MathTV.com provides free online video lessons to K-12 and college math students to explain steps and concepts. Users watch teachers solve math problems on a whiteboard and can rewind and replay as much as they want. Students can see as the teacher goes step by step through the problem on the screen. In textbooks, these steps are often explained in words, which is much more difficult to follow. Compared to just reading a textbook, seeing and hearing the problem can help the learning process. Neither of my kids have tried using MathTV (they’d rather just watch real TV), but I’ve still put together a review based on my own research and time spent on the site. Here’s what I found:
– Like I’ve said before, free is always a good thing when it comes to educational materials, especially when they are also of quality. Overall, MathTV presents some decent videos.
– Homeschoolers, especially on the high school level, will probably find this site extra helpful. My wife and I don’t homeschool our children, I believe they would miss out on valuable social training, but I definitely sympathize with families who are stuck at home with their kids all day. I could imagine that, unless you used to be a professional engineer, homeschooling moms (and dads) struggle with teaching high school math because they might have forgotten it or never even learned it correctly. I certainly have trouble helping my kids with their homework involving absolute value equations or trigonometric identities.
– The instructor and founder Charles P. McKeague is the oldest guy on the site, everyone else is young and engaging. But, McKeague has many years of teaching experience and education under his belt. He is also an author of several math textbooks and a truly inspirational speaker. While watching, I found his style of teaching to be very clear. The way he writes on the board is also very clear.
– I like the simple format of the website, no bells or whistles and it works.
– There are also several instructors who will explain the problems in different ways, which caters to different learners. There are even instructors who deliver the lessons in Spanish!
– You can even look up videos by textbook.
– The teachers explain specific problems but don’t really branch off into generalizations about that type of math equation. Unless you’re working on a problem that is almost identical to the one on the screen, you may have trouble working on a similar problem on your own. It would be nice if they spoke about the math concepts in general as well.
– You also can’t ask your virtual instructors for help.
– MathTV was created in 2000. After 12 years they could have done a lot more with the site in terms of aesthetics (simple is one thing, but boring is another) and maybe added some more engaging features.
– Videos on the site are free, but the E-books and XYZ Homework cost 30 dollars for a 12 month subscription. That isn’t too bad, but free is always king.
MathTV is a pretty good website with a lot to offer. There is tons of variety, especially for those who get tired of listening to only one person speak for an hour or two. I would recommend this site to anyone who needs to practice their math skills and needs a good, clear teacher to walk them through it. However, I would say the biggest advantage would be the Spanish lessons. I’m always trying to work on my foreign language skills and may just watch a few lessons for the Spanish practice!