These days, helping your children with math problems can be difficult. Most of the time, children are now taught differently than their parents were, which can really make helping out challenging, especially when parents are really pressed for time.
That's one of the problems a new app called Math Crunch.
Edward Rodriguez said he used to struggle with college algebra, but not anymore, since using the math tutoring app for your smartphone.
The Valencia College nursing student said that help has become crucial to keeping his grades on track.
"You're never stuck on a problem," said Rodriguez. "I've gotten As on all my tests in my math classes."
He explained it all works like a chat.
"You take a picture of whatever problem you're stuck on and they'll explain to you step-by-step how to solve the problem," said Rodriguez. "You can ask questions. They'll send you pictures, too. They'll say, 'This is how you solve that problem', and they'll write it down and send it to you or upload something right there and you can see what they're talking about."
The tutors don't just give you the answer, they show you how to do the work or double-check yours to find out where you went wrong. Rodriguez said on a busy college student's schedule, he can get help whenever he needs it, even if it's in the middle of the night.
"I've done it at like 2 in the morning and there's been someone there," said Rodriguez.
Math Crunch creator Naguib Sawiris said convenience is one of the app's biggest draws..
"Unlike traditional tutoring or other tutoring companies where you're stuck to this 30 minutes or an hour unit, we really try to fit into the students' schedule as organically as possible," said Sawiris.
That kind of flexibility makes it an easy option for parents who are trying to help with their kids' homework, too. That's because it's not just for college students. Sawiris said they have tutors that can help with any level of math.
"Our focus is students aged 12 to 16, but we have younger and we definitely have older," said Sawiris. "So if you are a college student and you are taking Calculus, we are going to cover it as part of the Common Core standards. If you are in elementary and you are just in a great elementary school that's doing advanced alegebra, service can be provided to you."
Sawiris said they have a variety of tutors, ranging from students at top universities to high school teachers and college professors.
"Every two weeks we review all of our tutors to make sure everyone is up to our standards," said Sawiris.
He said it's all part of the company's philosophy to make quality education accessible to everyone, starting with math.
"Our vision is a world where everyone has on-demand access to excellent education over this," said Sawiris, holding up his smartphone.
Rodriguez said for him, it's made all the difference.
"I wish I had this when I was in high school," said Rodriguez. "That would have been awesome if I did."
The app itself is free, and then you pay for the tutor's time.
There are options to pay by the minute, for 49 cents a minute, or there are subscriptions for 60, 120 or 240 minutes ranging from $24 bucks a month to $80.
With those, you can use your minutes as you need them. If you only need to use five minutes at a time, you can do that until you cumulatively reach your allotted time for the month.
Sawiris said the company plans on expanding their product line in the future to be able to offer more mobile educational tools in other subjects to students around the world.
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