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Why YouTube isn’t the Holy Grail of Education?

 Here are the reasons Why Online Education Videos Are not the Solution to Education.

Learning through YouTube, The learning Cycle

    “Will I be able to pass my exam by learning it online through YouTube videos? “

    This is one of the most common questions that I am asked.

    I am a fan of Khan Academy. It is easily one of the best inventions of the century. It is free and people all around the world have access to it. I would recommend this for both parents and students.  There are many great links to lectures and practice assignments. YouTube also has some great educational resources. They make it easy to understand and fun for the students to learn.  I always send these videos along with the homework.

    To learn, you need to be able to retain this information. You can always revisit the lesson and use that information to help out your short term memory.

    Parents and their students need to be aware of how to use these free online resources. While they are good for learning and can be used in addition to lectures they are not going to teach a student all they need to know.

    Some students have trouble focusing in class. They can use the online material on the day of the exam but they are not learning anything. They can learn related information by watching these videos but it will not help them in the long run.

    In addition to the free videos, parents need to provide other learning opportunities for their students. These learning activities can include worksheets and various types of assessment to check for understanding.

    The goals of learning are to take the information and store it in the long term memory. This cannot be done to be with educational videos alone.

Do you agree? Comment below!

How does one on one math tutoring works

How do I tutor Math?

So, this is one of the most important and common question parents have for me.

“My kid doesn’t like Math, How are you going to introduce Math to him/her?“

High School Math Tutoring

Well, it really depends on the student. For highschool and Adult tutees, I usually employ the “ I do, we do, you do ” method of teaching. It works like a charm. They aren’t coming to get lectured for hours. They just want to get comfortable with numbers. And “I do, we do, you do” is a great tool to help them with that.

Middle School Math Tutoring

But, For middle schoolers, it is generally a different ball game. Most of them hate extra classes. They don’t want to sit in the same place and do Math for an hour. So, I split the time we spend learning together.

The first five to ten minutes is actually warming up. I just ask them to recall what they learned in the last lesson. That puts them in the learning mode. After that, we start with the lesson of the day. I introduce the concept with a little backstory. Usually, a thing they do every day. Like, for example, when I introduce Integer Addition, I ask them to explain “How credit cards work?” Almost all of them get that right. And gradually we get into integer addition. We start working on the problems after this.

Also, I always have at least two to three alternate methods. If this doesn’t work, at least any of the alternate ways will work. This would go on for probably 40 minutes. The last ten minutes, I just make them practice the problems that they will be working after the lesson that day. We wind up the session recalling what we learned that day.

And I make sure that my students are vocal about their understanding of the lesson. I encourage them to ask questions the moment they pop on their head.

Maintaining this rapport is what I believe the important aspect of my Tutoring.

Rational and Irrational Numbers: An interesting Conversation with my Middle School Student

Here is an interesting conversation I had with a student I tutor. I used Pi to explain Rational and Irrational Numbers to her.

So, this is how I introduced Irrational Numbers to a student of mine. I asked her “Do you know Pi?” she said, “Yes, my teacher said Pi is equal to 3.14”. I said “Is that it, just 3.14? “  she said, “Yes, that’s what she said.”

I shared my screen and typed pi’s value in Google. I found a wiki article and asked her to read it.  And she was quite surprised by the number of digits that follow 14. And I also told her about Emma Haruka Iwao, a Google employee from Japan, who calculated Pi to a new world record length of 31 trillion digits with the help of the company’s cloud computing service. She was even amused to know that is still an approximation of Pi.

After this interesting conversation, I told her to observe two Numbers

1.851851851 And 3.141592653589793 (pi)              

I asked her to figure out a pattern among the fractional parts of both Numbers. She was quick to find a Pattern with the first one and couldn’t come up with one with the second one.

I told her that finite and recurring decimals are indeed rational Numbers as they can be written as a ratio of two integers. And we discussed writing Pi as a ratio of 2 integers (I told her 22/7 is an approximation) and found it is not possible to come up with one.

She quickly understood the difference between Irrational and Rational Numbers.

I also came up with some open-ended questions at the end of the lesson like,

if Pi is irrational, why are defining it has a ratio of Circumference to the Diameter of any Circle?

I also asked her “Do you think it is possible for Pi to be a rational Number as we have not yet computed it completely?”

Well, I am pretty sure, I didn’t turn her into a “Pi is Rational” Zombie.

How to Use IXL Math Program, For Parents

This blog post is for Parents considering or Using the IXL Math Program

IXL is an online learning Platform primarily offering educational practice for K-12th graders. The company also provides analytical tools to track student and classroom performance and identify areas for academic improvement with each student. IXL Learning offers practice skills for math, language arts, science, social studies, and Spanish. IXL is used in more than 190 countries by 7 million students.

