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Mathnasium launches its virtual offering, ‘Mathnasium@home’

Last Updated on : 14th April 2020

Mathansium@home has landed and just in time for lockdown living too, you could say, except that this is no last minute hurried attempt to keep the Mathnasium centres going. Mathnasium@home has been developed over 3-4 year and rolled out in the US. It was always intended to be an additional resource for students who want to learn from home, but coronavirus has meant Head of Mathnasium UK, John Preston, who you may remember from the Northcote Road branch, has had to roll out the technology more quickly than he ever anticipated.

A bespoke virtual platform

Mathnasium@home’s platform is unique because it does not rely on existing video conferencing apps such as Zoom or Skype which so many tutoring companies are using at the moment. It’s a secure proprietary platform that mimics in-centre learning. Tutors essentially sit across students’ screens rather than desks and can see them completing their work on-screen with a mouse rather than a pen or pencil.

In-centre learning at home

Each child has a bespoke learning package tailored to their particular academic ability and needs, there are virtual classrooms and three dedicated tutors to one pupil. The sessions last one hour and need to be booked in advance – this being the only difference to the ‘drop in’ policy at the centre. The reason for this, explains John is logistical. “There is so much more to prepare on the platform when teaching virtually, so each tutor needs to know which child is logging on and when in order to achieve the best results from them.”

Just like in the centre, the students have their own files, albeit virtually now. Their tutor will go through the first set of questions with them and then leave the virtual classroom to let them work alone returning shortly afterwards to check in on them, explain concepts and monitor progress. If they see mistakes, they will ask the student how they came to that conclusion, to understand how they are thinking and help them change their thought processes, so that they can solve any problem however complex. Students can virtually put their hand up by pressing a button and the tutor will come back on screen to answer any questions.

Even the reward scheme has gone online. A firm favourite, the spinning wheel can now be spun with a mouse, much to many Mathnasium students’ relief. Every time the kids master a key skill, they spin the wheel to collect points or ‘stars’; which they can claim as prizes when the centres open again.

 Common Entrance exams

When it comes to Common Entrance, John says, “I really feel for kids going into their 11+ exams. The closure of the schools will most likely impact this age group more than any other and so for them, a systematic development program could be really helpful. We have successfully helped our students pass their 9+, 10+ and 11+ exams this year in-centre and we can do the same with Mathnasium@home.”

GCSEs

On secondary school kids, John adds, “Interestingly, there is an uptick of subscriptions to Mathnasium@home from secondary school children. It may be because being seen walking into a learning centre is ‘uncool’ when you are teenager but whatever the reason, they are responding to the online platform really well. This technology will of course be particularly helpful for those doing their GCSEs in the next couple of years.”

Free assessments

Assessments used to be done face-to-face but now they are done online too. They are free and designed to understand what level a child’s understanding of maths is at and to identify any gaps in their knowledge so that a learning package can be tailored for them.

Mathnasium use a combination of exercises – mental, visual, verbal, tactile and written – in a systematic way. Unlike other tutoring companies Mathnasium tutors don’t teach the kids according to their year group, but rather according to their academic/mathematical ability, helping them to excel by focusing on what they don’t already understand. This approach allows them to work with children who are ahead of the class just as much as helping those trying to catch up. Mathnasium even dedicate time to go over homework with their students which, as we know, can often be a cause of much frustration at home.

If you are interested in a free assessment, contact Fiona MacKenzie, Centre Manager of the Northcote Road branch on 020 7078 7000

www.mathnasium.co.uk

 

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