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OneClass vs. Photomath: Comparing Homework Help Apps

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OneClass Blog
23 Jul 2019
6 min read

For many students, math is the most difficult subject. To make matters worse, math is also cumulative, so struggling in one chapter could make future classwork even more difficult. Students could turn to live tutoring sessions and education apps to help learn the coursework.

Two leading apps to help with classwork are Photomath and OneClass' Homework Help. Since the two platforms can have widely different impacts on academic success, let's compare OneClass and Photomath so that you can use the academic tools to help you get the grades you want.

OneClass vs. Photomath: The Basics

Both Photomath and OneClass' Homework Help provide on-demand solutions to homework problems.

For each question you ask, both platforms provide step-by-step solutions. They both offer scan-and-solve technology, making it easy to get a solution by merely snapping a photo of the question. Additionally, both offer handwriting recognition so that students can take a photo of a written or printed question to get a solution.

However, while Photomath only helps with math problems, OneClass can help with a wide selection of STEM subjects, including math, chemistry, physics, economics, accounting, electrical engineering, biology, statistics, and mechanical engineering.

Additionally, Photomath's education support is much more basic, only solving questions for elementary school coursework through part of high school. Even within these grades, an entire list of unsupported math problems includes long division with decimals, geometry, least common multiple, interest rates, matrices, and much more.

On the other hand, OneClass' Homework Help can support students from freshman year in high school through senior year in college, without limitations.

There's also a structural difference between the two platforms, which limits how helpful Photomath can be to students. Photomath uses AI to solve homework problems. OneClass' solutions are provided by subject matter experts who have extensive training in both the material and in teaching students.

OneClass vs. Photomath: Accuracy

OneClass has a straightforward approach to accuracy on its Homework Help app. All academic answers are provided by subject matter experts, and all solutions are guaranteed for satisfaction. After all, it's not very helpful if the education app you use provides you with incorrect answers.

The issue of accuracy on the Photomath platform is a little more complicated.

First, there's the question of what types of problems the app can handle. After several attempts at advanced calculations, some students have snarkily said, "Oh look, it can do fractions."

Then, there's the issue of wrong answers. When a reviewer for Entrepreneur Magazine tested the app using fourth-grade classwork from California Common Core, "The app mistook a simple division problem from the workbook for a square root problem, then, of course, spit out a square root problem answer. Wrong!"

A reviewer in The Guardian faced a similar problem with high school algebra coursework. It took several tries with the app before it was able to correctly solve the equation. Luckily, the reviewer already knew the correct answer and could continue trying until the app got it right.

Even when the app does produce correct answers, there could be problems with the steps that show how those answers were achieved. One expert in math education noted that some solutions were achieved in "unintuitive ways." Moreover, there's no way to specify that the app uses the same method that students learned in class.

Further still, teachers report that students may start to treat Photomath as though it were a calculator, but the inaccuracy issues could mean students give the app too much weight. One middle school teacher in Washington reported that students may believe the app's answer even when their own math skills tell them that something is off.

OneClass vs. Photomath: Impact on Grades

OneClass has a few advantages over Photomath. Not only does it offer Homework Help for multiple subjects, but it also offers a wide set of academic resources, including study guides, class notes, textbook notes, and exam solutions. Subscribers get unlimited access to the 10 million pages of study documents, and students can filter by school and course to see what's been shared by classmates.

OneClass' comprehensive education platform has a big impact. In fact, 90 percent of OneClass users have improved by one letter grade.

On the other hand, students using Photomath may see a less desirable impact on their grades. At one middle school, both teachers and parents noticed that the entire class of students was earning 100 percent grade for their homework thanks to Photomath. These correct answers were, at first, something to celebrate. However, the students were failing quizzes and tests. Ultimately, this led to students having a lower grade average.

OneClass vs. Photomath: Conclusion

Online education resources are changing how students learn.

While Photomath's AI-powered app provides a quick way to get math solutions, its accuracy problems could be problematic for students who are still learning the material. Additionally, the app is geared toward younger students facing simpler assignments.

OneClass' Homework Help supports students from high school through college, across many different STEM subjects. Unlike Photomath, OneClass can help you with complex homework questions because the online tutors providing solutions have extensive subject matter knowledge.

Moreover, OneClass offers additional types of educational resources. When on-demand homework solutions are used in combination with shared study guides and class notes, students could see a big difference in their grades, and 90 percent of OneClass users have improved by one letter grade.

Learn more about OneClass' Homework Help.

Image attribution: sebra - stock.adobe.com

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