Almost all of the math classes I have taken in college have either been online or had a significant online component- read more about taking virtual classes in college here. I know a lot of people who think that taking math online is impossible or terrifying, but I enjoy it because I can use my own technology and use a variety of online resources to help me understand concepts- read more about the technology in my dorm room here. Today I will be sharing math websites I have used over the years and that are accessible to a user with low vision or blindness on a Windows computer, iPad, or Android phone. So without further ado, here are five (free!) websites that help students with low vision in the math classroom.
Kate’s Math Lessons
I discovered Kate’s Math Lessons when I was preparing to take a math placement test and was blown away by how great the large print looked, as well as how readable the website is. Kate’s Math Lesson offers practice for pre-algebra, algebra 1 and 2, and geometry. Students can find pages for the specific concept they are learning about and read examples, watch videos, and even do written practice. I worked a lot with the algebra 1 resources when studying and found that it was really easy for me to navigate. I mostly use it on my computer, but it also works on the iPad and pairs well with VoiceOver. Visit the Kate’s Math Lessons website here.
PurpleMath is another free website with homework help for high school math, college algebra, and standardized test preparations for exams like the SAT (read more about my SAT accommodations here). PurpleMath provides detailed written explanations for different concepts with lots of examples. The homepage promotes a paid service called MathHelp, which I have not tested, so I am linking directly to the free PurpleMath explanations. I found this website easy to enlarge and it worked great when I zoomed in on my web browser. Visit the PurpleMath website here.
I can’t talk about educational websites without mentioning Khan Academy. Khan Academy offers resources for math in grades 6-12, though I find myself using the website frequently for concepts covered in my college math classes. There are also categories for science, engineering, computing, humanities, economics, test prep, and even college resources. The website is filled with captioned videos that are easy to follow, along with written explanations and practice problems. The videos are easy to listen to and take notes on, and I usually stream them to my Chromecast while I work on the computer (read more about Chromecast here). I also like doing practice problems on the iPad app, and I consider the app to be accessible for people with vision impairments (read my app accessibility checklist here). Visit the Khan Academy website here.
Wolfram Alpha is like a cross between an encyclopedia, a calculator, and a search engine. While it can be used for several different things, I like using it for math, and it is available for math at all levels, from middle school all the way to college. I can enter in math problems and see them solved, and have the answer easy to see on a graph. Answers can be read and copied in plain text, which is helpful for screen reader users, and the answers can also be downloaded. The pro function is available for $5 a month and acts as a virtual tutor, going over problems step by step. While this website can’t be used for testing, it’s great for understanding how math concepts work. Visit the Wolfram Alpha math website here.
Almost every middle school student (or former student) can tell you about how awesome Cool Math Games is, but the Cool Math website is filled with so many great explanations of math concepts related to pre-algebra, algebra, and pre-calculus. The website has a high-contrast theme and large, bold text that is easy to navigate with a screen reader or other assistive technologies. The graphing examples are also easy to magnify in a new tab, though some may seem blurry when magnified (read more about high resolution images and why they matter here). If the colors are an issue, copy and paste the text into another program like Microsoft Word. Visit the Cool Math website here.
I hope that these five math websites are able to help students with low vision in the classroom or teachers finding resources for students with vision impairments. If I have missed one of your favorite websites, comment below and tell me all about it!