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Helping a Student From Afar, Thanks to Private Online Tutoring Using Video Conference

By Jon, published on 04/10/2017 Blog > Tutoring > Advice for Tutors > Distance Learning for Students through Webcam Tutoring

Contrary to what we may think, online learning isn’t so different from classic learning!

In addition to the many advantages of this type of learning (no transportation fees, flexible hours…), you can ensure the progression of your student through regular educational support.

Whether it’s helping the student study or filling in the gaps for him or her, your role will be to keep listening to his or her needs and to give him or her exercises according to his or her level.

Discover how to organize the educational follow-up of a student via webcam!

Academic Support by Webcam: Purchase Some Good Audio and Sound Material

Like in all jobs, a good worker needs to have good tools!

Certain private tutors are negligent with the technical aspect of online tutoring.

However, never forget that you depend on your digital equipment!

To communicate well and transmit your knowledge to the student in an effective manner, both parties need to make an effort to use good material.

With good equipment, the class will be clearer: no need to scream into the microphone, it will be as if you were sitting next to your student!

girl-learning-through-skype Skype: a good solution for tutoring!

Are you scared about your budget?

Don’t panic!

With a budget of less than 150 dollars, you can acquire the right tools to become an online tutor: 

  • The webcam (50-70 dollars): most laptops already have a built-in webcam. However, these are sometimes of a bad quality and using them will be complicated when you have to show documents to the student. Your best option is to buy a quality webcam so you can be seen clearly by the student.
  • The headset (30-50 dollars): being seen is a great start, but you must also be heard! Like the webcam, the microphone often also comes integrated into your laptop, but it is usually of a low quality. To avoid fuzzy hearing and other issues, it’s safer to invest in a professional headset.

Do not hesitate to indicate that you have quality equipment on your private tutoring classified ad.

If your future student is already hesitating between you and another online tutor, his choice will be made quickly once he or she sees you have great equipment!

Preparing for the Student’s Tutoring Classes Using Fun Online Resources

The attraction of these new technologies today is that everything is available right at your fingertips!

You don’t necessarily need to leave your house to prepare for your private webcam tutoring session.

In fact, all you need is your computer to access many online lessons which will help you to become a good private tutor!

Academic coaching is obviously dependent upon the level of perfection proposed by the tutor: if your lesson is well prepared, your student will be able to take advantage of a great support and avoid failure and bad grades.

Learn here how best to structure a lesson via Skype

backpack-phone You can start planning your lessons cell phone in hand!

To sharpen your pedagogic skills and for quality private tutoring courses, don’t hesitate to use the resources available to you:

  • Online MOOC: Massive Open Online Courses are classes open to everyone that will help you perfect teaching for your favorite subject. You can even contact the professors directly so that they help you to construct your lesson.
  • The National Education program: stay informed on what is going on in the schools. You have to be sure that your lessons are matching up to those of the student’s teachers.
  • Websites tailored to what you are teaching: whether you are giving math lessons or even music lessons, you will find the websites that offer online courses via videos or online articles. Depending on the student’s level, you will be able to review the basics of the subject in a fun way.
  • Applications: on your smartphone or on your computer, you will be able to download free educational applications. Some of them, like Babbel (for foreign languages) are particularly liked by the students and will allow you to make up tailored exercises.

With all these resources, you can ensure your student’s progress in school thanks to impeccable educational support in the home.

Thanks to an efficient approach, you will be able to bring your student to an intense and regular level of work!

How to Stay in Contact Between Two Lessons? Using Appropriate Software or by E-Mail.

Giving private lessons here and there doesn’t cut it!

You must stay in constant contact with your student to consolidate his gains or help him with a refresher course to aim for an excellent grade in an exam (like the SATs…).

Your objective, as his tutor, is to make sure the student doesn’t forget all the things you have taught him in your in-home private tutoring sessions.

You must first motivate him to study during vacation time, on weekends, and weeknights at a regular pace. It will then become easier for him to anticipate final exams.

