Using the Internet to Find Math Help with Algebra

6/6/2014

Algebra has a notorious reputation for being one of the more difficult subjects in math. Coming-of-age middle school students often dread the thought of taking algebra, and many of them will surely end up looking for assistance outside of the classroom. In the past, students were required to hire expensive tutors or to spend hours after school with their teacher. These days, students can log onto the internet and find all of the support that they need. Interactive study guides and instructional videos can help lay a foundation of understanding, while online tutors and problem solvers can help solve math problems that may prove difficult. Online resources are generally affordable, convenient and flexible, and after a brief exploration of some of the popular online math learning tools, it's easy to understand why so many students are turning to the internet for help. 


Interactive study guides that provide math help with algebra 


Interactive study guides introduce new topics with dynamic lessons. They then proceed to guide you through the concepts with practice problems and short assessments that provide feedback. While textbook study guides can provide some amount of support with images, interactive study guides have audio and video elements at their disposal. If you are in need of help with math, these study guides are a great place to start. In many cases, interactive study guides are free on math education websites. You may come across some premium study guides, however, that do cost money. If you are really struggling, it may be worthwhile to make the purchase. 

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Instructional videos that offer help with math problems 


Instructional videos can be useful in any subject, but they are particularly helpful in math. Well made videos can break down math problems into their different components, explaining each one before describing how to solve the problem. Another advantage of using instructional videos for math problem help is that the videos are typically free to watch. Platforms like YouTube and Vimeo may feature advertisements, but they do not cost money to use. 


Printable materials that let you practice when offline 


If you ever find yourself saying "I need help with math," but you realize that you are more of a paper and pencil learner, you can still profit from online resources. This is because there are many websites that provide printable materials. Whether it's a worksheet, a homework assignment or even a practice test, you can print the materials and then complete them when you are offline. Some websites providing printable materials may require paid access. That said, it's always possible to find free algebra worksheets if you do a basic Google image search. 


Online tutors who can offer one-on-one assistance 


When I needed someone to help me with my math, I hired an online tutor. I did so by visiting the website of an online tutoring company. From there, I registered an account and began searching through the different options. It didn't take long to find an online tutor that offered flexible scheduling and an affordable hourly rate. The tutor was able to provide crucial one-on-one attention. An online tutor can provide help with math homework and problem sets, or they can help you learn a concept from scratch. The big difference between online tutors and in-person tutors is that online tutors are more affordable and more convenient. If you hire an online tutor, you don't need to worry about leaving your house to attend the tutoring sessions. 


Problem solvers to help with homework assignments 


Problem solvers provide the most immediate form of assistance when it comes to homework assignments. These are web applications that help with any math problem. They are fairly straightforward to use. You simply need to plug in the different values from the algebra expression in the problem, and the problem solver will instantly provide the answer. These applications are great when you are in a rush, and you just need to get an assignment done. They may not be as helpful when it comes explaining concepts, but if you are stuck on a problem, sometimes knowing the answer can help you understand the process. 

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Practice tests that you can take online 


Students who are looking for math help with algebra should plan on assessing themselves frequently to know where their weaknesses lie. One of the best ways to do so is by taking practice tests. Practice tests simulate a testing situation without the pressure of real consequences for a poor performance. While it may seem counterintuitive to seek help with math problems by taking a test, it's always important to identify your areas of misunderstanding before trying to find a solution. 


Educational math games 


Students are often surprised to learn that they can advance their study of algebra by playing a game. However, there are many educational math games that teach important concepts while also keeping students entertained. I remember being stuck on one particular problem mid-way through the first semester of algebra class. When I was looking for resources to help me solve my math problem, I stumbled upon a math game where you had to solve problems to score points and win prizes. In between matches, there were short instructional lessons that helped you better understand the material. I was able to master the concepts because I was engaged. Most math games are free to use. They rely on advertising to make money, and as long as you don't mind a few banners here and there, you can get valuable help solving math problems without spending any money. 


With the introduction of so many new concepts, Algebra can be a frustrating subject. You may find that your teacher and classroom materials do not provide enough support in order for you to master the subject. The good news is that the number of online resources helping with math is staggering, and there are websites and web applications that are specifically tailored to provide algebra assistance. Whether it's an instructional video or an online tutor, you will be able to find an online resource that syncs up with your learning style, schedule and budget.

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