IssieCalc – A Customizable Calculator for all

By: Meital Gorelik, special education teacher, and Noa Nitzan, occupational therapist || 16, September 2018

We’re very proud to introduce the next app in our series developed in collaboration with our partners from SAP Labs, Israel, IssieCalc: a calculator that allows the user to personalize a number of features.

App Logo

 

IssieCalc has joined the series of apps developed the Technology Center inspired by needs that arose through work directly with children and adults with disabilities.

A huge thank you to the IssieCalc team, Uriel, Vadim, Daniel, David and David!!

The other apps in the series are: IssieBoard2TALKIssieDiceIssieSign

Estelle and Meital from Beit Issie Shapiro with the SAP, Israel developers, and the delicious calculator cookies brought to them in thanks

Estelle and Meital from Beit Issie Shapiro with the SAP, Israel developers, and the delicious calculator cookies brought to them in thanks

Working hard

Working hard

On display at the final competition, with a note of thanks from the students of the Beit Issie Shapiro School for Special Education, written in symbols

On display at the final competition, with a note of thanks from the students of the Beit Issie Shapiro School for Special Education, written in symbols

The calculator, designed with large buttons, offers a variety of settings allowing for customization, including audio recording in any language. The calculator can be used in both landscape and portrait modes.

Where did the inspiration for this app come from?

The idea for the app came direct from needs in the classroom. In our math and community integration lessons we practiced buying items in a corner store and selling items in our school kiosk. While buying and selling, the students encountered the need to perform simple operations, and we started to practice using a calculator in our classroom lessons. The calculators and apps that we found currently on the market did not meet the physical, perceptual and intellectual needs of our students. With IssieCalc, you can design the calculator to your needs using features such as choosing appropriate colors, choosing the numbers and operations you want visible, and adding auditory recordings.

How does it work?

Upon first opening the app you see a default calculator.

Default Calculator

Default Calculator

 

A long press (2 seconds) on the settings button takes you to the settings screen, with options along the left side.

Settings screen

Settings screen

If you are familiar with the IssieBoard app, you will find the two apps are similar to use and have similar settings.

Choosing colors:

You can choose a general background color and then choose separate colors and text for the following buttons: numbers, operations, delete/clear, and the equal sign. After choosing each one you can always press on “Show Preview” to see what it will look like.

Here are examples of calculators with contrasting colors:

example 1

example 2

You can also define desired keys with a separate text and background color using the “Special Buttons” setting. Simply tap on the buttons you want and choose their key and text color.

Similarly, you can choose the background and text colors of the Solution window.

An important and very useful feature is the ability to choose which keys will appear, allowing you to adapt the calculator to different ability levels. For example, for some students, it may be easier if only the numbers 1-5 are present, or only the “+” button is present and not the other operations. To choose the buttons you want to appear, enter “Choose Visible Buttons” under the “Additional Options” heading. What is highlighted are those that will appear in the calculator. Un-highlight anything you want to remove. You may also choose whether the buttons will be completely invisible or transparent, where you will see the keys very lightly. Each of these settings is appropriate for different users.

settings
Transparent buttons

Transparent buttons

Invisible buttons

Invisible buttons

Recording:

Another useful feature is the ability to record a message on each button that the user will hear when the button is pressed. This feature can be very useful especially for those with visual impairments and for those learning their numbers.

To record, press “Change Sounds” under “Additional Options”, press the button you want to record for and then press the red record/microphone button.

Recording sounds

Recording sounds

Press the desired key and record a message

Press the desired key and record a message

Templates:

If you press on “My Calculators” under “Additional Options”, you will see 4 predefined calculators to choose from. Here, you can also save your own templates. Create a calculator, enter “My Calculators”, press on the “+” in the upper right-hand corner, give the template a name, and press “Save”.

Template

Also under “Additional Options” you will find “Reset All”. This button allows you to reset all changes you have made to the calculator you are working on and return to the default settings.

Enjoy IssieCalc, we’re sure you will find it very useful!

We’d love your feedback and tell us how you are using it in your classroom!

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