Online Math Tutoring Basics

How Online Math Tutoring Works

During your online math tutoring sessions, we will work together using an online whiteboard. Basically, you’ll post your questions and we’ll work through them together. 

At first, I might be doing more of the talking & writing as you might be a little lost. That’s ok. As you gain an understanding of how the math and technology work, you’ll participate more. 

Also, the more we work together, the more you’ll realize that I’m on your side and want you to do better in math. Once you realize I’m here to help —-and not to judge—- you’ll be bolder in speaking up, asking me questions, and letting yourself do your magic. 

This is a collaborative process and you’ll learn that you are likely not in as bad shape as you think. Just some details we need to attend to.

A lot of our sessions will work on clarifying your mechanics and correcting small mistakes. You might be making small mistakes early in solving your problems unaware how that’s affecting your answers. No biggie. That’s what we’ll work on together.

Over time, you’ll get your mojo back and math won’t be a scary monster. You’ll realize you’re a hero who can slay the math beast. It’ll still be a battle, you will make mistakes… yet you’ll emerge victorious!

Posting Your Online Math Questions As A PDF

Nowadays, you’re likely working on a partially, if not fully, online math class. The beauty of this is that you can take a screenshot of your questions and post them to your board. As we work through them, I can point out ways you can be more efficient or clear up your process questions. 

Showing me your work reveals your math mechanics and how we can improve those. The more work you show, the easier it will be to improve your math skills. 

If you have a PDF of your problem set, you can post those, too. It’s quite easy and will take about 30 seconds. The beauty is that you can post your questions before your session. That way, once we start your online math tutoring session, we can hit the ground running.

Taking A Pic Of Your Online Math Questions Using A Mac

For a Mac, just make sure your problem or problem set is showing. Then, press Shift-Command-4. This will open a rectangle on your screen. You can configure the rectangle around your desired area. Once you complete the rectangle, the image will likely show for a moment in the lower right-hand corner of your screen. If your Ziteboard is open, you can click and drag your image onto your board.

Otherwise, you click on the Ziteboard image posting icon and select your image from your desktop.

After you’ve done this, your problem should show up on your board. And you’re ready to roll.

Taking A Pic Of Your Online Math Questions Using A PC

Snipping Tool is native to all PCs. It might not be on an icon on your desktop. If not, Select START and type snipping tool. Then, select it in the search results.

Online Math Tutoring
Finding Your Snipping Tool

To make a new snip, click on new. For the sake of this example, select rectangular snip. Only when you want to do a full-screen snip would you select Full-screen snip.

Online Math Tutoring
Using Snipping Tool

Once you select your rectangular snip, make the rectangle enclosing the space of your online math question or questions. Then, use save and copy to save and copy it to your clipboard. It works very much like a Mac image snip (using Shift-command-4). So, for more information on how it would work, please check the Mac video above. 

The major difference will be that your snip will either be saved to your desktop or clipboard. From there, you can select it from the Ziteboard image posting icon to post it to your board.

How Long Do You Have Access To Your Online Math Work?

Your problems from your online math tutoring sessions will be there for the rest of the academic year. No worries. You can access your questions and work until after your math class is over.

You’ll be able to access your work on any device: your phone, chromebook, iPad, laptop, desktop. And I can show you some ways you can take a screenshot of your work or print it out. That way, you have proof you’ve done your math work and won’t have to copy it by hand.

The only caveat is that once a year, typically in July, I’ll purge a lot of the boards. So, if you want to keep your board through the summer, please let me know and I’ll keep it up for another year.

If you’re working with me over the summer, don’t worry about this. I’ll keep it up till next summer.

In any case, if you do want an image of the board to keep, please let me know. Ziteboard can send a static image of your board to you so you can keep it forever in a digital format.

Writing Tools For Online Math Tutoring

You likely already have all that you need to get started. For a bare bones session, you’ll only need a phone or touchscreen device.

First Choice: Wacom Or Similar Tablet With Desktop or Laptop

A desktop or laptop with a Wacom Tablet works best. Using a Wacom or similar tablet, you’ll be able to write on a flat surface while you look forward at a screen. It sounds simple, but it’s important. Looking down at an iPad will strain your neck after a while. Math can be stressful all on its own. We don’t need to add to the stress of the process.

online math tutoring
Wacom Bamboo Tablet

Now, you needn’t use a Wacom tablet, there are alternatives. However, they’re tried and true. Usually, they run about $80 at Best Buy. Be sure to walk into the store as they’ll price match and, on a good day, you can get one for about $60. Just ask your cashier for price matching.

One detail: You’ll prefer the wired version over the wireless version as the wired version is more responsive. If you do have a gaming rig or other fast computer, a wireless Wacom tablet should be fine. It’s just that with my own Mac Mini, there was a lag in writing with the wireless Wacom tablet and that was a dealbreaker.

