Best Online Tutoring Resources for 2013

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When I was in high school, the subject I struggled with most was Biology. There was a mysterious step between how atoms became cells and how cells became, well, anything, that was incomprehensible. The worst part was that the rest of the class just seemed to get it, and I couldn’t work it out in my head. I was interested enough in learning that I asked for help and I was lucky to find a great tutor that was able to talk me through it from a new direction. Suddenly the “miracle happens here” step became clear enough that I could at least swing a B in the class. Today there are a multitude of online tutoring resources for any student struggling to grasp or follow along with a class or subject. Take luck out of the equation and check out these great sites to turn “it’s too confusing” into “I get it!” in no time. So, I’ve scoured the internet to find the top 3 Online Tutoring Websites…

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The Salman Khan Academy:  The most amazing online tutoring website I found in my research is The Kahn Academy. Salman Khan was living in Chicago, remotely tutoring his two cousins in New Orleans. He created web videos to archive his instructions and made them available on Youtube.com. Not only did his cousins remark that they learned more from his videos than they did from him directly, other viewers from around the world stumbled upon his videos and began learning as well.Today The Khan Academy has a library of over 2,400 videos on everything from math and science, to astronomy and finance. Videos are less than 15 minutes long, and students progress through question and answer sessions until they master a concept, reviewing material whenever they struggle. The most revolutionary part of these videos is that they give anyone wanting to learn about a topic the ability to learn at their own pace, pause and review material without feeling embarrassed to ask a question they feel like they should already know, or hold up the rest of the class to understand a concept everyone else seems to be following. If you’re thinking the price of this service is going to be the catch, think again. It’s all free. They even have a free iPad app. Our Nerds love using it. The Khan University takes online tutoring to a whole new level, this is quite possibly the future of education. (If you try this tutoring website, tell us about it in the comments below)

 Tutor.com: If you’re looking for a more personal experience where you can interact one-on-one with a tutor, check out this website. Here you can find an online tutor 24/7. Tutor.com allows you to get help using a computer or a Smartphone. Chat with your tutor, share screens over the internet and use a two-way interactive white board to review the topics of your choice. Purchase packages of 1 to 3 hours per month for $39 to $115. The best part is, they “guarantee at least a half letter grade improvement or your money back,” if you sign up for at least two hours a month. If you or your student learns best through talking it out, this online tutoring website is a sure bet.

WolframAlpha.com: Sometimes you just want answers. Are elephants extinct? A Google search will likely answer your question, but you’ll typically have to read through page after page of related information for the specific nugget of fact you need. Check out WolframAlpha when you have a question you need answered but don’t have time to look it up “the old fashioned way.” For example, I asked Google, “What is the circumference of the sun?” and received millions of pages with the answer buried somewhere within their content. With Wolfram Alpha I received, “2.715 million miles, or 4.37×10^6 km (kilometers).” I could even see the source of the information so I knew that it wasn’t some random Yahoo answers poster that may, or may not, be right.

If you or someone you know is still struggling to connect the dots in that quantum physics class, drop me a note on our “super fun” Facebook page, or email me at [email protected] While you definitely don’t want me to try to answer a physics question, I can help you find an online resource to help you master whatever concept you’re working on.
photo by: Stuttgart

About The Author: Andrea Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, a computer repair company that specializes in on-site and online service for homes and businesses. Andrea is the writer of a weekly column, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She prepares TV segments for and appears regularly on CBS, CW and FOX on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, More Good Day Portland, and CBS 13 News, offering viewers technology and lifestyle tips. See Andrea in action at callnerds.com/andrea/.