Online tutoring has never been so simple with technology creating new opportunities to learn. Here are some of the most important ways technology and the internet make learning online the new method of choice for some students.
1. Elimination of travel time for both parties. Rush hour commutes can be truly horrible! You also save on transport costs. Finally it is also more environmentally friendly and sustainable, especially if you’re relying on cars.
2. Elimination of geographical constraints – tutors and students can find each other from anywhere in the world. This means students can be matched with the best tutors suited to their needs without being limited by the area in which they live in.
3. Lessons can be done from any global location and at more flexible/awkward times (e.g. later at night). All you need is a device such as a computer or tablet and an internet connection – something almost everyone in the Western world has nowadays. For tutors, this opens up a larger potential client base across all hours of the day.
4. No risk of catching/transmitting illnesses such as colds and flu.
5. Efficient resource sharing through cloud storage shared folders such as Dropbox (I have shared Dropbox folders with all my students, which contain syllabus notes, case study material, past papers, practice questions, sample questions, a copy of the specifications, etc.). This also helps keep everything organised and in one place.
6. Efficient sending of links to diagrams, articles, notes, case studies, etc. (this is especially useful with Geography).
7. Easy use of online resources such as Google Maps or Google Earth, statistical websites or images and videos to help learning (again, especially useful with Geography). More interactivity is possible in an online lesson.
8. Use of online whiteboards and screen sharing can be a very effective teaching and learning tool to, for example, help explain concepts – classic examples of how online technology can aid the learning environment.
9. A private learning environment, without the potential awkwardness of a face to face meeting (especially the first meeting can be a little awkward). Going into someone else’s private home can be a little exposing and awkward.
10. No social pressure as there is no one sitting physically watching everything students do in real time.
11. Students are more in the driving seat with online lessons and so feel more empowered in a really relaxed environment.
12. Students nowadays are used to an online world and all the technology associated with online lessons and are therefore able to learn well this way.
13. The entire lesson can be saved as a neat PDF and lesson recording is also possible. Any links and materials sent via Skype chat, for example, is available at any later time in the chat history.