Math Tutoring and Homework Help by MathElf is an app in which students can actually talk with "live" math tutors to help them understand difficult math problems. This app is a perfect go-to for finding a master math tutor 24/7!
What a brilliant idea and Math Elf has made it happen! And though it isn't a new concept (Khan Academy) this app has pulled out all the stops! These tutors are experts in math and strongly believe in working with the students to help them understand how to solve the math problems and explain the necessary procedures. It is seamless to use, students can take a picture of their problem and are talking to a tutor on demand on the spot. The Math Elf tutors are from all over the world and therefore available for students across the globe at any time of day or night. Imagine being stuck on a math problem late at night or over the weekend... TA-DA this is the perfect app to the rescue for getting help during that time! This on-demand feature is a real perk, Math Elf is never closed.
Pick a Subject
The app is fine-tuned to align specific topics to tutors with expertise in that particular subject area, this is a real bonus. The fact that the developers have put this much thought into providing access to tutors according to their specialty shows their integrity. The topics covered are Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus, Statistics, SAT/ACT/ASVAB, as well as earlier stage math levels that are not among the ones that are listed.
Talk to a Tutor
Once the subject is picked, students are prompted to take a screenshot of their problem and click ‘Talk to a Tutor’ button. That's how simple it is to find a scholar for live help! Once students click that button, within seconds they are literally matched with an expert in the field. The instructor and student are connected in a session in which they can talk with each other and see what is being written on the built-in scratchpad. The audio quality is awesome. A toolbar is available to crop the image or highlight a specific area of the problem, it is easy to write on the board with a stylus or your finger.
Revisit the Session Conversation
After the session ends, the student can see the saved screenshots of the scratchpad within the app for reference. Additionally, the student receives an email with the audio file of the conversation with the tutor. WOW! This is definitely a premium feature. As the conversation is saved, the student can listen to it anytime needed to solve similar problems, as well as to share with other students or even their teacher.
After the session ends and if the student likes the teaching style of a particular tutor, he/she has the option to book a session again with that same tutor. All the tutors that the student has had sessions with are available to be scheduled in advance if warranted. Since Math Elf services are available across all different time frames, their staff of tutors make it easy to find the "just right" tutor whenever needed or gives you the option to book a prearranged session with the instructor of choice.
Price and Target Audience
This is a brilliant app, and the first 15 min are free.What a BARGAIN! So if you wish to try it out, I would highly recommend it. After the first 15 min, it costs 50 cents per minute. The app is designed for students across a variety of age ranges. Math Elf works with students in elementary school through the university level. There have also been college students who use Math Elf for help on a regular basis. All tutors are teachers and professors who have taught for many years as well as from some of the top universities in the world.
I spoke to one of the tutors that I connected with regarding their experience with teaching with the app, and here is part of that discussion:
- What is your experience with tutoring through this app? The app is great as it has all the basics covered. Kids using the app are upfront about a problem they don’t know. If they don’t understand, they’ll say that they don’t, unlike times when you are asking a question in person and they say that they understand even though they don’t. Using the app is really easy as well.
- What happens if you don’t know the answer to a question? There have been very few times when this has happened, but when it does, the student gets refunded for the session time and can reconnect with other tutors through the app who would be able to help.
- How does it work on your end when you get a student request? Tutors can see the question that the student has posted, and if they are comfortable with that topic they can start the session with that student.
- How flexible are the hours of tutoring? 24 hours a day. There are tutors in locations such as United States, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, etc.
- Do you teach a specific subject in math or all of them listed in the app? Tutors mark the subjects that they are comfortable teaching, so when they get a request, they could accept it based on the subject they have marked.
- What is the average amount of time spent in every session? It varies from student to student. Most of the sessions last for 5-20 minutes, but there have been some sessions that have lasted for 2-3 hours.
- Have you faced any technical difficulty while using the app? Not really. Occasionally there is a little hiccup here and there and sometimes the pictures don’t upload right and the students have to upload it again.
- Is there a way to keep in touch with tutors outside of the app? The only way is through the app. The ability to reconnect with the tutors they have worked with in the past is available.
* Jayne Clare also interviewed one of the tutors and was impressed with the quality of professionalism, delivery of personalized service and kid-friendly screen sharing. Amy had some 40 sessions under her belt in the two weeks she has been working at Math Elf. She explained how a thorough training program takes place prior to working with any students as well as on-going mentoring. Highly Recommended!
Griva Patel is a currently pursuing Master of Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon University. With a team of 5 students, she is working on a project making an app that focuses on a rapid practice of addition and subtraction operators. This app involves fixing robots while doing math exercises. Griva is passionate about designing educational games and is an Intern for Teachers With Apps.