There are many great benefits to online tutoring for both students and teachers, but there can be a few growing pains when it comes to working out new technology and creating an encouraging learning environment. Here are a few tips and tricks for educators to make tutoring online as successful as teaching in the classroom or library.
Our homes can be chaotic. The phone is ringing, the dog is barking, the dinner timer is going off. Your student will pick up on the fact that you’re distracted by outside events and activities, so it’s vital to create a learning space where you can focus and help them to focus too. Close the door, set your phone on Do Not Disturb, and impress to your family that you need to be left alone. It’s a good idea to have a neutral or calming background behind you and everything you need to teach efficiently close at hand.
In a perfect world, our technology would function the way it’s supposed to right out of the gate. Unfortunately, we often experience delays, lags, mic and camera issues, and more. If this is one of your early sessions with a new student, give yourself plenty of time to get set up and for them to get set up as well. Even if you’ve been tutoring the same student for some time, a few extra minutes in the beginning will ensure all systems are running efficiently.
Depending on your student’s needs, you’ll want to make a lesson plan or go over their work well in advance. While the distance may make the session feel more casual, and it is, you’re still working to help them succeed. Set up your lesson plan, make any notes or edits on their assignment, read over their prompts, and whatever else is necessary to teach to the best of your capacity.
Every student has their own learning style, and technology is just another factor that can impact their ability to excel in a certain subject. Listen to how they respond to prompts, follow through on topics that excite them, and allow leeway for technology and online programs that make the remote learning process easier. Just as you would with a student in a classroom, follow your student’s lead to ensure they have the best possible learning experience.
In a classroom setting, there are lots of options for adding multimedia or physical teaching aids, switching up the lessons, or taking a new approach. You’ll want to try to do the same as you work with your students remotely. Play educational games, encourage discussion and debate, offer up interactive resources, and stay friendly and engaged so they feel enthusiastic about learning.
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