Parents Depend on Apps for Homework Help
Ask online and the solution to your child’s homework is in your fingertips!
Most parents depend on social media and mobile apps these days to help their children with their homework. They obtain answers for mathematics and science from forums and Facebook groups for topics related to Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) or any academic subjects.
In the last three years, at least five such pages have emerged to help parents. In one of the Facebook page meant for parents whose children are taking PSLE this year, there are 5400 members. Another group named the “Maths Model Method-Singapore” page, has more than 2,000 members.
Parents take pictures of assignments and homework and post them in the groups. At least 20 such questions are posted in the groups on a daily basis. They will be answered by other parents or private tutors within an hour. The answers are illustrated using diagrams, bar models, graphs or equations.
Parents say that it really works for them. But, they don’t allow children to simply copy down the answers, without understanding the steps.
"It's very efficient because usually I can get answers within an hour of posting questions," says Ms Eileen Liu, who has a daughter in Primary 4. Ms Eileen Liu also said that she tries to analyse the answers and explains them to her daughter.
“EduSnap” is a mobile app which serves the same purpose. It allows students and parents to get answers for free. The app has got 10,000 users since April 2014.
People can upload images of worksheets in the platform and wait for replies for three subjects, mathematics, science and English. Teachers at 13 tuition centres and four voluntary welfare organisations provide the solutions for the questions asked.
According to Mr Chia Luck Yong, who is one three co-founders of the app, EduSnap gets 150 questions on a daily basis. He said that parents and students can’t always depend on tuitions for answers. They happen only once or twice a week. Where else one would go to help? In December, Mr Chia Luck Yong had set a limit of three questions daily per user hoping that parents do not post questions unless they really need help.
While parents get to learn about various methods used to solve a problem, the forums are also potential avenues of business for tutors.
Apart from answering the questions, the tutors are also getting requests to tutor the students. According to Mr Adrian Ng, owner of Ace Maths, who shares solutions online, he has received about 10 requests from parents to tutor their children. Teo Kai Meng, another tutor, has already taken in 10 students from the forum. He said, “Quite a number of tutors are just helping out… It feels good to be part of an active learning and sharing community.”
Mr Choy Ban Heng, a former maths school teacher pursuing a PhD in maths education, says that interaction with parents give him an idea of the challenges faced by the children.