I’ve been a huge fan of g(Math) since its inception. Its creator John McGowan has been so responsive to my friend Emily Fitzpatrick and my constant nagging for features and functionality in the product. John contacted me in January excited about a new project that he (and TextHelp as they now own g(Math)) were working on called ∑quatIO. Obviously as a Math teacher and an EdTech obsessive, I wanted to get to try it out.

What is ∑quatIO? Well simply put it is a Chrome Extension which runs atop the Chrome browser. It allows you to create equations in both Google Docs & Google Forms, but the magic really happens when you use it with Forms. Let’s take a look:

First of all I created a form about Pythagoras. As soon as I viewed my form in view mode, the ∑quatIO symbol appeared next to the question prompting me to use it to fill in my answer.

We can see this in play here with the blue boxes.

Next I clicked the button and typed in the equation into the editor at the bottom of the screen. I got the editor to appear by clicking on the logo in the Chrome toolbar.

Then clicking on the Insert Math button sends the equations into Google Forms as an equation!

The magic starts to happen when your equations become more complex like this one, using the Handwriting editor makes life so much easier, and you can correct mistakes by typing in the box on the right hand side.

Inserting the Math into the form makes it easier for students to see what they are entering and also makes it far more pleasant to look at than earlier solutions which were given in g(Math).

Finally as the teacher looking at the form submissions we can see that the equations carry all the way through into the form responses.

So this is a fairly simple example but ∑quatIO can actually do far more. Not only does it predict as you type. This is a load of gibberish, but you begin to see the power behind it:

All of these features are available in both Forms and Docs. The power of this in the math classroom is incredible. It has been difficult thus far to get students to enter math into Google Forms and into Docs due to the clunkyness of equation editors and the difficulty of using LaTeX (which is still available here). I hope to bring you some more blog posts on using ∑quatIO in the Math Class.

∑quatIO will launch on April 4th

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Chris –

Thanks for putting this together…I’m interested to see how this works on a tablet…will have to install it on my iPad soon. Have you found functionality for “math text” in the question?

I’m nervous about the message that the Pythagorean Theorem “is” a^2 + b^2 = c^2, and the second equation is simplified compared to the first one. Maybe you were using these as an example to show the product?

Hi Peter, yes I was simply doing this to demonstrate with a basic concept. I don’t teach it like this! I’m not sure that it will function on an iPad as they cannot run Chrome extensions, but I will find out and let you know me. What do you mean by math text?

They are working on a mobile app for students to respond from their devices (including iPads presumably) which they say will be released in September!

Chris – By “math text” I meant putting a mathematical expression into the question. I can add it as an image below the question, but not embed an expression into a question.

Danny, you’re right. I realized that as soon as I opened my iPad.

Ah I see, I believe that it works in there. Danny has answered the point regarding iPad’s. I’ll give it a go and see what happens in the question text.