3 Math Web Apps That Could Save Your Teen’s Math Homework

MATHS INSIDERS blog

This is a guest post by Vernon Morris of Engaging Edu Inc

Helping your child navigate their path through the study of mathematics can be quite challenging and, for some of us, can seem impossible. We don’t all remember those Geometry theorems from our own high school days!

Who needs Pythagoras' theorem?
Creative Commons License photo credit: dullhunk

Content knowledge is just one challenge we parents have. Sometimes, a much more daunting problem is your child’s engagement ( or lack of) with math.  Whether you are struggling to help your child with some tough problems or just looking for ways to better engage your son/daughter, there are some awesome tools that can help out.

All of the applications in this post  either A) make math more fun or  B) help you understand how to solve literally any type of math problem. Do you want to take an integral–no problem, it can be done right on the internet for you!  Do you want to a visual way of solving your math homework? Also, not a problem, it’s on the internet and best of all-it’s free. Let’s look at 4 of the most powerful math web apps:

1) Meta-calculator

URL: www.meta-calculator.com/online/

Cost: Free online version, pay for the mobile app on the iphone/ipad

Age level: Middle school through college.

Type: Web application and Iphone/Ipad App

math1

Meta calculator is a multi purpose graphing, scientific calculator that is feature packed and has a clean intuitive interface. Its features are vast but here  are some that standout:

  • graph up to 7 equations  and find their intersections
  • trace a point or produce a table of values for any of the equations
  • save an image of your graph to your computer
  • scientific calculator with everything you’d expect including memory storage and usage as well as a handy equations solver
  • matrices vector calculator that does addition, multiplications, additions and also lets you transpose or invert a matrix
  • statistics calculator for doing everything from regressions, standard deviations to t-tests

You can also send your statistical data to the graphing calculator and plot out thepoints, regressions lines etc.. There are lots of nice calculators on the internet but this one stands out by the sheer number of its features and its easy to use interface.

2) Mathway.com

URL: www.mathway.com

Cost: Free to see answers, pay to see work

Age level: Middle school through college.

Type: Web application plus a mobile ready website

math2

Mathway falls in the category of tools to help you solve specific math problems. It can solve, literally, just about any type of problem from middle school through high school including Calculus and statistics. It is free to see the answers but you do have to pay to get access to all of the steps.

What sets mathway.com apart from similar programs like Wolfram Alpha (described below) is its easy to use set of example problems–see the left side column.  The user interface is also quite intuitive . Just use the tabs at the top to chose your topic (Algebra, Precalculus etc..) and then either start typing your problem or look on the left side for example problems. Although there is no mobile app of this problem, mathway does have a mobile version of its website.

3) Wolfram Alpha

URL: www.wolframalpha.com

Cost: Free online version, pay for the mobile app on the iphone/ipad

Age level: Middle school through college and beyond.

Type: Web application and Iphone/Ipad App

math3

WolframAlpha is very simlar to mathway.com–they are both tools that solve virtually any math problem and that can show you all of the work! Like Mathway, WolframAlpha offers a vast array of problem solving help from  adding fraction (see example below) to working with matrices, vectors, and Calculus concepts!  It is actually more comprehensive than Mathway.com!

However, most of us will never need to use the math that differentiates WolframAlpha. Don’t get me wrong, if you are an engineering major, WolframAlpha will have the edge on this front. However, if you are a parent trying to help your child Mathway.com and WolframAlpha will both offer more than enough content!  WolframAlpha beats out Mathway.com in two areas:

#1) it has a mobile app unlike mathway.com

#2) it shows all of the work for free!

So, you might be wondering why anyone would choose mathway.com over WolframAlpha–the answer comes down to mathway’s superior UI and those great example questions.  I suggest trying out both of the sites, and if you think mathway.com is worth it, then pay for the steps, if not, stick with Wolfram.

Wrapping it up:

I hope you find these tools helpful. They are, too my knowledge, some of the best resources out there for helping shore up content knowledge and for getting kids to like doing math.  Try a few of them out and let me know your thoughts! Are there any other great tools out there that I missed?

Vernon Morris lives in Westchester, New York and  runs Engaging Edu Inc, an education company that makes education based websites and apps–mainly focused on the Math Education niche

Caroline Mukisa

About The Author: Caroline Mukisa is the founder of Maths Insider. A Cambridge University educated math teacher, she’s been involved in math education for over 20 years as a teacher, tutor, Kumon instructor, Thinkster Math instructor and math ed blogger. She is the author of the insanely helpful ebook “The Ultimate Kumon Review” and insanely useful website “31 Days to Faster Times Tables” You can follow her math tips on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @mathsinsider


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4 thoughts on “3 Math Web Apps That Could Save Your Teen’s Math Homework

  1. Thanks for this resource!

    A related webApp a friend recently pointed me to that’s quite interesting is http://www.fluidmath.net . You can handwrite math instead of pushing buttons to enter expressions. It works on iPads and in browsers. How about that!? There’s a learning curve, but after 10 minutes I felt in control. Readers of this article might find it useful.

  2. Thanks for sharing all of these apps/websites. From my experience I’ve always found Wolfram Alpha to be my favorite. I’ve used it since it was in it’s beta version and always been very pleased with how helpful it’s been.