Minerva Tutors, the UK’s leading private tuition agency, reveals some fascinating insights about how coronavirus is affecting the way their tutors are teaching, and what ‘the new normal’ might mean for the world of education.
The following advice is a summary of the minutes taken from a recent tutor training meeting, which included ten highly experienced online tutors.
How to engage with unmotivated students online
Tutors need to:
- Ask lots of questions
- Make sure they are doing lots of the work and leading the lesson through tasks on the whiteboard
- Use interactive resources, keep pupils constantly clicking and reading and typing
- Break lesson down into 15 minute or 20 minute chunks
- For hyperactive students, make sure they have no more than 40 minute lessons, lots of breaks and again integrate interactive elements for them to click, type, read out
What are the best online resources?
- Maths Factor
- Sir Linkalot
- TwoSeven Chrome Extension – you can watch and study Netflix films and TV together!
Encourage students to keep a journal
- Keeping a journal creates a “primary resource”. If they study primary and secondary resources in history, this is fantastic. They can literally start creating history.
- Nice to write about your day every day – keeps you sane!
- No better time to start journaling, install habits that will last a lifetime
Use Google Docs
- For A level and essay writing, live sharing on Google Docs is actually BETTER than face to face. You can see what pupils are writing, and see their thought processes in REAL TIME
- Live edit together so you can actually write collaboratively which is a great skill too
Will things go back to normal?
- Parents may now be more sympathetic to online learning so more of it will happen
- Tutors and parents are craving face to face, too
- If face to face lessons are cancelled for practical reasons in the future, they may just go online
- Tutors do miss face to face – you are not alone!
- The value of both online AND face to face has been enhanced
Cons of tutoring online
- So intense. It is intense staring at a screen all day and having to engage through a screen all day
- Tutors miss the moments of stillness with face to face – online demands attention
- Tutors miss having chats with parents after or before the lesson
- Tutors miss the travel to and from lessons, often a form of exercise
- Top online tutors use electronic pens and pen pads and get their students to use them too – great for learning writing etc
- Microsoft Surface Pen works very well. Pupils use ipads
Online tutoring for maximum results
- Make sure the pupil and tutor are by a window for natural light
Positives of Online Tutoring
Some tutors said that they like zoom better than phone calls as it’s helped them reconnect with people that wouldn’t normally be willing to have a phone call. So they find they are speaking to more people than before also because people are stuck at home with nothing to do
Opera and Ballet is normally too expensive to watch, but now it’s all free. This is amazing for kids as it will potentially inspire fans of opera and ballet who wouldn’t have known about these beautiful art forms otherwise. And musicals too
British museum and other offering virtual tours, which is such a great resource.