I have been doing volunteer high-school math tutoring in person. But nowadays, I think there should also be an online way of connecting a student in need of help, with someone willing to help them. This could be in real time, or via message.

Are there any phone apps or websites that will do this? They should really include a "blackboard" where freehand drawing could take place, on both ends. Thanks for any information and/or ideas!

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I'm not convinced the benefits out weigh the draw backs with actually using such a system. I think it would turn into people just sending you homework answers. But there are similar systems for university courses that I found by searching online tutors. Based upon what their webpage says, wyzant provides most of that. $\endgroup$
    – Chris C
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 3:25
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    $\begingroup$ Students can get that by just going to the teacher after school. $\endgroup$
    – guest
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 7:48

3 Answers 3


Why not use Google Hangouts? It enables screen sharing both ways - effectively turning your screen into a blackboard. As others pointed out there's probably no free and yet good site/app that aligns with what you propose. However, functionality-wise hangouts would suffice. Having a dedicated website would certainly help in creating a good tutor community.

Even Skype will suit your needs and falls in the same league.


There are a few options, and they are free. First, google hangouts and google classroom are fine for this. If you want, you can just use drawing in a google doc or something for the pictures.

If you want a little higher level functionality, you can checkout some kind of courseware like Moodle, Blackboard, or Canvas which will let you do things for free but isn't immediately obvious for students.

Finally, I would highly recommend CoCalc.com . Here, you can use a variety of computing languages and tools but there are also very nice chatting capabilities including video conferences. I tend to use Jupyter notebooks a lot with my classes, so I can pop one here and have a conference with students online including a video chat, but they can also always drop me a note in the chat and I'll be able to see this even if we're not chatting live (this is what you see on right side of screen). Also you can use a sagechat and have a classwide document for chatting. All will let you write mathematics with $\LaTeX$.

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Last, you may want to checkout etherpads (etherpad.org).


You certainly will not find a free one, but I worked for tutor.com. It is a good site to recommend to students. The tutors are verified and readily available whenever the student needs help. In my experience as a tutor and mentor, the tutors make the students do the work and do not give them the answers. I'm not sure the cost for the student, but I'm sure it is pretty significant.

  • $\begingroup$ There are plenty of free options. $\endgroup$
    – jfkoehler
    Commented Jan 12, 2018 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ @jfkoehler I thought the OP was asking for free services for tutoring students. It was kind of unclear. You're right that there are plenty of free services for connecting with students outside of class, but there are no free services for connecting to a tutor that you do not know outside of class. $\endgroup$
    – MathGuy
    Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 0:37

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