[kde-edu]: KMathtool

Birgit Schulz schulz.b at gmx.de
Tue Jun 15 19:35:22 CEST 2004


I'm not working at KMathTool at the Moment, but I started KMathTool.

Am Dienstag, 15. Juni 2004 14:52 schrieb M2George:
> Hello all.
> I've sent this same e-mail to the KDE-Quality list and got a grand total of
> zero response from it.
> And considiring what usualy lurks there I've decided to drop that list
> completely and try here.
> I've been working on KMathTool recently but since my box has gone bang I've
> been planning more than doing.
> What I've been striving to, is to change KMathTool into a Maths tutoring
> system similar to this, http://www.mastermaths.co.za/main/main.asp, ( but
> because of contractual agreements not based on it)
> which I use at work very effectively.

KMathTool was thought as a tool, to solve little problems, needed for some 

> Herewith a very brief rundown of what I'm trying to achieve.
> 1.    Main Window that displays welcome and main categories (as icons) of
> Math i.e.:
> Algebra - Geometry - Trigonometry
>         (Still in two minds as to what to do with calculus)
> Learners will be registered on this window, to keep track of their progress
> and to enable split sessions.
> 2.    Selecting a section will bring up another window with the subsections
> of that field of Math. From this window selecting a subsection will start
> the teaching module.
That sound's like many windows.

The last Maintainer, Marco Wegner, isn't still working at KMathTool. He wanted 
to create a "tree" to make all the modules available. another idea is to use 
a menu with submenus.

> 3.    Each teaching module will be split in two parts.
> a)    Teaching theory - This part will emphasize theory and mathematical
> laws using **voice and animation** - (In principle, if you know the theory,
> the understanding will come) The option to print important theory notes
> will be available.
Uhhh ... that's alot of work. The idea was discussed to habe a theory part to 
every module als hlep to make understand how the module works

>  b)    Teaching application - This part will teach the application of Math
> using **voice and graphics** supplemented with real world examples.
> Throughout this part, examples will be linked to math tools to assist and
> show proofs of the work being done,   i.e.: functions can be entered and
> will be drawn, volumes, area, trig function and other calculation can be
> done interactively.
Hmm ... really real world examples are usually to difficult to explain. And 
btw ... me, as a math-teacher thing, that's not so good to show only one 
example how to solve a problem. Real wolrd examples can usually solved be 
many ways.

> 4.    At the conclusion of each teaching module two exercise/test modules
> will be available one at normal level and the other a challenge. These will
> be a mixture of multiple choice and entered answers. Hints will be
> available with incorrect answers.
That's not what KMathTool was thought to be.
In germany we have a very succesful programm for windows. There ae many 
modules. You enter some numbers and to get the result. It's like a black-box 
with some theory-information.

I thing an app that you want might be too big with all the modules.

> **voice and animation**
> I would appreciate any help with this. Voice is very important in teaching
> Maths and the current system we use has about 13GB of audio and shockwave
> animations, completely inappropriate for KDE. One option is
> http://www.cstr.ed.ac.uk/projects/festival/ ,this software is approaching
> prime time and could be an option for voice in KMathTool.
Hey ... I still ant to work. In my opionion that not so good if you want to 
make the teachers unnecessary. The biggest problem will be, that you can not 
solve any problem of the learning pupils in advance. As teacher I should have 
a look the problem, I should ask where the problem is to help the pupil. If 
you only show the result, he/she does not learn to solve his/her own problem. 
Only to go the way of the author ot the tutoring-system.

> The animation part is also proving difficult. It could be done internally
> in QT but this will exclude non programmers from contributing content.
> Drawing PNG's and then making MNG's will take to long. A search looking for
> a shockwave replacement (open source/Linux) came up blank. Any pointers
> would be welcome.
For geometry  there are some GPL-Java-Applets.

> Any ideas, comments, guidance will be greatly appreciated.
That's great that you are so ambitious, but that's really a lot of work to 
realise it. I hope I did not discourage you ... I think what you want is a 
lot of work. Some little work for the programmers, but the most for the 
math-specialist. And a lot of work to translate it into diffrent languages.

If you are willing, we may can add to KMathTool, some more theory. May one 
part, how the module work (what's inside the black-box). An other idea ist to 
show the module can be used. E.g. how can the factorisation can be used for 
different problems (for fractions, ...)

The testing of special problems should be in my opinion diffrent apps, to make 
KMathTool not to big.  Like KPercent, KFraction, ...

I'm sorry that I don't have so much time and not enough programming knowledge 
to make everything possible, what I want.


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