Apart from standard schoolbooks which are selected by a teacher and are mandatory for students, many people have to buy additional task-books and tutorials. Prior to visiting a book store, consider new opportunities opened by the world of software. Note that any training program contains a set of math problems or theorems, and therefore functions of a tutorial or task-book are inherent in any program.
A crucial parameter of a task-book is the number of included math examples. Each student needs to solve his/her own set of problems, depending on his/her level of knowledge, skills and personal features to master an educational material. For some people one example suffices to learn a piece of math, while others may need to solve twenty examples. (This says nothing about his/her ability or inability, by the way. A number of my students needed many exercises to master a material, and nevertheless they obtained scientific degrees in natural sciences later on). A “good” task-book should contain such number of educational tasks which is sufficient to form necessary knowledge, abilities and skills, and this amount is individual for each learner. Being asked about criteria for selecting a task-book, I always recommend one criterion – the number of problems included. The more examples the task-book comprises, the better.
To get a fair collection of math problems you have to buy several books. But:
- Paper books are very expensive
- Quite often, topics overlap. Sometimes you buy a book because of just ten pages you need
- One has “to get used” to each book, spend time and energy on it
- It is inconvenient to use many textbooks and task-books. One has to remember what paragraph and where can be found. Sure, you are familiar with such an “advanced” search system and therefore I will save my time on explanation
- Parts of educational material simply do not exist in paper! You will never find a fair collection of fully explained solutions because a mere dozen of them will make up a book. By the way, this is one of the reasons why training programs are so successful on the market of educational services
- Sorting of problems is essentially impossible
- Interactive features are absolutely impossible
Now let us forget about books and check what computer technologies have to offer:
- Firstly, offered are huge databases of educational tasks. Such a database is a core of the EMTeachline mathematics software
- The database is provided with various handy search systems
- Available are problems of 11 complexity levels to cover all skill levels
- All problems are solved in full detail. Each solution step is provided with its objective, related definition and rule and with underlying formula or theorem. You get a task-book with hands-on tutorial in one program!
- Offered are dozens of interactive algorithms for training problem solving skills
- Your performance in solving tasks is analysed and graded. All errors are revealed. Exercises for error correction are offered. In fact, you get your private math tutor for a very modest price!