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Using Mathematics eText in the Classroom: What the Research Tells Us

This paper discusses the findings from two research studies where middle-school students with learning disabilities used eText containing MathML with assistive technology, and draws conclusion from these combined findings. The University of Kentucky Curriculum Conversion and Implementation research strand was conducted as part of the Mathematics eText Research Center (MeTRC), a federally-funded national research, led by the University of Oregon. This research strand was designed as a follow-up to Project SMART (Supported Math Accessibility Reading Tool), an earlier project at the University of Kentucky. Project SMART indicated the utility of math eText using Mathematical Markup Language (MathML) as an effective accessible format for students with reading disabilities. The subsequent MeTRC/KY research project was a case study examining the pragmatic issues around the utilization of math eText in a middle-school classroom setting, such as the conversion of a complete math curriculum using MathML, training needs for staff and students, hardware and software issues, and technical support needs. While both studies noted implementation challenges in real-world classroom settings, student results nevertheless indicated better utility and improved academic performance when mathematics eText was available.

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