Pandemic changed education around the world. Slowly, we are all getting back on track. In fact, some schools are already open for face-to-face learning, but certain nations have embraced online education. For early childhood learning though, online classes can be challenging. This is because a kid’s attention span is quite hard to maintain. Luckily, we have Doodly to make the online school experience fun and entertaining. Apart from the fun part, it also helps teachers create their own lessons such as counting numbers and basic math operations.
But what if you are teaching advanced math? You might wonder, how can you create your online presentation knowing that math is not just about numbers and letters? Math includes symbols that we don’t typically see on our keyboard or calculator. We’re talking about topics like binomial theorem, quadratic equations, trigonometry, radicals, and so on. How do we create visuals for these topics? The good news is, there is a way to create all possible equations you can think of and use Doodly to present it.
In today’s blog, we will show you how you can use Doodly to create simple math problems, as well as complex equations. We will also teach you how you can add advanced math equations generated using MS Word into your Doodly presentations.
Let’s take a look at a few examples to give us an idea of how a math teacher might illustrate math concepts with the use of Doodly.
Reading and counting numbers is the first lesson we learn in Math. With Doodly, you can create amazing videos with these two topics.
Here’s an example of a Doodly video entitled, “Counting Numbers from 1 to 5“. This is intended for kids who are just starting to learn how to count.
For our first sample video, we used images from a website that provides royalty-free pictures. That means we can use their images without the need to pay royalties or license fees. One of these websites is pixabay.com. You can search fun-looking numbers and images in pixabay which will surely capture your student’s attention.
You can also combine uploaded images with the preset assets in Doodly. When you create your own video, you can add a voiceover or a background music. It totally depends on how you plan to use it.
With the sample video we have created, we didn’t add any music or voiceover. That is because it is supposed to be used during the actual class discussion. That way, kids can interact and the teacher can explain as the video plays.
Let’s create another math problem but this time, we will only use Doodly’s built-in math symbols.
Using Built-in Math Symbols
To locate Doodly’s math symbols, we go to the Props tab and then type in “math”. You’ll find that Doodly has a limited selection of math symbols and a few equations that you can use.
We used some of these symbols in our sample math problem below. We created a simple math equation for primary students.
All assets used in the video can be found within Doodly. We got the shapes from the Props tab. From the Categories, scroll down a bit then select Shapes. This is where you can find the different geometric shapes, polygons, and parallelograms. You will also see here the different arrows and different objects used for flowcharts.
You may also find helpful graphics under the Stats and Symbols categories.
Creating equations with all the complex math symbols can be hard to do on a computer. That is because we don’t encounter these symbols on a daily basis, unlike the standard letters and numbers. It is quite tricky to do them on Doodly but there’s actually a way to create it. You can build each complex math equation by using a combination of fonts and available math symbols.
Creating Math Equations using Doodly
Let’s try to create the handwritten math equation below using fonts and math symbols within Doodly.
To create the above equation in Doodly, we added each part of the equation one by one.
1 – The square root image can be found within the Props tab. You can search it using keywords, “square root” or “math” but the asset’s name is Mathematics Symbol 9 in Doodly. Now if we add this alone, it won’t cover the rest of the equation. Thus, we added a line and extended the square root’s horizontal line where the numbers and letters are under.
2 – The horizontal line is also found within the Props tab. You can use keywords “horizontal” or “math”. The asset’s name in Doodly is Mathematics Symbol 18.
3 and 4 – As for the numbers and letters in the equation, we just added them using Doodly’s text.
The biggest challenge when adding parts of the equation one by one is that, when something is out of place, you have to move the rest. When your math equation is long, you need to extend the horizontal line above the equation. As a result, you end up having a thick horizontal line and a smaller square root symbol. You can adjust the square root symbol to match the size of the horizontal line just like what we did in Fig 1. However, doing so means you have to make everything bigger then minimize the size of the equation again. It is time-consuming and is prone to error.
If you have several equations to work on, you may want to consider trying a different approach.
Thanks to online math equation editors and Microsoft Word, there is a better way of creating math equations.
Creating Math Equation using Online Editors
Math equations can be generated using websites like roger’s online equation editor, atomurl, sciweavers, or latexeditor. These are just a few of the many online websites you can use to create your equations. While some of these websites are easy to use, there are also sites that are quite hard to navigate especially for first-time users. If you plan to use one of these sites, you may want to read through their quick guide first before giving it a go.
There are also premium software that you can download to help you with your math equations. You can even install a chrome extension to generate your equations. There are several ways to write equations online but personally, we love using Microsoft Word’s equation editor.
