have the same problem reading large numbers which I generally avoid like the plague.Ditto for anything financial including checking accounts. UGH! I might add Kudos to you for having the gumption to ask for help inspite of those "Looks.GrinPfftPfftCool"
Enjoy that tea and chocolate.Yum! Sign me,OneOutofOrderScrewballPfftGrinPfft
 
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OneOutofOrderScrooball
#15 Print Post
Posted on July 07 2006 05:48 PM
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Uhm-m-m, to be honest the row of dots idea bothers meShock. On a screen that would be portable. . .gr-r-r SadForget the dimensions!:Angry it would still be small and with what I read about subitizing-we Dyscalculics can't/won't,/don't subitize so counting dots on such a screen would create real problems and headaches from eyestrain. On this point the indistructible factor would definitely figure in! LOL!Grin
As for a name for this Dyscalculiac PHHD what about "Math Monitor"?CoolPfft Just a thought: Sign me,
OneOutofOrderScrewball:PfftGrinPfft
 
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Nicola
#16 Print Post
Posted on July 07 2006 07:44 PM
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Cem, I like your ideas - they'd be a great help! I do find it hard to keep track of sequences, so something to actually show up what I've input would be really helpful.

Also the pre-programmed questions - they'd be absolutely wonderful... Pfft
 
Countess
#17 Print Post
Posted on July 07 2006 08:27 PM
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What about the name "Math-Fighter" Wink ?


'You should really be sympathetic to people who suffer 'Normalism' (Geoff)
My Child (born 97) has Dyscalculia
Sorry for any spelling mistakes ;-)
 
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Ian Marsden
#18 Print Post
Posted on July 08 2006 01:08 AM
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Hello Everyone!Pfft

My name is Ian Marsden and am an Australian teacher who is exploring the use of handheld devices in the classroom - I have created a site www.pocketedfutur... to track my journey and to spread the word of using these small computers in education. Geoff pointed me to this discussion thread in a posting to my forum area and asked if I could share some of my thoughts / knowledge about the capapbilities of these devices.

You may have heard the terms Palm, PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) or Pocket PC before - these are the devices which I am going to talk about. Check out the following link to find out a little more if you are unsure http://electronic...om/pda.htm.

Essentially, they are computers that are about the size of your hand - they are much cheaper than laptops etc too (little bit more than an iPod). Now at present they are not a replacement for a PC but are used in conjunction with one - you are able to syncronise (sync) your information on both machines so that you have the same information on each. Pocket PCs (PPCs)are powered by a Windows Operating System and have smaller versions of Microsoft Word and Excel so you can create documents / spreadsheets on your PPC and print them out through your normal PC. They are also fully compatible with Microsoft Outlook - this means that you use the PPC as an electronic diary of sorts (hence the PDA name). They have a touch screen through which you enter information into the device by usiing a stylus (usually) or even your fingers.

There are many more features which I won't go into now but with regard to the features / capabilities the devices have which could be benefit the creation of a Dyscalculic Calculator...here goes.

*These devices are extremely portable so you would be able to take them anywhere - and you wouldn't be limited to using the calculator function only. Imagine not having to take your writting pads and pens to school - all of your notes assignments could be contained within on of these devices.

*Voice input / output: PPCs have a built in microphone and a speaker so that you can record voice notes and listen to music (yes, they can be used as MP3 players but lack the huge storage capabilities of iPods). These features would enable voice recognition - you to perhaps speak the numbers into the dyscalc and they would appear on the screen. The PPC would be able to "speak" back to you what is on the screen. There is already software around that enable you to control your PPC by speaking commands and it responding by following that command. Eg, opening word documents, finding Contacts phone numbers and dialing that number (on PPC phones). Most GPS (yes, PPCs can be used as a GPS device) software has a voice which tells you where to go - can't see why this wouldn't be able to be incorporated into a calculator.

*Size - about the same size as a normal calculator.

*Programming - I am a bit unsure of what is required in actually making a software program of this sort but I believe that developing software for these devices isn't too complex. There are many calculator programs around for PPC so it shouldn't be too difficult - it would just be a matter of incorportating all of the features you come up with - I think that the voice input / output would be a great addition (no pun intended).

*Screen - the screen is a little small, about 6cm x 8.5cm (this varies) - bigger than your everyday calculator though. The device can be programmed to different levels of zoom.

The possibilities are endless - you could have a bank on math formulae that you could access at the press of a button (Area of a circle for example). YOu could even have "Problem Solving Wizards" to guide someone through the steps involved in a maths problem.

I would be really interested in what happens with this discussion thread - there isn't a great deal of great educational software applications out there - huge market opportunity if someone decides to grab hold of it.

If you have any questions about the devices then please don't hesitiate to ask. Thanks for the invitation to be involved in your discussion.

Ian
www.pocketedfutur...
 
www.pocketedfutures.com
ert
#19 Print Post
Posted on July 08 2006 02:12 AM
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That's it! That's the name!

A DYSCALCULATOR! GrinGrinGrin

Or a dyscalculiator?

Dyscalculator..
Dyscalculiator..
Edited by ert on July 08 2006 03:01 AM
 
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eoffg
#20 Print Post
Posted on July 09 2006 06:12 AM
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Hi Mette, DYSCALCULATOR sounds great!Smile

[Though Dyscalculiator is a bit of a tongue twister?]

Here's a photo of some different types of Pocket PC's:



eoffg attached the following image:


[31.07Kb]
 
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