If you are an adult who needs to polish up their basic Maths skills, or a student looking for extra help with Maths concepts such as inequalities, linear equations and multivariable calculus for an upcoming Maths test, you should consider turning to the Internet for help. Yes, the Internet is vast and may seem intimidating, but with the right guidance you will certainly find what you are looking for.
“The study of Mathematics, like the Nile, begins in minuteness but ends in magnificence.” ⁓ Charles Caleb Colton
Thanks to developments in technology, you don’t always have to turn to a dusty textbook for help: various educational websites, online Maths videos and savvy apps are right at your fingertips and ready for you to use. From downloadable Maths worksheets to online quizzes and interactive Math lessons with an online tutor, there are many Maths resources at your disposal.
Connecting with an Online Math Tutor: The Tools and Software You Need
First things first: because you will be communicating with your tutor online, you will need some basic equipment to facilitate the connection. You will need a smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC that can connect to the internet and a webcam. The most recent devices all have good quality built-in
cameras. Along with a webcam program, these fundamentals are essential if you are considering using an online Maths tutor in South Africa.
For clearer communication, if the sound quality of your device is not that good, you may want to invest in a headset with a microphone. The built-in microphone on laptops, for example, will suffice, but you will get better results with a headset. So, if you need a pair, check out some options on Takealot – the prices range from R84 – R2 299. You can also browse the online shopping site for a webcam- prices range from R265- R1 999, so all budgets are catered to.
While you must certainly make purchases within your means, it’s always best to push for quality equipment so that you get the best out of your online Maths lesson. You want to make sure that there is the best possible communication between educator and learner.
Lastly, for a truly optimal online learning experience, you must ensure that you bandwidth is up to scratch. You don’t want irritating buffering and slow file-sharing to hinder your lesson in any way.
Another tip: Make sure that you have downloaded the latest software updates for your device, so that you have access to all the newest features.
Think of all these elements as Maths tools that will help you reach your full potential in understanding everything from algebra and quadratic equations to theorems and trigonometry.
Free Software to Help You Learn Maths Online
When it comes to setting yourself up for a successful online Maths lesson, you also have to think of software as one of your Math tools. Thankfully, all the most effective ones can be downloaded free of charge, and all you need is a strong Wi-Fi connection.
One of the most popular online communication programmes is Skype, which allows its users to have conversations via webcam. Simply search for it online and click to install it on your computer. You can also download the app version for your smartphone or tablet.
To start using the programme, all you have to do is sign up with your email address and think of a password that you won’t forget.
So, if Skype is your chosen programme, you can then decide if you want to talk to your Maths tutor just using the audio (the equivalent of having them on speakerphone) or for a more personal experience, turn on the webcam for a face-to-face session.
While a real-life interaction might be the ultimate way to have a lesson, seeing your tutor on your computer screen is the next best thing – it will still feel like an authentic Maths tutoring session.
The best part is that you and your tutor can be almost anywhere in the world to go through fractions, polynomial equations, arithmetic, geometry, and more. Just be sure to check time zones and schedule an appropriate time. Remember, part of being successful is excellent planning.
Of course, there are other benefits to using Skype: there is a drag-and-drop option that allows you to share your Maths assignments, like fractions worksheets or multiplication worksheets, with your tutor; and a screen sharing feature that enables you to directly show the other person what you are working on (this is great if you need guidance through a tricky equation, for example).
Private Maths tutors can assist anyone on any level – whether it’s school or university.
With billions of users across the globe, WhatsApp is one of the most popular smartphone apps. By making use of data networks as opposed to traditional phone networks to facilitate audio and video chats, it’s easy to see why WhatsApp is the go-to application for so many people. Of course, this free app can be used for online Maths lessons!
Much like Skype, WhatsApp can be used to chat to your tutor, share files and documents and upload pictures and videos for free.
For a long time, WhatsApp was only accessible on a smartphone, but thanks to the WhatsApp Web feature, you can now access it via your Mac or Windows desktop.
Top tip: WhatsApp Web is quite heavy on data usage, so it is best to connect via a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Another great option for a very personal and convenient session with your Mathematics tutor is Google Hangouts.
Similar to the two options mentioned above, Hangouts can facilitate a messaging, audio or video session with your tutor. This service is perfectly suited for PCs, laptops, smartphones and/or tablets.
Google Hangouts is particulary good if you will be part of a group of students all connecting with an online teacher at the same time.
Zoom can be used on both computers and mobile devices, and allows for video conferencing and the sharing of content.
This social networking service allows you to connect for video chats from both your desktop or smartphone.
Best Maths Websites in South Africa
Yes, there are even more options available to help you learn Maths online. The Internet can be a powerful and convenient learning tool – it’s all about knowing where to look and identifying what your needs are.
Whether it is for exam preparation, homework help, or simply for some general practise, Siyavula is a great online high school Maths resource. The site offers a range of products at competitive rates. Not to mention, your answers will be checked instantly, you will get step-by-step guidance on how to approach Math problems and your progress will be tracked. What’s more, if MTN or Vodacom are your data service providers, you won’t be charged for data usage while using Siyavula.
A friend in need is a friend indeed, right? Well, as the name suggests, MathsBuddy will have your back, no matter what your Mathematics needs are. Developed by teachers, the Maths learning website is an independent online Maths tutoring programme based on the South African curriculum for Grades 1 through to 12, so all areas from basic multiplication and division to differential equations are covered. MathsBuddy features Maths games, full audio-visual Maths lessons, interactive questions and more, to help you improve your Math skills.
Created “by parents for parents”, K5 Learning is one a cool Math resource for children in pre-school to Grade 5. This award-winning educational programme also has thousands for free downloadable Maths worksheets for parents to go through with their kids.
Studying Maths Online Might Not be the Solution for Everyone
There’s no denying that these online Maths resources and tools are incredibly helpful and accessible, but private Maths tuition is still the ideal option for optimal results.
With a qualified and competent Maths tutor physically next to you, you get a face-to-face lesson without having to worry about data running out or a Wi-Fi connection failing. Ultimately, you want someone who can personalise a learning programme for you: that way the lessons are tailored to your needs and your progress can be tracked more closely.
And when it comes to motivation and managing your frustration, a private tutor can remind you of your strengths while working towards overcoming your weaknesses. Think of it as a collaborative effort to unlock your full potential.
The Four Primary Benefits of Private Maths Tutoring:
Added layers of reassurance and comfort that comes with a lasting relationship.
Communication is direct, which means problems can be tackled more efficiently.
There is more focus, thanks to having the undivided attention of the tutor (classrooms can be very distracting).
Quicker positive results will influence motivation and self-esteem levels.
There is definitely the sense of having the tutor in the room with you when you’re taking an online Maths lesson, but you may admittedly perceive some form of disconnect and distance between you and your teacher.
Despite this, choosing to look online might be your best option, since your ideal private Maths tutor may not offer lessons in your area. As we’ve discovered, there are so many online resources and Math assistance websites that you are bound to find a solution that works best for you.
To prepare for your online Maths lessons, you simply need to follow these three steps:
- Download the webcam program your tutor is using (once-off).
- Share your username with your tutor and ask them for their username.
- Connect with your tutor at the scheduled time for your Math lesson.
Hopefully, this article has helped you to realise that online Maths lessons are easier to arrange than you originally thought. However, the main point is to figure what works best for you or your child, to ensure that Maths doesn’t seem like a mountain that cannot be conquered.