And as a Math tutor, I love using IXL for my students. It has a lot of great features. The Questions are focussed at testing their understanding at all levels. Assigning and Assessing Homework has never been this easy. It is a wonderful tool for Elementary and Middle Grades.

And I was really shocked to see so many negative reviews by Parents.

Well, as a tutor, I never really rely on the explanations that IXL provides when the students get them wrong and I don’t expect them to learn from them. Also, I really don’t take the points it awards the students seriously.

For me, it is more like a testing, practicing, and a revising tool and it does it so well.

So, Here are some ways to use IXL without getting frustrated

How to Use IXL 

It is a supplementary tool. My suggestion is to supplement IXL with Khan Academy lectures. The one thing Khan Academy isn’t good at is the lack of Practice Questions and IXL fill that gap.  Khan Academy is free and IXL costs $80 per year.

How to Get a 100 on IXL

The Smart Score: Well, your child is doing great, got all the questions right, has full 100 points, but gets a question wrong and the points dropped drastically. That’s the frustration most parents and children have.

I would advise you to aim for 85 %, just that, that is sufficient. Or I would even go to an extent and say, Ignore it.

And as I said in the beginning, IXL is just a supplementary tool. Given any day, I will definitely choose to solve problems with a pen and paper over any online tool.

In my opinion, Reasoning and writing the steps involved in a problem are as important as arriving at a solution to it. IXL does the latter job and as a parent, just make sure you do the other one.

For IXL assisted online tutoring, Make an enquiry here

Divisibility Rules and Prime Factorization

Divisibility Rules and Prime Factorization

 

 2 (Prime)

A number is divisible by 2 if its last digit is 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8. Any even number is divisible by 2

3 (Prime)

Add all of the digits composing the number. If the sum of the digits is divisible by 3, then so is the original number. Example: If the number is 564, add 5 + 6 + 4 = 15. The sum of the digits (15) is divisible by 3, so 564 is also divisible by 3.

4 (Composite)

A number is divisible by 4 if the number formed by its last two digits is divisible by 4, or if the number ends in 00. Examples: The number 5748 is divisible by 4 because the number formed by its last two digits (48) is divisible by 4. The number 300 is divisible by 4 because it ends in 00.

5 ( Prime)

A number is divisible by 5 if its last digit is 0 or 5.

6 ( Composite)

A number is divisible by 6 if it is divisible by both 2 and 3 (see above).

7 ( Prime)

Draw a vertical line between the tens’ and ones’ digits, so that there are now two “numbers.” Multiply the rightmost “number” by 5, and then add the leftmost “number” to the product. If the result is divisible by 7, then so is the original number. Example: For the number 182, write it as 18|2, giving the two “numbers” 18 and 2. Multiplying the second “number” (2) by 5 and adding the first “number” (18) gives (5 × 2) + 18 = 28. Since the result (28) is divisible by 7, then so is 182. (When testing for divisibility by 7, it may be easier just to use your calculator.)

8 (Composite)

A number is divisible by 8 if the number formed by its last three digits is divisible by 8, or if the number ends in 000. Examples: The number 5840 is divisible by 8 because the number formed by its last three digits (840) is divisible by 8. The number 7000 is also divisible by 8; it ends in 000.

9 ( Composite)

Add all of the digits composing the number. If the sum of the digits is divisible by 9, then so is the original number. Example: If the number is 576, add 5 + 7 + 6 = 18. The sum of the digits (18) is divisible by 9, so 576 is also divisible by 9. (Note that 9 is not prime!)

10 ( Composite)

A number is divisible by 10 if its last digit is 0.

11 ( Prime)

Add every other digit composing the number, starting with the leftmost digit, and obtain the sum. Then add the digits not used previously and obtain a second sum. Find the difference between the two sums. If this difference is 0 or is divisible by 11, then the original number is divisible by 11. Example: If the number is 1529, find the sum 1 + 2 = 3, then find the sum 5 + 9 = 14. The difference between the two sums is 14 – 3 = 11, which is divisible by 11, so 1529 is also divisible by 11. Can you show that the number 142,857 is also divisible by 11?

12 (Composite)

A number is divisible by 12 if it is divisible by both 3 and 4 (see above).

