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For some, math can be such a pain… literally. A study at the University of Chicago by psychology professors, Ian M. Lyons and Sian L. Beilock found that anxiety around math increases activity in areas of the brain related to physical pain. “[...]Some of the ways our brain registers physical pain, social pain, and pain about doing math is all very much the same,” said Beilock. Luckily, Beilock also believes that math anxiety can be lowered by empowering students through preparations and motivation. “We have to deal with not just the content of what’s going on in classes, but also making sure kids feel motivated and are enjoying the subject,”

Educators are always trying to find new ways to encourage students in the subject that makes them the most insecure. One of the less-considered solutions in a teacher’s arsenal is digital handwriting tools. While digital accessories like styluses often play a huge role in language lessons, science, and other subjects, it’s not often that they are talked about when it comes to math.

The right tools can make all the difference. When students are given tools that help them reflect the knowledge they already have, it can boost their confidence in the subject. That confidence can lead to improved motor skills, enhanced accuracy, and reduced test anxiety.

Comfort in Calculations

It’s easy to think that handwriting in a digital learning environment is a skill that’s mostly applicable in language classrooms. However, it can be an essential skill in math as well. In a survey conducted by Logitech and EdWeek Research Center of over 1,000 teachers and administrators, 74% of educators said that students’ level of physical comfort while using educational technology impacts their level of engagement in learning.

Whether it is writing out functions or drawing times tables, having a writing tool that’s both comfortable and familiar can help students be less distracted and more present when solving math problems. Styluses that look, feel, and write just like a pen or pencil helps writing on tablets and digital devices feel more natural. Logitech Pen and Crayon have a non-slip grip, size, and weight makes the styluses completely intuitive to use and supports students developing motor skills. With a pixel-precise tip and a smooth response time, these styluses give students the control they need to take notes, draw and write. In a study done by the Logitech Ergonomics Lab Study in 2022, Students found that the Logitech Pen is over 80% more accurate than using a fingerLogitech Ergonomics Lab Study (2022). N =46 across ages of 6 to 17 years old. Lausanne, Switzerland.. When given a stylus, students can stay more focused on problem solving, and less time distracted by their own discomfort.

Less Stressing in Testing

Student assessments and testing are one of the many tools used to gain an understanding of where students are and how best to support them in math. However, testing can feel extremely stressful and overwhelming to students, which can lead to lowered performance. For ages 8 - 10, high ambient noise leads to ‘significantly worse standardized test results’Pujol, S., Levain, J., Houot, H., Petit, R., Berthillier, M., Defrance, J., . . . Mauny, F. (2013). Association between Ambient Noise Exposure and School Performance of Children Living in An Urban Area: A Cross-Sectional Population-Based Study. Journal of Urban.

While emotionally, there’s a lot math educators can do to support their classes, there are outside factors that contribute to that stress and distractions. Audio and visual stimuli, physical discomfort. These factors can be combated with educational technology tools, and experts agree that digital tools are important for assessments. Over 70% of testing agencies in the US highly recommend or require external keyboards for assessments on iPad Devices.Logitech 2020 interviews with state testing agencies. Digital tools are not just assistive, but essential for test taking.

Headsets are also an important tool that can help students ditch auditory distractions. One study done found that students need the sound they are focusing on to be 300% louder than other sounds or they may lose part of the learning.Moore, R. E., Ph.D. (n.d.). A Comparison of Acceptable Noise Levels in Children and Adults [PPT]. Mobile: University of South Alabama The Logitech Zone Learn headset has a comfortable, ergonomic, and adjustable fit that’s made to stay on kids’ heads. The audio drivers are tuned for voice clarity rather than music, making it optimal for test taking. On-ear or over-ear headphones can help students create a quiet space for test taking, and allow them to more clearly hear instructions.

When educators give students multiple options and tools to express their knowledge, it allows for more student ownership. That ownership and autonomy over their learning allows students to be more reflective and engaged with the content. With the right digital learning tools, students can feel more confident in their own knowledge and abilities, even with their most challenging subjects.

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