By tpm | September 27, 2011
Device: Android Phones
Grade Level: Pre-Algebra through Calculus
Cost: App is free, but must purchase credits to use
One of the most interesting new math education apps I’ve seen in recent weeks is not for the iPad but for Android. It’s called Text a Tutor, and it allows you to receive help on math problems from tutors via your phone. I was somewhat skeptical when I was contacted by the publishers of the app, but their FAQ addressed many of my questions and concerns. The questions you send in are answered by real people. You can receive an explanation with the answer, either in written form or video. You even have the ability to send your question in image form (via Dropbox) rather than typing the whole thing out.
I sent in a few questions to Text a Tutor to try the service out and was pretty impressed by the whole system. I asked a simple Algebra I question about the quadratic equation which was answered in just a couple of minutes. Next, I also asked a tougher Calculus question involving integration by parts which still took less than 10 minutes. In each case, I sent the question to Text a Tutor through the app interface and received a solution via a text message. The text contained a link to a Dropbox image file, which you can see by following the links above to the solutions. The solutions were thorough and easy to follow. It does look like the equations are being entered with a mouse, but they were still easy enough to read.
Text a Tutor also offers video solutions via Screencast.com. In theory, your phone must have Flash to view the solutions, and my older Android phone does not. However, I forwarded all of the texts to my Google Voice account, making the Dropbox and Screencast links easy to view on my computer. I also asked a question about the intersection of two lines and received a Screencast solution in about 10 minutes. You can view the solution here.
The Text A Tutor app is free, but you have to buy credits to interact with the tutors. It costs $1 for answers to problems, $2 for complete solutions or $3 video responses. Text A Tutor is offering 2 free credits to Tech Powered Math readers to try out the service when you use the Promo Code “techpoweredmath”, which is good until 10/26/11. I’d encourage you to try out the service with the code so you can see if it’s a good fit for you.
Click here to get Text A Tutor for your Android device.