Last week, we discussed the 7 benefits of online tuition and one of our tutors, Jenny, talks more about online tuition in a recent blog – this week, we are looking at some of the fantastic tools available to tutors, to make the most out of an online session.
When Minerva started just over two years ago, requests for online tuition were few and far between, and it was not something many of our tutors were comfortable or familiar with.
Now, we receive requests for online tutors on an almost daily basis, from as far afield as Italy, India and Nigeria – many of our tutors are just as comfortable working with students face-to-face, if not more so.
One reason for this is all the great tools that have popped up in the last few years. It’s now more convenient than ever before for both tutor and tutee, and the whole host of new platforms make it a potentially more exciting and interactive experience than regular home visits.
There are some great options beyond Skype and FaceTime, and we have researched some of these platforms, trying to find out which ones work best for implementing the Minerva method.
This is a fantastic online whiteboard tool, with a load of fun features that allow a tutor and student to share the same whiteboard, along with a chat function. They can both draw on it, write on it and share images or documents. Although it doesn’t have a video tool, it can be used in conjunction with one (Skype, for example) for a thoroughly interactive tutoring experience
As the image shows, students and tutors can collaborate on the same whiteboard in real-time, so students can get the coaching they need without delay. Not only that, but IDroo is compatible across multiple devices and a range of screens, from desktop computers operating Windows, Mac and Linux to iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets.
Another great whiteboard tool, Limnu, is perfect for sharing and editing material between tutor and tutee. You can have as many whiteboards open as you like, and can save them and come back to them. This is useful, if you run out of time and want to come back to something during the next session.
Materials can be shared with anyone including other tutors and parents, plus whiteboards have unlimited space and you can use as many boards as necessary, until you’ve reached your lesson goals.
With Edify, tutors can create tests and track their student’s performance with dashboards in the form of pie charts and bar graphs. This is great news for students working towards exams.
Edify has separate teacher and student consoles – the teacher console allows teachers to create tests quickly and easily, and on the student console, pupils can take past papers across a broad spectrum of subjects and exam boards, to match the student’s goals.
Google’s multimedia communication platform includes instant messaging, video chat, SMS and VOIP. Hangouts are also synced automatically across devices, so you can start on one device and seamlessly switch to another if it isn’t working.
Google Hangouts work across Android and iOS, as well as the internet. As an added bonus, chats sync across all devices, which can be helpful for tutors responding to queries on-the-go, from their students. The ability for extra communication and support from tutors is one of the key benefits to online tuition and one of the reasons why we’re big fans of this way of doing it.
Zoom can be used to host video chats, exchange text messages, files, images, or to host group meetings. As it’s designed for desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile devices, it is perfect for students and tutors who are always on the move.
Another great feature of Zoom is that pupils and tutors can share screens during lessons, which can be great if a session would benefit from an educational video, perhaps archival footage from a certain time and place for a history lesson.
TeamViewer is one of the most popular online sharing tools for businesses, as it works across multiple platforms, is easily integrated with other apps, and offers text and video chat, file sharing and even a whiteboard!
We don’t think online tuition is quite ready to replace face-to-face just yet, in all honesty. Some students still need a tutor there in person to keep them focused, and some tutors can be frustrated by the interruptions of a dodgy wi-fi connection, or struggle to connect, causing the whole learning experience to completely grind to a halt.
Without a doubt, online tuition is on the rise, and – whether you’re a student, parent or tutor – that is definitely a good thing.
Parents agree too
“Skype tutoring is great! It’s extremely practical, so don’t know why we weren’t using it before.”
Rania M, Parent to a student preparing for 7 plus paper
Book online tutoring now
It seems you’re ready to book an amazing Minerva online tutor.
We have tutors to for all requirements and age groups from the ages of 6-18, we have tutors who specialise in the 7 plus, 11 plus, GCSE and A Level. With bespoke one-to-one online learning programmes, we’ll get your children on the path to achieving their best.
We’re committed to helping your child, so we’ll match them with a tutor who is best placed to work with your child, whether you’re looking for an expert in a particularly challenging subject or someone who specialises in GCSE exams.
Online tutoring will build your child’s confidence and help them flourish in academic pursuits and outside of the classroom too.
Call us on +44 (0) 208 819 3279 or get in touch now.
By Minerva Tutors