Next best choice:

iPad or other Tablet

With an iPad, you can use an Apple Pencil or, better yet, a $5 stylus. I used to think the Apple Pencil was superior. That ended when a student recommended an inexpensive stylus. I tried it and realized it had the same accuracy and didn’t need to be charged. So, if you’re using an iPad, please use THIS STYLUS. It has the accuracy of an Apple Pencil with neither the cost nor the need to charge.

Using Your Phone For Everything; Last Option

If you don’t have an iPad, a tablet or a stylus, you can use your phone. This will work only as a worst option. It’s a little difficult to post your questions and see your work with this option. You can do this, but once you do it, you wouldn’t want to do it again.

If You have a USB port, buy a Wacom Bamboo Tablet

Your quickest and least expensive upgrade for writing on your board will be a Wacom Bamboo Tablet. This assumes you have a USB port.

If you buy a Wacom Tablet, do so at Best Buy or another in-person store. This will give you the option to price-match and to return it if it malfunctions. Their price-matching is good. All you have to do is ask the cashier to check their competitors online and they’ll match any advertised price. I’ve saved $20 on one of my tablets that way myself. And, I’ve returned a malfunctioning tablet. Just do it within the 2-4 week return window. It beats being frustrated with a digital device bought online that you cannot return.

Connecting To ZiteBoard

You’ll want to use Chrome as it’s the best browser for Ziteboard. If you try to avoid Chrome, you can use Safari, Opera, or Firefox.

To use Ziteboard, you’ll definitely want to link it to a Gmail or Gmail-compatible account. Most educational institutions have their own emails affiliated with their school’s name and most of these are Gmail-compatible. So, in most cases, you can use your school email account.

The first time on Ziteboard, you’ll receive a link to your board from me. Be sure to check your spam box as it might go there. Below is how your Ziteboard invitation will appear:

Online Math Tutoring
Ziteboard Invitation via Gmail
Online Math Tutoring

Next, make sure you’re logged in to your Gmail/Gmail-compatible email on another tab in your browser. That way, Ziteboard can link to your Google account. This initial linking will take about a minute or so. After this time, it’s almost instant.

This is the message you’ll see the first time you want to join your board.
Choose the Login with Google option

Once You’re On Your Ziteboard

First, click on your menu icon in the upper left-corner of your screen. Then, select settings. You’ll see a drop-down menu with a lot of options. Keep in mind that Ziteboard uses a black dot to indicate that option is turned on. You want to select (turn on) everything from Display Pen Icon to Display Redo Icon. Some students prefer Shape Recognition, some do not. Oh, and if you want to print a physical copy of your notes, select A4 Pages. Basically, that’s an 81/2 x 11 sheet of paper Stateside.

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Other tips: Use arrow keys, if possible, to move around on your board. If you use a mouse, especially an Apple Mouse, the board tends to zoom in and zoom out. You’ve been warned.

You can choose between red, blue, and black. And, you can switch between them all the time. You can also change the thickness of writing.

Next, there is an undo and redo icon, basically left-turning arrow for undo and right-turning arrow for redo.

The eraser icon resembles a trash can that’s fallen off a third-floor balcony. It is a vector eraser, erasing any continuous lines in the image you’ve drawn.

Lastly, but importantly, there is the insert image icon. It resembles a silhouette of two mountains with a moon in the background. You’ll click on this to insert images from your desktop.

Good luck and happy tinkering with your Ziteboard!

If you cannot post multiple page PDFs through your browser on Ziteboard, you’ll have to take screen shots of each page individually and post them one at a time.

Showing Your Work

First, you’ll want to show work so I can see what you’re doing. What you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. By showing me your mechanics, you can more easily improve them. 

You might think it’s macho to do work in your head and that you’re above showing your work. That won’t help anyone.

If you want to improve, you’ll show me your work so we can see where you’re making mistakes. Think about it: even Kobe and LeBron have coaches.

Also, you’ll want to show your work in class as your teacher is more likely to give you partial credit by showing your work in good faith. Lastly, you’ll be more accurate. The more work you show, the less likely you are to make careless errors.

Showing your work is one of the fastest ways to improve your math skills.

Printing Out Your Online Math Tutoring Notes

You have a few options. First, you can use A4 page outlines before we set up. Then, we’ll stay in the lines. After your session, you can print your notes. In Europe, an A4 page corresponds to our 81/2 by 11 paper.

Your second option is to copy and paste your notes from Ziteboard onto a Google Image, Google Doc, OneNote, or EverNote. Then, print them out there.

Third, you can ask your teacher if a PNG image would work. Then, you can ask for a link of your work. You can forward this link to your instructor so she can view the PNG copy of your Ziteboard work.

Final Notes About Online Math Tutoring

Please feel free to contact me. You can schedule a session directly by clicking on the SET SESSION button below. Once you set a session, you can pay for it via PayPal and have it confirmed within moments.

Good luck with all your math endeavors! Call 7143367380 today.