Could the Latest Apple iOS Update Change the Way Students Learn Math?

Kent State education experts Joanne Caniglia and Karl Kosko weigh in

Apple's upcoming iOS 18 software update will include a new Math Notes feature that utilizes artificial intelligence to solve handwritten math problems while matching the user's handwriting style. While intended to be a helpful tool, some math education experts have raised concerns about its limitations and potential misuse.

Kent State University Professors Joanne Caniglia, Ph.D., and Karl Kosko, Ph.D., both from the College of Education, Health and Human Services, told Spectrum News 1 Ohio that the demo videos from Apple contained several errors in how some problems were solved.

“They made mistakes, major mistakes on three of the problems, three that I found so far,” Caniglia told Spectrum News 1 Ohio. “What we really want students to know about any kind of technology is the limitations and that they always have to know, have to understand the mathematics themselves.” 

Kent State Associate Professor Karl Kosko

Kosko advises that while AI can be leveraged as a teaching aid to increase engagement and comprehension, students must still develop a solid understanding of mathematical concepts themselves. The professors see potential benefits such as using Math Notes examples to critique solutions or analyze common student mistakes.

“We've done this on occasion with our future teachers as well, either with planning out a task that they could give their students or actually evaluating how to solve the task,” Kosko said in the Spectrum News 1 Ohio story. “They'll be able to point out some of the specific things that are happening there oftentimes in ways that they might not have done if we were even to give them examples of students’ work, because all of a sudden it's a lot easier to criticize a computer than as a human.”

The feature could also assist teachers in grading math work more efficiently. However, they emphasize the need to recognize AI's fallibility.

As new AI technologies are integrated into education, striking the right balance between utilizing them as learning aids while ensuring students build core skills will be crucial. The iOS 18 update containing Math Notes is expected to roll out this fall.

Watch the Spectrum News 1 Ohio segment featuring Caniglia and Kosko.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 12, 2024 03:36 PM
Updated: Wednesday, June 12, 2024 04:39 PM
Spectrum News 1 Ohio, Top Image: Raul Vinicius PixZito from Pixabay