Learn maths on your Mac using these online maths courses. Mathematics is a great subject to learn, and OS X is the ideal environment to hone your math skills. In this feature, we're going to look at simple ways you can become better at maths on your Apple Mac computer.
Having better math skills can make a tremendous difference to your life. It can help you solve problems, figure out when you're getting a good deal, and improve your job prospects (especially as demand for STEM-based subjects continue to rise).
OS X is a great operating system for learning mathematics. There are lots of apps on the App Store, and Apple has created iTunes U for learning all kinds of subjects (including math).
Learn maths on your Mac: start with Khan Academy
There has been a huge uptick in online courses and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course), and the Apple Mac is the best computer around for getting online. If you're looking to improve your math skills then here are some courses and sites to investigate:
Khan Academy is the first-, and for many people last-name in learning math online. Set up in 2006 by MIT graduate Sal Khan, the website was originally just to help his cousin learn math. Sal uses Yahoo's Doodle notepad to create videos that explained basic math concepts, in this respect it's like looking at a blackboard while somebody talks. The videos are engaging, and the blackboard-style format keeps your attention.
The videos were so popular that he decided to do them full time, and both Google and AT&T have paid millions to expand Khan Academy into a massive online resource. There are 4560 videos on Khan Academy, covering every math subject under the sun. It starts with the absolute basics of counting and works up to advanced topics like Vectors and Differential Calculus.
Learn maths on your Mac: Online math courses
Khan Academy is great, but it's not the only math provider around, and you should quickly move beyond Khan Academy to improve your math skills.
- EdX is an online MOOC provider that provides courses from a huge range of prestigious universities. MIT and Harvard formed it, and they both offer a range of excellent courses. You can also find good math courses from other universities. Classes are free, although you can pay a small fee to get a certificate.
- The Open University is a great online learning resource, used by many people to earn a full degree online. It has a starter course designed to help people improve their math skills, and it's available for free online. The Open University remains one of the best places to seriously learn skills online, although it isn't as cheap as it used to be.
- Udemy is an online courses resources with thousands of courses to choose from, including plenty of maths options.
Learn maths on your Mac: Apple learning resources
Apple has created a range of resources, and services, designed to help students learn all subjects (and math is no exception).
Apple's iBooks Store is a great resource for maths books, and many of them are free. Open iBooks on your Mac and click iBooks Store. Search for math and you'll find a vast collection of books to read. Many are free and include interactive iBooks features. Check out GCSE Maths: Interactive revision guide for algebra and Hands on Precalculus.
Learn maths on your Mac: iTunes U
Apple's iTunes U hasn't got the high profile it used to enjoy, but it's still a great resource of learning materials and videos. Click on on the Media Kind menu in the top-left of iTunes and choose Edit Menu. Place a tick next to iTunes U so you can select it. Click on iTunes Store and click on All Categories; choose Mathematics to see the available courses.
Here are two great math courses to check out on iTunes U:
- Using food to make maths more digestible. This innovative video course uses food to explain key math concepts.
- Daring to do Mathematics. This Open University course explains how life's problems can be solved using mathematics.
There are plenty of other math resources out there, let us know what your favourites are in the comments.