Tech to Show Your Thinking in Math

Tools you can use to demonstrate your thought processes

Technology to Demonstrate Thinking

There are numerous web apps and tools available to educators and students. These apps and tools can allow the users to explain their thought processes as they engage in problem solving. These tools allow users the freedom to capture and share the unique and varied processes that occur inside their minds as they solve a problem. No longer are we limited to pen and paper to justify or explain thinking, now we can capture though in pictures, diagrams, videos, animations, audio recordings, and other imaginative ways. Below are a few examples of tools that can be used to capture thought processes.

Screen Capture, Photos, and Videos on your Device

Screen Capture

Most devices have a screen capture feature built-in. This allows you to capture whatever is on your screen as a photo which can later be used in other apps like the Interactive Whiteboards or Annotation apps explained below. Or if what was on the screen is the full explanation of your thoughts, that screen captured photo can be shared via email or uploaded to the cloud or even posted in a blog, or Facebook or Twitter.


The camera on your device can be a powerful tool to capture your thoughts if you are using manipulatives or showing real life examples. Simply take a picture and then either use other apps to help explain your thought process or share the picture the same ways that were mentioned for the Screen Capture feature.


If individual photos are not enough, use the video feature on your device to capture a live demonstration of the manipulatives you are using or the motions of the real life example that shows the solution to the problem. The video camera on your device will capture audio commentary as well so you can both show and tell about the thought processes involved to solve the problem. Similar to pictures, the videos can then be shared or uploaded or posted. Some apps, like Explain Everything, will even allow you to annotate on top of the video.

Interactive Whiteboards

Interactive Whiteboard Apps allow you to write, draw, and annotate over pictures or on the blank canvas of the Whiteboard. Most allow you to record an audio explanation of the visuals you have created on your whiteboard, so others can hear as well as see your thought process. This will allow you to walk someone through the steps you used to solve a problem and explain the reasons and logic behind each step.

Math Apps

Some apps have been specifically designed to help you perform math tasks. Each application has its own function and would be used for different purposes. These math apps can allow you to focus on solving the problem and not worry about how to record your thoughts. By combining these apps with the screen capture feature on your device, the math can be captured and shared.

Annotation Apps

Annotation apps are great if you just want to jot down a few handwritten notes. Most allow you to annotate over top of pictures, files, and/or PDFs. They are similar to interactive whiteboard apps without the ability to record while you are writing or drawing. These tools would allow you to do what you normally would do with pen and paper but can be shared easily and quickly.