The first few primes: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67, 71, 73, 79, 83, 89, 97, 101, 103,…

When factoring a large number, do not try every prime all the way up to the number. For example, if factoring 503, test each prime in order (2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, etc.) to see whether it is a factor of the large number. Before checking each prime (for example, before checking 13), take that prime and multiply it by itself (in this example, 13 × 13 = 169). If the product (169) exceeds the number to be factored (503), then you have gone far enough and may stop. In this example, it is necessary to go farther and test 17 (17 × 17 = 289) and 19 (19 × 19 = 361). Since the next prime (23) has the property that 23 × 23 = 529, which exceeds 503, we can stop after 19 (note that it is not necessary to test whether 23 is a factor of 503). Many students make the mistake of assuming that a large number is prime if it is not divisible by 2, 3, 5, and 7. Often you must do additional testing (beyond 7)! The procedure just described tells you exactly how far you must go when testing factors.

4 Things to consider before choosing APs: Statistics Vs Calculus

AP Statistics Vs AP Calculus
AP Statistics Vs AP Calculus

Your Love for Math

If you have a knack for pure Math and would love to immerse yourself in Analysis and Algebra in the future, You should opt for Calculus without a second thought.  Or, if you are curious about Applications of Math and would love to play with data, then Statistics is your cup of tea.

College

If you have plans to major in STEM, then AP Calculus is a must in high school. AP Statistics is a better option for Commerce, Business and Finance majors. You can choose both if you want to major in Math and Statistics. it is up to you.

Intensity

Also for some, AP Statistics is a cakewalk and many find it extremely hard. I personally think that people with good reading comprehension find AP stats easy. In the case of Calculus, I think you can evaluate yourself with the help of your performance in Pre-calculus.

Statistics

Now coming to the Statistics,

AP Calculus AB

Passing Rate: 57.1%
Five Rate: 21.3%

AP Calculus BC

Passing Rate: 80% 
Five Rate: 44.6%

AP Statistics

Passing Rate: 57.3%

Five Rate: 13.2%

Note: The statistics above can be misleading because one should also consider the potential of students opting for the subjects. Usually, STEM students outperform Arts students in Math. People opting for Calculus would most probably choose to major in STEM in the future.

Hope this helps. I am Sindu Bharathi and I tutor Math and Statistics online. You can follow me on TwitterInstagramFacebookLinkedinPinterest, and Quora

Homeschool Mothers reveal their top 4 ways to Homeschool Math

Here are the ways the mothers use to help their kids with math; private tutoring is not the most sought after option.

In an independent survey conducted among homeschooling mothers by onlinemathtutornow.com, the respondents revealed how they managed to help their kids with high school math. According to the 2018 Cambridge International Global Education Census, “The most common subject privately tutored in is maths, with two-thirds of students (66%) taking it, followed by physics (43%).” Considered as the hardest among all subjects, math usually needs specialization to teach, and most of the mothers who took part in the survey were not equipped with sufficient math skills when their kids started  high school math. Here are the ways the mothers use to help their kids with math; private tutoring is not the most sought after option.

We learn with them!

Surprisingly, out of the 58 respondents, 14 said that they learn high school math along with their kids, and use free and paid online resources when things do not make sense. “Parents can learn (relearn) along with their students. I have a homeschool friend who got a second Saxon textbook and did math along with her son. He’s now working for NASA after getting a free ride through MIT…”  said a respondent. “I did the high school math with my two kids; they were in the same grade. We learned it together, struggled through assignments together, prayed for God to give us the answer when none of us could figure it out (which He always did) and accomplished it together,” said another. “You can learn along with them, you are smarter than you think, and we are always telling our kids that learning is fun. Learn together. Or you learn it the day or week before. I love math, but I use math you see, and they have a video for each section, plus there is a teacher’s edition that explains how to do it. PLUS you can google ANYTHING. In addition, you know someone who is a whiz at math. So call a friend or a church member or me, if you get stuck. It really isn’t that bad, ” said a respondent. “I read the teachers manual and search google for answers and youtube for demonstrations. It is not that hard. Understanding and finding the formula for each equation is a big key,” said a mother.

Online Schools

The next option that homeschool moms make use of is the online schools. Most of the online schools have their curriculums, and students learn and give their tests online.  The schools then grade the tests and send the reports to parents. Teachers are assigned on request. The classes take place on video calls. “I have my high school student at an accredited online school… so they are still “at home” but have a teacher they can reach,” said a respondent. “My daughter does online for high school. She watched the videos and they graded her assignments and test. I get a copy of the graded tests and assignments when they come back. She get in touch with the teacher/teaching aide for assignments she is not sure,” said another respondent.

Self-study

The third popular option mothers have used is to make their kids learn by themselves. “One of the main purposes of homeschooling, for us, is to teach the kids to learn on their own. Husband and I both have degrees in math, so teaching it isn’t an issue for us. But when I was a kid, I learned math by reading my textbook. No big deal, really, ” said a respondent. “High school kids are big enough to read the book. Honestly, I made my kindergartners read the instructions. Parents don’t have to teach the subjects. They don’t even ever have to have taken the subject,” said another respondent.

