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Product Updates

2020 September 3
by Amaya Webster

Get to Know Imageshare 3.0

Imageshare is an open source platform that enables educators and consumers to find and share multimodal resources related to key STEM concepts.

Last quarter the focus was on planning for the next iteration of the resource. Planning was based on feedback from users and an accessibility audit done on both the original and most recent versions. This quarter, Imageshare 3.0 was born. Built to be completely accessible from the ground up, it is the definition of a “Born Accessible” product and is both screen reader and keyboard accessible. The interface is also fully responsive and can be used on cellphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.

The collection consists of captioned and audio described videos, textured tactile graphic files, braille files, 3D printable files, raised line files, and image description files, covering over 40 different STEM-related topics. We will work with additional DIAGRAM community members and organizations to further increase the content during the last part of Q3.

A redesign of the user interface has vastly improved the search capability of the site. Users can now search by keywords, subject areas, file types, accommodation types, and file sources. This makes the site much more intuitive, as it accommodates the many different ways people might engage in a search.

User testing began at the end of August, the results of which will be included in our Q4 Newsletter along with the official Imageshare launch announcement and a link so you will be able to check it out yourself!

 

Math Made Multi-Modal

Mathshare is the first of its kind, an inclusive digital math editor that gives all students (with and without disabilities) the unprecedented ability to interact with math problems online and to easily demonstrate their math skills in a digital environment. As an increasing number of classrooms transition to online learning environments, millions of students face challenges in solving math problems online and showing their work. Mathshare enables all students to learn how to solve math equations by themselves, make errors, start again independently, and show their work to educators in a digital, accessible, and user-friendly environment.

The focus of Q2 and Q3 was to expand the intended audience of Mathshare by supporting the specific needs of students with learning disabilities, while also creating opportunities for parents to also use the tool to support their learners in response to COVID-19.

With many students engaged in virtual learning, parents have become integral to supporting their child’s education.  To increase at-home usage, we added an ‘other’ user role for family members that are helping their learners, as well as allowing students to add in their own problems. We simplified existing features to increase student engagement with Mathshare. Students are able to see which sets they have already completed in the dashboard, making saving and sharing sets with their teachers easier (and helpful for cognitive accessibility). We also added “next/previous” buttons to facilitate navigation, as well as specific updates to increase screen reader accessibility. For teachers, we added a community problem set library and the option to add steps to the problems to guide and support students.

We have already started to work on text-to-speech (TTS) functionality for students who need problems read aloud. In Q4 we will be conducting additional user testing for mobile enhancement. User testing conducted during Q3 returned highly positive results. Highlights of the feedback include:

  • “It’s wonderful to finally have a platform that offers a true electronic math template with the ability to have rational included.  Thanks Mathshare!”
  • “Appreciate making accommodations without it being known to other students”
    With Mathshare…“Students didn’t need me physically there, giving them the sense of independence”

    • Kelly Vick, Elementary SPED teacher
  • “People that need to do math for school I highly recommend @Mathshare it is a great tool and is really screen reader accessible. I tried may update with my friend @btman16 and we both love it. It’s far better than doing LaTeX and learning  math concepts at the same time.”
    • Taylor Arndt, computer science student who is blind

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