Numerade Educator Spotlight: Jennifer H.

Educator spotlight
  • What sets Numerade apart from other tutoring services for educators?

I have explored/used a few of the other platforms out there. 

One wants you to answer student questions for zero compensation in the hopes that students may select you as a paid hourly online tutor.

Another makes the educator click through each question, one at a time, to find an answerable question. It also allows student feedback to determine whether you remain on their platform. I knew of some educators who were rated low by students because students only wanted the answer and were upset that they had to read through the explanation of the problem before arriving at the answer.

The one that I utilized the most before switching exclusively to Numerade I found to be far more ethical than the first two mentioned here. However, the answers needed to be typed in a specific format and the educator had to learn a separate programming language (laTeX) when trying to type in equations and any math symbols. I found it a bit tedious trying to explain a math-based problem using typed words and the programming language for any symbols. Debugging the answer so that it appeared correctly as type sometimes took far longer than answering the question.

For STEM I believe Numerade is the best fit for student understanding. If students could learn science and how to solve a problem merely by reading information they would not have any questions as the Internet is filled with information. Educators know that most students do not learn well merely by reading. Numerade allows an educator to actually “teach” asynchronously to students. I can write equations and information on the whiteboard while simultaneously explaining it to a student much as I would do in a normal classroom. We also realize that today’s students are most interested in video format (think TikTok and YouTube). Numerade’s format is a good fit for today’s students and their heavy reliance on video formats. The video solutions definitely set Numerade apart from the other formats I have investigated.

  •  How has Numerade refined or improved your teaching ability?

Honestly, the way that Numerade has best improved my skills is by improving my questioning skills. Having now read thousands of questions on Numerade I have seen a variety of STEM questions and questioning styles. Some questions amaze me with their ability to get students thinking at higher levels. Conversely, I have seen questions that have me (as a fellow topic educator) scratching my head wondering what they are even asking. I have also learned that “clever” questions, where the question is written to require as many steps as possible, are a bit annoying without adding much to the actual quality of the question. These questions only serve to confuse students with the many steps required to get from A to B (with the side trip through C through Z on the way to B).

  • How has creating content on Numerade improved your overall preferred STEM subject knowledge?

I feel that Numerade keeps me sharp on all of the topics within my STEM subject knowledge. As a teacher, topics are only taught at certain points in the year with some topics not being taught at all depending upon your course load for the year. Answering a broad variety of questions across my subject at any time of the year keeps me fresh on the entire subject regardless of where we are in the school cycle. Some questions have me researching because “I used to know how to do that.” I like the intellectual challenge of having any topic thrown at me at any time.

  •  How could educators use Numerade for professional development?

I feel one way educators could use Numerade for professional development would be as I mentioned in #2. Educators need more experience with asking effective questions. Often, an educator knows what they want to ask but the question comes out confusing to students. Seeing a variety of questions, both good and not-so-good, written by actual teachers is very eye-opening and would help practicing educators with the skill of effective questioning.

  • What other unexpected benefits have you gained from being an educator on Numerade?

Some people work crossword puzzles or Sudoku to keep their minds sharp during their time off. I work on chemistry problems. 

I’m just that much of a science geek (LOL). I enjoy the mental calisthenics afforded by first solving the problem myself and then analyzing the best way to present it to a chemistry learner so that they can understand the topic. I actually find that answering chemistry problems is relaxing (yep, this is where the marketing department starts making office jokes about the nerd from Indiana…LOL).

  • We’re glad we can help you “vacation without guilt” 🙂 Gone anywhere fun recently?

Since you asked…we are flying into Seattle next week and spending several days each exploring Olympic National Park and Mt. Rainier National Park. And, I don’t even have to request time off from Numerade!

Author

  • Rob Shield

    Rob Shield is based out of Columbus, Ohio. As Numerade's copywriter, Rob uses their extensive background in education to inform and shape the topics and content posted to the blog for educators, parents, and students alike.