Creating Math Equation using Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word is a favorite tool to use when it comes to writing mathematical equations. It is easier to navigate and they provide preset formulas. The good thing about MS Word is that most of us already have this installed on our computers. That means you don’t have to go online to use any of those equation editors or even download new software. Apart from being user-friendly, it also provides not just 1 but 3 options to create your math equations. The first one is by using one of the presets or built-in formulas. Next is by creating your own equation by typing it in and lastly, by writing your equation using your mouse, trackpad, or stylus. Let’s look into each of these options.
A. Built-in formulas
To access MS Word’s math equation editor we do the following:
1. Click the INSERT tab. At the far end right-side of your word doc, you will see EQUATION.
2. Click the dropdown menu beside the EQUATION tab. You will see here some of the mathematical equations that are commonly used. These formats are editable so you can replace the value using your own math problem.
Note: If you want to adjust the font style or font size of the selected equation, just click the Home tab, highlight the selected equation and adjust the font style or font size. It is important that the equation is big enough so we can have a clear image when we take a snapshot of it after you finished creating your equation.
If your math subject or equation format is not included on the list of Microsoft’s built-in equations, try to hover your cursor to More equations from Office.com then browse through the rest of the preset equations.
Still not finding the right format? Maybe you can create it on your own. Let’s try the second option.
B. Creating Your Own Equation
1. From the Equation’s dropdown menu, select Insert New Equation. This is located at the bottom portion of the dropdown menu.
2. Clicking the Insert New Equation will bring up the equation editor toolbar and will place an edit box on your document. You can now try to create your math equation using the math symbols available.
Note: Clicking anywhere outside of the edit box twice will cause the equation toolbar to go away and return to the normal editing mode. To return, simply click inside the edit box and select the Equation tab.
Now if you’re not familiar with where exactly you can find a specific math symbol within MS Word’s given set of conversions, symbols, and structures, you may want to just write your math equation instead.
C. Writing your own equation
Here’s how you can write your equation:
1. Locate Ink Equation which can be found after you click the Equation dropdown menu.
2. A math input control will pop-up on your screen. This is where you will write your math equation.
3. Select the pen icon that says, “Write” to start writing your math equation. You can use your finger, stylus, or mouse to write your equation. If you made a mistake, just select “Erase” to remove the incorrect portion in your equation.
Since we are writing using the computer’s mouse, the output may not be as legible and clear as you want them to be. The option “Select and Correct” allows you to select what you wrote then provides you options to choose from which is possibly the right value for your equation. So if what you wrote did not translate correctly, try using Select and Correct. It may just provide you with the value you need.
The last menu is “Clear” which is used to wipe out your entire written equation.
4. Once you’re done writing, hit Insert.
Uploading and Importing
By now you should have your equation ready to capture and get imported to Doodly.
Exit out of the editor so that you get a clean screen with no cursors or anything and then use your favorite screenshot tool to take a screenshot of it.
On a Mac: Press Shift + Command + 4 to only capture the math equation. Your cursor will turn into a crosshair. Click and drag to select the equation and let go of the mouse to capture it.
On Windows: you can press “Windows + Shift + S”. Your screen will appear grayed out and your mouse cursor will change. You just have to click and drag on your screen to select the math equation. A screenshot of the screen region you selected will be copied to your clipboard.
Save the image on your computer then import it in Doodly after.
Creating Draw Paths
Now because the equation is newly imported, Doodly will scribble it by default.
To make it more realistic, we will have the hand animation write the equation per character or per symbol of your equation. Here’s how you can create your own draw path:
1. Select the image and click the pencil icon.
2. You will see that the equation is being scribbled under Live Preview.
3. Start by creating your first path. You can increase the path size to fully capture the lines and edges of your math equation. To make sure that your 1st path won’t reveal portions of your equation ahead of time, use another path to draw instead. It’s okay to use several draw paths. This will give you more precise and clean strokes. Also, you can zoom in on your image as you create your draw paths for better viewing.
We have finally completed our MS Word math equation editor walkthrough.
Eduction system around the world changes together with how technology evolves. Before, teachers only had a green board and chalk to teach. Well these days, a lot of helpful online tools can already be used for teaching. Softwares like Doodly helps teachers put their concept into a very stylish and fun video for students to enjoy. A whiteboard animation works great when presenting numbers especially when a topic is quite difficult for students to understand. Math can be quite a challenge but if we make it interactive and animated, students tend to engage more and understand the lesson better.
There are all kinds of ways you can use Doodly to teach math. You could teach new concepts with it, create review materials for students, make a game show sort of like a Q&A type, and more. I hope this blog inspires you to use Doodly as a fun way to teach math to your students especially when creating equations. Math equations doesn’t have to be always in a printout, you can import it in Doodly too and make it a fun math experience. Until next time!
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