We have recently recommenced work on our FX Library materials (which are designed to showcase the capabilities of our new MultiDocs technology) and started work on an interesting activity which we have decided to share early. As we were working on the activity, it proved to NOT be particularly suited to parametization but did develop in unexpected and interesting ways.
The activity is an interesting extension question for geometric series where students are asked to use their knowledge in an unusual way. If you are looking for an investigative activity for your higher-level students, this might be perfect!
As with all of our FX Library, the materials are provided with VERY generous copyright conditions. If you are using the activity in a school situation, you basically have free reign. Download away!
The release of MultiDocs has created a lot of excitement and many schools want to start using the new system to its fullest. This week we released a collection of new videos that can be used to get you and your staff up to speed on the new systems.
The full set of videos are a comprehensive look at the new features and are likely to go further than you initially need. We recommend that you start at the beginning and work your way through them at a pace that suits you.
To begin with, take a look at our Introduction to MultiDocs video. This gives you a quick overview of what it can do and how to get started.
Once you have the basic idea, we recommend that you look at basic parameters and the inline calculator.
Once you have mastered the basic processes, there are other videos available on Multiple Choice questions, statistical data, more advanced parameters as well as how to move a school to the new system. Visit the MultiDocs video training page for more details.
We have released a new build of FX Draw Tools, specifically for anyone using the MultiDocs toolset.
The main change is that we have added a new Efofex MultiDocs app. This is a one-click way of starting both FX Draw and FX Equation, ready for use in a MultiDoc. Not only is this faster than the old, manual startup process, it also allows us to setup Word, FX Draw and FX Equation specifically for use in MultiDocs. This eliminates most issues users were having making the change.
You can still use the MultiDocs Edition to edit Classic Mode graphics and equations. This is not a one-way change.
If you are a Mac user, you will only have the choice of the MultiDocs edition. There are few changes that will affect you regardless of how you use it. If you want to use MultiDocs, run the Efofex MultiDocs app. If you are not using Microsoft Word and, hence, MultiDocs, you can still start FX Draw and FX Equation from your App Launcher.
If you are a Windows user, you can choose to download the Classic Mode Edition which operates as it always has. If you wish to use MultiDocs on Word (which we STRONGLY recommend) download the new MultiDocs Edition.
Moving From Classic Mode to MultiDocs
Just a reminder, MultiDocs includes a tool to help you move Classic Mode documents over to the new system. Moving to MultiDocs has no downside.
WIth the release of our new MultiDocs Edition of FX Draw Tools, we are also publishing a number of MultiDocs training videos. These provide the equivalent of a face-to-face training session in video form.
So far we have released two videos:
Introduction to MultiDocs (18 minutes) – This provides a quick introduction to the concepts and processes behind MultiDocs. It is an ideal introduction to use with all of your teachers.
We have been busy over the last few months, updating our products to run on the latest computers.
New 64 Bit Windows Versions.
We delayed moving to 64 bit versions of our products for many years as we waited for school technology to catch up. 64 bit computers are now just about universal so we have finally made the move. The new versions are faster and have fewer limitations that were forced on us by the old systems. For example, FX Draw now offers a 31cm by 43cm (slightly over A3) size drawing canvas whereas old 32 bit versions just managed a 30cm by 30cm canvas.
New Apple Silicon Versions
Our new Mac versions support both Intel chips and the new Apple M1/M2 chips natively. Anyone with a newer Mac will notice significant speed improvements with the newer versions.
The new versions, along with the many improvements we have made recently, mean that now is a good time to make sure that you are using the latest versions of our products.
Nearly 20 years ago we were told that FX Equation was the perfect mathematical tool for students who had trouble “writing” mathematics. The ability to just type, with minimal formatting, and have FX Equation automatically format it into readable equations and text is simply unmatched. The same features that make FX Equation the most efficient equation editor for mathematics teachers, makes it powerful for these students.
Since then, we have helped thousands of students who struggle to write mathematics. Students with conditions as diverse as cerebral palsy, quadrilpegia and dysgraphia have all benefited. We have even had a number of students going to higher level mathematics and engineering. Our free, EmPower program has been an outstanding success and is something we are very proud of.
Then came MultiDocs.
One of the main pillars of the MultiDocs system is the inclusion of an inline calculator which permits you to automate many of the calculations you need for solutions. This inclusion has proved problematic for examining bodies who need to ensure that any approved accommodation does not provide an unfair advantage to students. The inline calculator definitely provides such an advantage.
To address this, we have now added an “Exam Mode” to FX Equation which disables any problematic features. This will make it much easier for our EmPower students to gain approval from examining bodies.
You can find more information about our EmPower program, and the new Exam Mode, on our Empower page.
It has been a few months since we last wrote, but we have been busy! MultiDocs are moving on and are becoming simply the most efficient way to design and use mathematical materials.
If you are interested in creating MultiDocs, we recommend that you look at our Efofex Insiders newsletter where we announce some of the more esoteric additions to the capabilities. Recently we have added articles on new parameter types (which allow you to select from sets or divide numbers into random “buckets”), new calculator commands (which allow you to extract numerators and denominators or find the most common element) and a new display style (which allows you to show simplification of calculations).
We have spent our summer break (we are based in the Southern Hemisphere) working hard to make the new MultiDocs systems ready for use by ALL of our customers. The capabilities of the system have been expanded while the usage for most teachers has been simplified. The Word toolbar, for example, now has two modes: Simple Mode, which allows any teacher to quickly load and regenerate an existing MultiDoc or build their own from our FX Library materials
and Expert Mode which gives you access to all the power of the MultiDocs system. This is ideal for anyone creating their own MultiDocs materials.
The more we have worked on the new system, the more convinced we are that MultiDocs represent a paradigm shift in how schools create and manage their mathematics assessments. The ability for ANY teacher (not just the “Efofex Guru”) to quickly load and regenerate a test or exam, getting a completely new version with fully-worked solutions (if created by the author) is truly game-changing.
If you haven’t had a look at the new system, please take the time to quickly peruse the MultiDocs website. It could dramatically improve your productivity.
FX Library is a collection of pre-written MultiDocs materials that you can use as exemplars to create your own questions or directly in tests and exams. FX Library is your best source of regeneratable MultiDocs materials.
Up until recently, we have provided the materials as one question per file. Feedback from teachers has indicated that this is not as useful as a module of materials on the same content.
While we may still release individual questions as individual documents, the majority of our materials will be released as modules in the future.
A module is a collection of questions/materials on the same topic. The questions will range from simple to complex and should allow you to quickly create your own regeneratable materials. All questions come with fully worked solutions. Simply download a module and begin cutting and pasting into your own document.
Modules are like chapters of a book so they take longer to write. We will be working feverishly to increase the amount of materials available.
Soon, we will be looking for authors to help us produce a comprehensive library of materials for you to use. More details to come soon!
We have been very busy over the last few months, adding significant new features to our products. Our Efofex Insiders newsletter details all of the finer details of the new options. This week we have already uploaded 5 new articles containing details on using parameters for bivariate data, grouped data, frequency tables and an number of other options.
If you want access to all of the technical changes to the software, our Efofex Insiders Newsletter is the place to be! We will continue to report on more general changes and development themes in our general newsletter.