If you’re looking to try out teaching maths (or anything else) online, this guide and the video below will help you get up with everything you need! A lot of people are trying this out for the first time due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but teaching online was already a growing trend, and I’m sure we all be doing a lot more of it in the future. This guide lists a lot of the kit I use to make my videos teach privately online as well as some free online tools. There’s a lot more general discussion in the following videos too!
Physical set up – writing on the screen
Maths has a lot of algebra and diagrams, and you’re going to want to have some way of writing on the screen directly. Even better if your student can do this too, but essential for the teacher. I use a Wacom Intuos Pro tablet – this comes with a pen that you can use like a mouse by drawing on a pad and is perfect for natural handwriting. HP-Pen are an alternative maker of these tablets, and tend to be a little cheaper.
When I’m travelling I use my Surface Pro instead. This is a laptop that has a touchscreen and is built for writing on with the Surface pen. Generally I prefer to use the tablet on a desktop for regular lessons, but if you needed a new PC too, the Surface would be a great option that would let you get set up and have everything you need in a single purchase.
Physical set up – other useful kit
If you’re using a PC that doesn’t have a webcam built in, or if you’re looking for a higher quality camera to make videos then you’ll want to get an external webcam. I use the Logitech C920 and C930 cameras, both good HD cameras for a reasonable price, but others can work too. Logitech have recently released the Stream Cam too which could be a good option, though a little more expensive. Audio quality is a huge thing for videos too – the Blue Snowball does a really excellent job for the price.
Another good option for showing your writing could be a camera that films your desk directly. I used to use these IPEVO desk cameras to teach lessons online in exactly this way, just switching to the regular webcam at the start and end of the lesson. They are also great for having on the desk in school – you can show students work directly onto the board. These Smatree flexible mounds are also great for attaching a camera to to move between using as a regular webcam and as a deskcam.
Online tools and software
There are loads of free tools and websites that can help with teaching maths online. At the moment I use the following a lot:
openboard.ch – totally free (non-collaborative) whiteboard software
bitpaper.io – whiteboard that allows both you and the student to write on the same page, make multiple pages, save as pdf. Used to be free, now charges a small fee but I haven’t found anything that does the same thing as well.
Autograph – used to be paid for, now free. Autograph is an excellent 2d and 3d graphing tool with loads of useful features and teaching aids.
Desmos – online graphing tool and more.
Geogebra – geometry tool and more – I use this mostly for it’s statistics apps.
Mathsuarus – 🙂 of course the best of them all – why not suggest your students watch a video ahead of a lesson so you can spend more time working on problems with them?
Thinkific – to make my new online courses!