Noodle App of the Month: yHomework (August 2015)

Learning new skills and understanding new subjects is becoming as easy as reaching into your pocket.

Whether you are looking to create an interactive graph showing the results of your latest lab experiment, or you want to learn a new language on your commute, there is (as the saying goes) almost certainly an app for that.

Education technology is transforming the way we learn by creating innovative online tools. New knowledge is more accessible, no matter where you are geographically or educationally.

To help you find the best new apps to add to your phone or tablet, Noodle Experts bring you the App of the Month series, in which we shine light on some of the best new tools in the world of ed tech.

This month, we are pleased to feature yHomework, an app that makes understanding algebra a breeze.

yHomework

What is it?

yHomework is a free math-help app that not only solves complex equations, but also shows you how you can arrive at the solution yourself. Along with answers, the app provides detailed step-by-step explanations. The app allows you to input quadratic equations, inequalities, and even draws graphs. On the solutions page, the app illustrates each step as a teacher would on the board, and you can even see different ways to solve the same problem.

Who would love it?

The app is great for students, parents, and teachers alike. The app provides homework help to students who are struggling with algebra, or a handy way for parents or teachers to try a new strategy when helping a child with a difficult math equation.

What makes it captivating?

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Screenshot from iTunes store showing yHomework's simple design and helpful explanations.

yHomework packs a lot of punch in its simple and intuitive design. The app helps you view conversions for decimals, fractions, and percentages; it allows you to find the lowest common denominator and greatest common divisor; it has options to find the sine, cosine, and tangent. Then, what starts off as seemingly inaccessible combinations of numbers and variables gets easily explained in short sentences and drawings. Instead of just being given a solution, the app mentors you in getting there each step of the way.

The app also archives the problems you input, and by selecting the “History” option, you can easily refer to previous solutions you have already explored.

A note for beginners: If you are looking to input a fraction, for instance 1/ 3, you will need to type in 1, then the symbol for division, and then a 3. This, and several other hidden tips and features (such as the fact that when you type in a number by itself with no variable, an option to find the factorization will pop up) can be accessed by clicking the “i” button on the left of the screen. Be sure to read the included instructions before beginning so you can maximize your use of this helpful tool.

How is it making an impact?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be 161 million STEM jobs in 2022, a 10.8 percent increase in one decade. Many research papers and publications speculate on whether or not we will have enough qualified employees to fill these positions. As individuals, it is a benefit to us to be sure that we can understand the skills needed for a society heading in this direction.

Unfortunately, math has a reputation for being challenging. In a study by the Pew Research Center and Smithsonian magazine, 46 percent of polled participants said they believed the reason why young people don’t pursue degrees in math and science is because they find it too difficult.

Finding ways to simplify math and make it accessible to people of different ages and backgrounds means better opportunities on an individual basis and a better future for society.

Check out the Noodle App of the Month for July 2015, 30/30, a program that helps you tackle any task with efficiency.

Noodle has no ties to or affiliations with yHomework.