10 tools that make learning mathematics easy and fun for you and your child
Schools are not enough to learn or to be good at something, especially for mathematics. We need to go above and beyond the school education.The right tools always take the headache out of mathematics and most of the times make learning mathematics fun. For that purpose, I have compiled the best tools to help you or your child on your mathematics journey. I hope you use and enjoy them.
Pencil: I always carry a pencil with me, because I know that before a brilliant idea fade away, I need to scribble on a paper quickly. Otherwise, like Clive Thompson said:
When your fingers can’t move as fast as your thoughts, your ideas suffer.
And I have a favorite pencil. It is “Pilot the Shaker”. I have been using this model since 2004. This pencil is so cool, because when you shake it, the lead comes out. It helps me write faster and it’s fun when you writing with pencils in my opinion.
Notebook: If you you want to learn math, you should do tons of practice. You need to solve questions, prove the theorems by yourself. For these operations the major apparatus are notebooks. My favorite professor Ali Nesin always says that:
If you want to be a mathematician, you should consume a forest.
Writing on a large surface can be very enjoyable, but you should not waste your papers. For our universe, you should be a good mathematician who is not wasting papers.
Paper [ App by Fifty three]: I think this is the most beautiful drawing and note taking application for a human being in this world. Actually it is the best way to get what’s in your head onto the screen. It is totally a natural creative experience. Yes, there are more specific drawing and painting apps, but for me they are garbage. Especially, that notability app, it is literally wasting of time. If someone tells you to try notability, stop talking to him/her immediately.
I am using Paper for my lectures. The terrific colorful pencils, brushes are helping me make my lectures notes more noticeable and unique. I can easily draw perfect geometrical shapes, color them and cut them. And most importantly I can create notebooks for each subject. For instance, I have a notebook for Geometry, and I have an another notebook for AP Calculus.
Wolfram Alpha: If you are wondering a tool which is better than Google, the answer is simple. It is Wolfram Alpha. It is a place that you can find almost all the answers that you are looking for.
You can find the solution of the derivative of cosine x³ step by step, you can convert your shoe size, you can get all the unnecessary information about your name, you can find daily prayer times or all the inflation rates per year, and you can learn what your aunt’s uncle’s son’s daughter’s aunt’s cousin” is called. You can also get all the information about your flight or the airlines.
I am using Wolfram Alpha especially for the challenge Calculus questions. The most beautiful thing for this app, it is giving the solution step by step. And I have just paid 2.99 for the app.
Brilliant: I think It is the best educational sites so far. Brilliant is an online community of learners who share and solve mathematics problems. And it is not for beginners. It is different than Khan Academy. It is particularly for students who are planning to participate Math Olympiad contests.
Advanced level math students have to use this tool. Brilliant has so many splendid courses for them. The teaching concept is really well because students can learn anytime while they are having tons of fun.
Desmos: It could be the best tool to give a visual understanding. Especially functions. The founder of the Desmos believe that, the key is learning by doing. And they have done a perfect job so far. Their math engine works perfectly and helps us graph the functions. And their tool is not tedious. Have you ever tried to draw the Batman logo with functions? Or a horse? White House? Desmos did. Check this out for more.
And if you are looking for more cool classroom activities, check their pages for teachers here.
Coursera: Have you ever heard “Massive Open Online Courses”? I have. It is a chance for taking online free courses from Ivy League schools. Yes free online courses from the best schools like Harvard or MIT or Yale which are highly selective and extremely hard to get into. There are almost 250 free online courses which are waiting for you to enroll. But how? At this point, they made Coursera in order to combine all those terrific courses. Coursera is the largest and most useful catalog for your higher education. And they have a guide for you to show how to enroll courses for free.
Here some unique courses for you for the beginning;
Analytic Combinatorics Princeton University via Coursera
Gamification University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Columbia University via edX
Introduction to Classical Music Yale University via Coursera
LaTex: It is a document preparation system. If you want to prepare good looking assignments for your students or homework, you should use LaTex. And the best way to learn and use LaTex is sharelatex.com.
Sharelatex let you take notes, design your assignments, convert your files into PDF files and save all your files on their cloud system. With this way you never lose your assignments and easily share with your friends. You can check so many samples here.
What was that website again? OMG! Where were the files?
In order to avoid asking yourself those questions above, use Dropmark & Dropbox. Yes you can also use Delicious and Google Drive, but Dropmark and Dropbox are the best. They are the most beautiful way of organizing your favorite and newly discovered online resources. These social bookmarking and storing tools provide a way to catalogue websites and files using tags, so that you can easily return to them when you need them.