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Can the Internet Be a Good Tool for Academic Support?

By Jon, published on 18/10/2017 Blog > Tutoring > Advice for Students > Should We Use the Web for Online Tutoring?

Online academic support: a modern trend for students who want to face up to academic difficulties.

It’s a good way to get ahead, working on specific points at any time of the year:

  • Before an examination;
  • During the school holidays;
  • To consolidate knowledge;
  • To master the notions you learned in class.

There are many websites offering resources for all subjects and levels.

Free or paying, elementary, middle, and high school students have material they can use at their convenience.

However, some of these elements have to be questioned:

  • Should we trust online tutoring?
  • Or, on the contrary, should we be wary of it?

SuperProf took a real look at the issue in order to help you see more clearly…

The Advantages of Online Academic Support

There are many good reasons to use online academic support.

There are many reasons why people choose online academic tutoring. Here are the 6 most important advantages.

1. Interesting and Flexible Rates

Generally, one hour of in-home private tutoring is worth about 20 USD. This rate increases or decreases according to different criteria (the subject, the teacher’s experience, and the pupil’s level of education, among others).

When it comes to an hour of tutoring, you can find many different formulas ranging from free resources to the possibility of revising a number of subjects.

In all cases, online pedagogical monitoring is designed for small budgets.

2. Lessons and Exercises Available at Any Time

To read your lessons, watch your videos, or listen to your podcasts, all you need is an internet connection.

At home, you have your computer or tablet. Outside, a smartphone works fine.

This is ideal if you are looking to occupy your time in a smart manner during public transportation or to remind yourself of what you are learning on a school vacation.

3. Perfect to Revise After Class, At Your Pace

We all know those moments of fatigue and those when we can lift mountains.

Don’t worry: your lessons on the web are not going to vanish overnight.

A page from a book can be lost, but not a website (especially if you bookmark it).

If you feel the need, the math, physics, or chemistry online exercises allowing you to overcome your difficulties are only a click away.

4. More Motivation to Learn

What’s most interesting about in-home academic support is that a lot of it is centered around playful learning.

They are often inspired by video games and offer fun exercises, interactive lessons and, for some, a very motivating ranking system.

You will enjoy improving your skills in math or English.

5. A Specialist a Few Clicks Away

At the end of the school day, you may have more trouble concentrating. Which is quite normal. As a result, you have not understood anything about your last biology course or Spanish course.

No worries: on the internet, it is possible to ask your questions to experienced teachers.

This can be done via discussion forums or through a webcam (if you have a package with a teacher). It’s up to you to choose according to your needs and budget.

6. Practical and Efficient Homework Help

If your class notes are incomplete, it can be easy to find the missing lesson online.

Similarly, if a concept is too abstract for you, the web can help you better understand it through specific resources (such as videos or exercises).

In any case, you will find the exact thing you need to work on something that has been bothering you.

The Limits of Academic Support

Everything has its advantages and disadvantages.

internet-maze The internet is a powerful tool and some people do not know how to navigate it.

We talked to you about the positive aspects of online academic support. Now let’s see about the weaknesses of academic online classes…

Artificial Intelligence vs Human Intelligence

It’s a fact: if a student does not have a teacher or tutor by his or her side, he will not do as well.

A child who lacks autonomy will not want to get to work without someone pushing him to revise his lessons or do his homework.

A computer will find it difficult to detect difficulties other than a lack of knowledge.

If the student has problems with concentration or motivation, it is not a quiz on the internet that will help him overcome his problems.

Beware of the Internet’s Dark Side

Here we are talking about young students who could fall on harmful materials online.

For this, elementary school (or early middle school) children’s parents have to watch their little ones when they browse the internet. Even if you have enabled parental controls.

Concerning high school pupils, the latter have acquired a certain autonomy with regards to work organization.

However, if they use the internet to work, make sure they are actually working.

On video websites (YouTube, for example), it is so easy to get distracted that the student can lose time with revisions.

And above all: do not forget to tell your child to always check sources on the things he or she reads on the internet (and especially on the discussion forums).

Too Many Resources to Choose From

Many sites boast of having thousands of resources.

This is great because it will allow everyone to find what it is they are looking for: the English, history, geography, or mathematics class they are needing.

However, is it really useful to ask your child to find a physics tutor when he or she has no problems in that class?

Faced with too many choices, some students lack a method, lose themselves, and become demoralized.

Reassure them by offering them to work on a regular basis in order to progress little by little.

What About Free Sites?

The kingdom of the web is full of free this and that.

Many sites offer course materials for free from Kindergarten to 12th grade.

This is a good thing to improve your understanding of specific topics on an ad hoc basis.

On the other hand, this type of resource will not replace a classroom.

Specialists say that without academic support, it is impossible to cope with a looming dropout situation.

What Are the Tools for Giving Online Tutoring Classes?

You’re start your career as a tutor. Full of good will, you would like to guide your students to academic success (it makes you feel good!).

The Internet can help you in your goal.

good-tutor A good artisan is nothing without his tools…a good tutor neither!

Here are the top 3 academic support tools to know and use. 

Number 1: sharing sites

Every teacher has to set up a space where it’s easy to exchange important documents with his or her pupils.

We recommend 3 softwares:

  • DropBox;
  • Google Drive;
  • WeTransfer.

These three are ideal for sharing lessons and exercises in different formats, with the possibility of modifying them directly online.

Number 2 : Videoconference

Imagine you can’t get to your student’s home because of the weather.

It is still possible to honor your class time with the help of a videoconferencing software! Skype is best known and is very well adapted to academic coaching.

If you want to lecture an audience, we recommend BigBlueButton, which is more complete.

Number 3: Quizzes and Multiple Choice Tests

Finally, to test the knowledge of your students, MCQs (Multiple Choice Questionnaire) are great tools.

Easy to set up, they allow you to identify the concepts most have understood and those on which you must insist.

You could use an Excel file, but we also recommend:

  • Google Form;
  • LimeSurvey;
  • KwikSurvey.

Other Software to Be Aware of

Depending on your affinity with the digital world, you may want the opportunity to get acquainted with other relevant tools that will help you with your in-home classes.

Amongst these are:

  • A digital agenda;
  • A digital work space;
  • An digital classroom, and interactive whiteboard;
  • Equipment for making audio and video podcasts;
  • Digital manuals.

MOOCs: The New Learning Trend

Since their creation in 2002 (although their current format did not show up until 2008), MOOCs have been very talked about.

Previously intended for universities, these open and massive online courses (MOOC meaning Massive Open Online Course) are free of charge and access. All you will have to do is register.

Thanks to videoconferencing, the professor gives a live class for internet users who can ask him or her questions, either through a chatroom or a discussion forum created for the occasion.

Today we see this type of initiative flourish in higher education, but also in elementary school, middle school, and high school.

online-course Are MOOCs the class of the future?

Indeed, among the best-known MOOCs, the Khan Academy site immediately comes to mind. It offers video courses in mathematics, science, and computer science to primary, middle, and high school students.

For some students, watching a video makes it easier to memorize certain concepts.

The MOOC is a great teaching tool for academic support and can help students on their way to a college diploma, the SAT Reasoning Test, or a college entrance exam.

You understand that we fully endorse on-line tutoring. However, online classes can not replace face-to-face classes with a real teacher.

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