Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Math Tutor DVD TOS Product Review

I recently received in the mail two DVDs from Math Tutor DVD. The name of the company perfectly describes what they do...tutor math. It looks like most DVDs come with a similar warning:


Jason Gibson, the instructor of the entire line of DVDs is also the mastermind behind the company and this extensive DVD offering. He has earned a BS in Electrical Engineering, a Masters in Electrical Engineering, and a Masters in Physics. Check out the Math Tutor Story here.

I was pleasantly surprised by the extensive product line Math Tutor DVD provides. From Basic Math to Algebra, Geometry, Trig, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Differential Equations, Physics and Probability & Statics. They even provide Calculator Tutor DVDs. All of the DVDs can be viewed on DVD or on-line. In addition, the website has a link entitled Mental Math Secrets hosting free video podcasts covering a number of math tricks to mentally calculate everyday math. I thought these were well done and very helpful. You can teach an old dog new tricks!

The first DVD we used was:

The Pre-Algebra Tutor Volume 1
5 Hour Video Tutorial
Price: $26.99

This 2 DVD set covers:
  • Real Numbers
  • The Number Line
  • Greater Than, Less Than, Equal To
  • Absolute Value and Adding Integers
  • Sbtracting Integers
  • Multiplying Integers
  • Dividing Integers
  • Powers and Exponents
  • Order of Operations
I asked each of my kids to choose an area of interest. While they have already completed Pre-Algebra, I knew a little bit of review and perhaps some new insight might be helpful to them. They could be the judge.

Rachel chose Greater Than, Less Than, Equal To. I knew this was something she was very familiar with, but she chose this topic to see if she could learn how to apply the symbols in a more meaningful way.

When the kids were little, I remember quite well how the math curriculum we used addressed the greater than symbol. They likened it to an alligator ...

100 >:^,^^^,^ ~ 82

... eating its lunch. So, does the alligator eat the bigger number or the smaller number? You might need to envision an alligator in order to find out. Anyway, you can see why this might confuse a 7 year old. Jason did a great job explaining that the greater than symbol always, always points to the smaller number.

100 > 82

See, no alligator needed. Jason's repetition of the rule helps it stick.

This particular topic was 15 minutes in length. Rachel thought Jason was very easy to listen to and understand. During the video, he positions himself in front of a white board and is constantly writing down examples for explanation. His handwriting is very clear and understandable as well. Rachel learned something and thought she could watch other topics on this set of DVDs without any problem. For her, the information was a little over done (because she's already familiar with it), but for someone who is new to Pre-Algebra, she thought the repetition would be very helpful.

Caleb chose Order of Operation. Again, being familiar with this topic, the math curriculum we have used explained this in a different way. Jason's introduction and explanation helped reinforce the rules. Caleb agreed with Rachel in that Jason is easy to listen to, easy to watch, and easy to understand. He found watching this topic helpful, but thought it was a little too long. Again, Caleb is familiar with the subject matter, but thought someone new or struggling with this topic would find it to be very helpful.

Jason does not come across as someone who has a Masters Degree in Physics. Let me explain what I mean by that. My mind allows me to think that someone this smart would come across as dry and scholarly. But he doesn't. Jason is engaging and easy to listen to. My kids enjoyed watching and listening to him. Jason doesn't feel the need to be animated and doesn't try to be silly. So often we see people trying to be goofy in order to reach this age group. I'm glad Jason keeps everything on the level. Thanks, Jason!

If I were to make one comment about the DVDs, it would be the inability to know just how much time you need to commit to a particular topic. It would be very helpful to me, as the teacher, and to the kids, as students, to know what we're in for. 36 minutes into Order of Operations, Caleb turned it off. It may have only had another 4 minutes. I don't know. It may have had another 30 minutes. I don't know. Having the duration of the topic available either on the DVD while it's playing or on the DVD case would be very helpful for planning purposes.

Here's a little clip from MathTutor on YouTube

The second DVD I reviewed was:

The Texas Instruments TI-83 / TI-84 Calculator Tutor
8 Hour Video Tutorial
Price: $26.99

Let me just say I am speaking as someone who cannot figure out how to set the time on a DVD player. I can guarantee that I need a tutorial for a calculator that looks like this ...

This 3 DVD set is 8 hours long. Is it any wonder I need a tutorial! There are 37 sections which are guaranteed to help you unlock the full potential of your TI Calculator. I understand this calculator will do everything you need except make your cup of coffee in the morning. Well, having to choose between the great frustrations of reading a little booklet that came with the calculator with print smaller than the size of this text or watching this Math Tutor DVD video, I'd choose the Math Tutor DVD every time!

Math Tutor DVDs are the #1 Rated Math and Physics Tutorial DVDs. All DVDs are guaranteed to raise grades or your money back.

Here's the scoop on the company and their products:

Visit Math Tutor DVD or call 877-MATH-DVD for additional information.

The DVDs I reviewed (Pre-Algebra Tutor Volume 1 and TI-83 / TI-84 Calculator Tutor) were $26.99 each. You can find out pricing on many of their other DVDs by going to their website. In addition, Math Tutor has recently made all DVDs available to watch on-line 24/7 for a monthly fee of $19.95.

So, do you know how to graph statistical scatter plots? I do. Thanks to Math Tutor DVD!

I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of cash for my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences on the products and services that I receive.

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