Bright Spark Education Review – Globalizing Maths Education

MATHS INSIDERS blog

The world is now mathematically flat

Whether it’s the car you drive which was manufactured in Japan, or the clothes you wear which were stitched (with just a little bit of sweat) in Thailand, or yet another bright piece of plastic which clutters up your living room and originated in China, there’s no doubting that at least in an economic sense, the world is truly flat.

So it should come as no surprise that a British company, Bright Spark Education has trained Indian maths graduates to offer live, one-to-one maths tuition over the internet.

Is it any good? Watch my review of Bright Spark Education or read the transcript of the video below.

There’s a special Maths Insider offer at the of this post so be sure you scroll down to the end for the details.

Bright Spark Education review

Video Transcript

Welcome to Maths Insider, today I’m going to review Bright Spark Education.

Bright Spark Education are a company that provide one to one maths tutoring online and on demand. They cover topics from the UK National Curriculum for children ages 7-16, but having tested the programme myself, I’m sure that children from different countries using different curricula can still benefit from this program. What makes Bright Spark Education different is that all their tutors are based in India. They’re all maths graduates and have all been trained to deliver the lessons using the virtual classroom and the live interactive chat just like Skype. As a result of  their tutors being based in India, the cost of the program is rather good value starting at £12 per lesson for 5 lessons and going up to 15 per session for a block of 2 sessions.

I tested this program with my daughter who took 3 lessons with her Bright Spark tutor. One of the lessons she studied was on Pythagoras’ Theorem. We chose to use Bright Spark to introduce topics that she hadn’t studied before, in a way to extend her maths learning but Bright Spark can obviously also be used to review work that your child may find difficult. Although she’d never heard of Pythagoras’ Theorem before, by the end of the hour long lesson she could find the answer to the questions involving Pythagoras’ Theorem. She also really liked the virtual classroom, being able to write, or rather scrawl with her mouse was all quite fun for her, she quite an artist as well, and she found her teacher quite friendly and encouraging,  but she did feel that the lessons were rather long.

Bright Spark tuition sessioms can be booked 24 hours a day 365 dyas a year so whatever time of day your child wants to have their lesson there’ll be a Bright Spark tutor available. You only need to give 1 day’s notice and also a day’s notice of a cancellation of a lesson.

You can choose to upload work that your child has been doing at school or choose from the topics presented on the menu. There’s a broad range of topics available, which is great but the only problem is there’s no guidance as to which topics are suitable for children of which age, although I have fed back to Bright Spark Education about that and that’s something they’re going to look at that.

Once they’ve completed the lesson, you and your child can go back into the system and review the lesson, so that’s an excellent way of reviewing the work that they’ve done and you can see exactly how the lesson has progressed. As I said, my daughter actually managed to learn Pythagoras in the course of her hour long lesson. Another topic she studied was standard index form, which is another new topic for her. It was good to see that the one-on-one individual attention helped my her to tackle some quite difficult subjects.

There are also worksheets available which your child can look at before the lesson or after the lesson and they show the explanation of the topic and also the questions that are studied during the topic, so that’s really good for revision as well and an answer key is also available for all the questions.

There are videos on the website of parents talking about all the great features of Bright Spark and all talking about how their children have enjoyed it; and yes there are  great features. The website is very detailed, explaining how to set up your system and how to monitor your child’s progress, and of course the fact that Bright Spark are able to offer a trained maths tutor, teaching your child for a full hour at such a low price.

There are really only 2 reasons why Bright Spark may not work for your child. One of them is if your child is not good at understanding different accents. My children, we’re expats now, but even when we were living in Britain they had teachers from New Zealand, Canada, my daughter has an Indian maths teacher at school at the moment, so my children are comfortable with accents. The other thing is if your child is not used to using the Skype type system, the sound quality isn’t perfect, there are delays at times and sometimes the sound cuts out, but nothing that distracts from the work getting done in the lesson.

So my overall verdict for Bright Spark Education is 8 out of 10.

For more reviews and for quick tips and practical advice to help you guide your child to maths success visit www.mathsinsider.com

Bright Spark Education are offering  10% off  to Maths Insider readers for their live one-to-one maths tutoring sessions. Just enter the discount code mathsinsider on the Bright Spark Education sign up page.

Will you be trying out Bright Spark Education? Tell me in the comments below!

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

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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4 thoughts on “Bright Spark Education Review – Globalizing Maths Education

  1. Sadly, my family’s experience of Bright Spark Education is very different from the Maths Insider’s review. Our family have just relocated to the UK from the US and I am used to online maths tuition as it is very common in the States.

    I have to state that I am extremely disappointed by the quality of service and tuition from Bright Spark Education for my daughter and would encourage parents to look elsewhere before even considering using Bright Spark Education.

    My main criticisms are as follows:

    – Interactive Classroom: Bright Spark never even went to the trouble of developing an interactive classroom and they simply provide a PowerPoint slide pack on a subject. I consider £15 to be very expensive for simply a PowerPoint slide pack. The American services offer fully interactive classrooms where tutor and student can work on a problem at the same time. A cheap PowerPoint presentation is poor compared to the possibilities offered by an interactive classroom.

    – Tutor’s accent. I understand that the tutors are based in India and have no problem with this, but the tutor’s accent was very strong and almost impossible for my daughter to understand.

    – Tutor’s knowledge. It seemed that the tutor was reading from a script and the tutor had no real knowledge of UK exam syllabus. The tutor did not even know what GCSEs are and I was quite shocked by the knowledge gaps.

    – Customer Services. I tried to complain to Bright Spark but could not even get through on the phone, the phone line wasn’t engaged and it seemed there was not even an administrator available to take phone calls. Bright Spark do not offer a money back guarantee.

    I know from my experience in the US that online tuition services can and do work, it’s just a shame that Bright Spark fail to math their American counterparts in quality and service provision. Poor.

    Sara Lacy-Smith

  2. Dear Ms Lacy-Smith,

    I am sorry that you have had a bad experience with BrightSpark. We have tried to locate your account to investigate what issues there might have been, but I’m afraid I couldn’t find you anywhere on our database?

    We are always looking to improve our service, and are hoping to introduce exciting new functions, content and tools over the coming months.

    Overall, we have received very positive feedback from both home and school users so far, including teachers’ approval of our tutors, content and whiteboards.

    I would very much like to get in touch to learn more about your concerns – please do give me a call on 020 7580 3044 or send an email to caroline.lowden@brightsparkeducation.com.

    Best regards,

    Caroline

  3. Every subject related to science and technology are full with different types of mathematics.If anyone wants to be good at science he have to be good at mathematics.Without mathematics, science can not be understand.I am a student of science and i frequently get many mathematical problems which i can not solve without tips.

    I agree with Debbie Lattuga that Not all parents are ideally suited to be the tutor.