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Virtual Tutoring Tools for Math and Science

March 7, 2011 Leave a comment

I ran out of time in class the other day and needed to review a problem for my students as it is going to be on the next quiz. I have had this issue before, running out of time and needing to share just a little more information. So I have several ways in which I deal with this issue so I thought I would share. These also come in handy when you are asked a question via e-mail and a returned e-mail just won’t do.

Most often my solution involved Screenr in some fashion. Screenr is a free web based tool by Articulate that allows you to screen capture any portion of your screen you would like. It has a 5 minute time limit which I think is a great thing. Who wants to listen to me go on for longer than that! So that is the first tool you need.

Now you can use a variety of tools to actually do the writing. One is called SimpleDiagrams. This is a neat little program that lets you have a whiteboard or chalkboard background to write on. It also has some built in diagrams and pictures you can use. Very nice in concert with Screenr. See an example here.


Another way I have used Screenr for doing problems  etc. is with an Eno board. This is a type of smart board. I can start Screenr and then the electronic white board and with a microphone plugged in, I have a great way to do tutorials. Here is an example. The advantage is my handwriting is much better. The other method uses a Wacom tablet which takes some practice. But the disadvantage of this method is I tie up a classroom while I am working on one. I can use the Wacom (or tablet) at home or at my desk.

If you don’t want to use Screenr with other applications, you can use a free download called Lecturescribe. This tool allows you to do flash annotations with a tablet or Wacom. You can insert pictures such as graphs that you want to annotate as well. The limit is more like 26 minutes for this method. I have used this a lot too but Screenr is faster on the fly for me.

Of course if you have a tablet you can us Screenr and the journal tool or anything with a nice background. And this isn’t really limited to math and science because you can use Sceenr with a Word document if you want to show students on the fly editing or just about anything! What tools do you use to show your students math or science calculations? Leave a comment!

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