In order to check up on him or her during his or her homework and to answer his or her questions, use online communication:

  • Use a task scheduling software (Podio, Fusioo etc…)
  • Use an instant messaging application (Messenger, Whatsapp etc.)
  • Communicate via e-mail (Gmail, AOL, Yahoo etc.)

The most efficient method remains instant messaging: getting inundated with e-mails may overwhelm you!

This is undeniably one of the advantages of private tutoring via webcam!

online-communication Discussing things over the internet usually takes a load off the student.

Task scheduling software will allow you to assign online exercises and to correct your student’s mistakes easily.

Whether it be online tutoring for middle schoolers or high schoolers, many different softwares will facilitate your work and you will be able to get to your main goal faster: the tutoring class!

Devote the Start of Lessons to Revisions and an Online Homework Check

Before getting right into the thick of the subject–that is to say the teaching of it–you have to spend some time verifying your student’s particular skills.

Always methodically, come back and revisit the student’s weak points: 

  1. What did he or she not understand in the last exercise?
  2. Is there any material he or she isn’t absorbing?
  3. Does he or she have preferences for certain aspects of the subject matter? (for example, if he or she is good in algebra, but not in geometry)
  4. Are there any concepts that he or she hasn’t understood in class?
  5. What are his or her favorite types of exercises?

Go over the student’s work step by step, analyzing his or her errors, and taking the time to explain them.

Make him or her recite the lesson to you while making sure you know that he or she understands what he or she is saying. The goal isn’t to make the student into a genius, but rather to get him or her motivated by explaining the advantage of understanding a specific concept.

class-kid With your online tutoring, the student will start to feel confident on the classroom bench!

This way, you will feel reassured by his progression in each of the important subject matters:

  • Mathematics Class
  • English Class
  • History/Geography Class
  • French Class
  • Spanish Class
  • German Class
  • Physics/Chemistry Class
  • Biology Class
  • Philosophy Class

If helping with homework lasts longer than anticipated: don’t worry!

There is no point in rushing things: the goal is for the student to assimilate all the basics of a lesson before moving on to the next lesson.

By being competent and punctual you can prove your worth as a tutor and boost your reputation among students.

Whether you are helping a student study for his SATs or getting him or her ready to apply to big universities, taking your time with the student is a good way to make sure his or her learning is evolving and facilitate his or her scholastic success!

Technology is Great… But the Teacher Must Stay a Coach and Never Forget Pedagogy and Listening

The computer must not become a tool that puts distance between you and your student!

It is not because you use technology that you must lose sight of you pedagogy. Just like an in-home tutor, the online tutor must continue to listen to his student.

The main goal of the discussion between a student and a teacher is to be educational.

If you really know your student well, you can play the role of a guidance counselor to guide him in the right direction. You must know his long term objectives (university studies, Ivy League schools, etc.) !

Don’t hesitate to take more time to get to know him personally.

pensive-student What does your student dream about? Try and find out!

If your student is having trouble with his or her studies and is thinking about dropping out, try and dissuade him or her by explaining the importance of having a diploma out in the real world.

 In an AOL interview, Feb. 13th 2015, Jessica, a private tutor explains it this way: 

“Put yourself in the student’s shoes. Ask him about what he’s up to, how his weekend was, his homework, and his friends. Try and understand why he is struggling, if it is specific to one subject matter or if it is an overall issue. Analyze the way he is learning. See if he dislikes school or if he just hates the subject you are teaching. Establish a clear limit between what you are doing to support and tutor him and how he is actually feeling in the classroom.”

Online tutoring is actually a good way to separate formal education and private tutoring. By using technology, which the student knows well, you are less likely to be seen as a “boring” school teacher !

Harboring a personal connection with your student will help him or her feel more at ease with you. Instead of creating a very formal relationship which may deter the student in question.

Be careful, do not become too informal with your student!

Impose your limits: you are there to listen, but you also need to be respected.

By being a good teacher, you can give private lessons without leaving your home!

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