Hiring a tutor

Surprisingly, hiring a tutor was the least popular option among the respondents, and the reasons seemed obvious. Private tutors are expensive, and most of the time, parents and students have access to many resources online that help them to understand without the help of an expert. So, they hire one only when they are not able to figure out something. “If I get stuck we go to the library. I know that if it gets way over my head I can always find a tutor. College kids are more easily available to tutor,” said a respondent. “I hired a math tutor for the upper high school years. She tutored at the community college and took private clients as well,” said a mother who successfully homeschooled her kids. It is not that hard to homeschool according to the mothers who took part in the survey, and math should not be something that holds you back from taking the leap. The author Sindu Bharathi is an increasingly popular private online math tutor and blogger on online learning, math, and homeschooling. To receive more updates like this, please subscribe here. You can know more about learning math online here. You can learn about the Youtube channels for math motivated high schoolers here. Let me know if you wish to know more about online resources for homeschooling. You can do this here. Also, if you want to try Online tutoring, you can book a free consultation here.

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YouTube Channels for Math Motivated High Schoolers

YouTube channels every math motivated High Schooler should know about:

If you are someone who thinks that math teachers and school books don’t do justice to your inquisitive mind, you are not alone. Subscribe to these channels to keep yourself motivated.

YouTube Channels for Math Motivated High Schoolers
  1. MathAntics: Math Antics does basic math but a lot funnier. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBuMwlP7kHkNxdPAqtFSJTw
  2. Mathematicsonline: Must subscribe for geometry and also has videos to interpret equations geometrically. https://www.youtube.com/user/mathematicsonline/videos
  3. LeiosOS:  Anyone who aspires to become a software engineer one day should definitely check out the videos in this channel. Very insightful and I loved the Linear Algebra part of it. One can learn the basics of Data Structures, Graph theory and Algorithms here. Hasn’t been active in the recent past. The old uploads are great. https://www.youtube.com/user/LeiosOS
  4. Numberphile: Most subscribed math channel. Makes math videos for general populace, can be binge watched. Very active in uploads too. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Numberphile
  5. Mathologer: Again like Numberphile. Makes videos on popular math problems like Riemann Conjecture, FLT etc. Must follow. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Mathologer
  6. 3Blue1brown: Beautiful and appeasing visualizations. I dug it out from YouTube. Must watch. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=3brown1blue
  7. Hotel Infinity: It covers interesting  mathematical paradoxes. Makes them easy to understand. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=hotel+infinity
  8. 3D printing math: It makes 3D printed math structures. Quite Amusing. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=3d+printing+math
  9. Khan Academy: Classic. Vast so know what you want to learn and search. Don’t binge watch.https://www.youtube.com/user/khanacademy

The author Sindu Bharathi is an increasingly popular private online math tutor and blogger on online learning, math, and homeschooling. To receive more updates like this, please subscribe here.

You can know more about learning math online here.

You can learn about the Youtube channels for math motivated high schoolers here. Let me know if you wish to know more about online resources for homeschooling. You can do this here.

Also, if you want to try Online tutoring, you can book a free consultation here.

Benefits of Online Learning Over Conventional Learning

Benefits of Online learning over Traditional learning

Traditional education (classroom education) is structured in such a way that it churns out a mass, disciplined workforce with basic knowledge to meet the labor demands.

Apart from stressful homework and learning information from stressed and underpaid teachers, students have to go through social anxiety due to bullying and popular culture, among other things. The frequent shootings in the US vouch for this.

Furthermore, according to the International Labor Organization, due to the recent changes in the tech world, like automation and artificial intelligence, the workforce demand in all sectors would soon undergo a massive change which will not be compensated by the supplies of our traditional education system.

Thus, to remain relevant and competitive the student has to grow and polish the skill sets necessary in a day where they spend the majority of the time in a classroom with relatively less learning output. It is strenuous and depressing.

Online Education, something that many parents are confused about, is a learning environment that you and I dreamed about during our school time, sitting in a boring History class.

The advantages online education have over classroom education are humongous.

Pace

Kids learn at their own pace. They neither lag behind nor sit bored wasting time.

Hobby Time

If your kid wants to take a piano class in between classes or wants to paint a magnificent portrait, they can. They get ample hobby time in peace. No missing breakfast or school buses anymore.

Input-Output Ratio

Your kid will learn what he wants to learn, when he wants to learn it. Do you know, as a kid Einstein could not perform well in any subject except mathematics?

Parenting Made Easy

You as a parent do not have to meet teachers or the principal anymore.

However, Online education needs self-discipline and motivation. With these things it can be very rewarding.