February 5, 2011 § 1 Comment
Online lessons can cause some controversy – the idea of learning online makes people very skeptical. But . . . you don’t know unless you try! So, I gave it a go and had 2 lessons with Brightspark Education.
SOFTWARE and SETUP
I have worked with the idea of online teaching for a few years now and I know how difficult it can be getting it set up. Unfortunately, no matter how good your software is, it can’t account for parents that are not too good with a computer! But, I must admit that Brightspark’s set up was very easy to use. I did not have any problems with the sound (it was very easy to adjust the audio settings) and the writing tools were easy to use. I’m sure that most children would not have any problem using them. Attending a session was also very easy. I just made sure I had Flash installed, logged in to my account and clicked a button! The instruction manual I received when I booked made it all very hassle-free.
Overall: 9 out of 10!
I had two different teachers in my two lessons. My first teacher was “Jack”. As you may know, all of Brightspark’s tutors are in India, so Jack had an Indian accent! He was, however, very easy to understand. He was fun to learn from and made sure I was confident in the topic. My lesson was mean, median and mode, but when I said I wasn’t too good at division, he opened up a new whiteboard and went over it with me, then we continued with the lesson. He was full of praise and was always putting up fun pictures of smiley faces and clapping hands when I got things right – just what children want and need. My second teacher was a little less inspiring (I can’t even remember her name!) but that could have been the topic (we’ll get on to that in a minute!). She was, however, clear and easy to understand.
Overall: 8 out of 10 (10 out of 10 for Jack!)
First Lesson: Mean, Median, Mode and Range. This was great. There were presentations to teach the different parts of the lesson, followed by lots of different example questions I could try.
Second Lesson: Congruent Figures. This was a bit boring! The problem here seemed to be a lack of material, as after about 10 minutes, we had exhausted the resources and the teacher spent the rest of the time making up questions . . . that were all the same and very boring! It certainly wouldn’t have captured a 10 year old’s imagination! This is an issue that can be easily fixed though and I am sure that if a child was having a real problem with the topic, it would take longer.
Overall: 5 out of 10
All in all, I was very impressed. Of course, I only saw a small amount of what they can do, as they cover a wide range of ages and topics. However, from what I did see, it would definitely be worthwhile for children that need a more interesting tuition method! Watch this space for my third and final review – coming soon!
November 27, 2010 § Leave a comment
Brightspark Education are a company specialising in online maths tuition. There have been mixed reviews . . . especially because of their maths tutors being in India.
However, I like to keep an open mind about these things. Although I am a traditionalist and hold very much to the idea of the ‘good old days’ of marks for spelling and punctuation and learning from textbooks, I firmly believe that we need to move with the times and provide varied teaching methods that will engage the students. And nothing engages students more these days than a computer screen!!
So, I was very excited when I was approached by Brightspark and given the opportunity to try out their tuition process. I haven’t actually had any lessons yet . . . that bit is coming soon! However, I am already very impressed by the resources that they make available for their students. With Brightspark, you don’t just get tuition lessons; you get a whole range of resources and mini tests that you can utilise! This means that the students have work they can do at home before or after their sessions to consolidate their learning.
There is an easy-to-use booking system and they provide you with a very detailed and helpful manual to make it as easy as possible for their clients. Not to mention that there are reduced rates for brothers and sisters!
Helping children with their maths is not just about doing a tuition lesson every now and then. They need to then practice what they have learnt in order to fix it firmly in their minds. So the provisions that Brightspark make are invaluable.
So far, so good! Coming soon: I will be trying out their lessons and the review will follow!