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When New Technology Adds to Academic Support

By Jon, published on 18/10/2017 Blog > Tutoring > Advice for Students > New Technologies and Academic Support
 New technology has turned individual and class teaching around in many ways.

From digital use in school to teachers and students using internet at school: it’s important for those who provide education to get interested in the internet!

One of the greatest benefits of using the Internet in the classroom is to provide educational opportunities for students based on their abilities and interests. For example, I can teach a basic lesson on a writing strategy and allow a student who is interested in and motivated by baseball to find examples of the writing strategy on a baseball-focused Web site. This lesson suddenly becomes more motivating, exciting, and memorable to this student.

Of course, this data also concerns in-home private tutors using a computer for their work.

But in order to help online tutors everywhere, Superprof has decided to give you a list of tools that could help your students progress in order to help them on the way to academic success. 

Everything about academic online support!

Shared Spaces for Academic Support

An interesting IT tool to simplify the collaboration between students and professors: sharing spaces. An effectiveness that is undeniably a part of the advantages of academic support!

Here are the most famous softwares available to teachers and students alike:

  • Google Drive;
  • DropBox ;
  • WeTransfer.

They are easy to use and generally free. They allow for easier file sharing. As far as Google Drive goes, you have the possibility to create text or Excel files. You can then allow people to edit them and read them.

Let’s take the example of math exercises. Three possibilities are open to you:

  1. Create a text file or QCM-type spreadsheet;
  2. Offer to print lessons for your students to help them revise certain difficult points;
  3. Make print-outs that students will have to complete, scan, and send back through email for them to be corrected.

Digital Work Spaces Between Tutor and Student

Digital work spaces are a thing of the future.

They are internet portals set up by different academic institutions (elementary school, middle school, high school, and university) that propose different services to students and teachers.

This type of technology facilitates an exchange between all the academic support players. 

You’ll find these, amongst others:

  • Messenging;
  • An agenda;
  • News;
  • Information regarding organizational life;
  • The possibility of using distance learning;
  • Etc.

Digital work spaces are primarily offered by educational establishments for professors, students, and parents.

In this way, they can be accessed by school teachers in order to help students outside of school hours.

For example: a physics teacher can help students to go further into learning to understand difficult and important notions. By offering them tailored exercises and corrections through academic support, you may be able to help them get ahead even if they have been behind.

Digital Agendas: Perfect Your Homework Help Method

Implemented in fall of 2011, digital agendas are now becoming more popular.

After each class, tutors can indicate the key points to revise and what exercises to focus on. Perfect for academic support!  

study-planner The digital agenda: a tool facilitating work organization and the exchange between different academic players.

Its objective is to allow each student and parent to have access to it when needed thanks to an internet webpage accessible at any moment.

Obviously, this tool does not mean that students cannot also use a paper agenda (which favors a certain work autonomy).

Digital Classroom

The digital classroom has facilitated classes everywhere for a long time now. With a digital blackboard, there are many possibilities students of previous generations will have never experienced.

It is particularly good for academic support because it means that both parties can easily scribble on a digital document in order to favor student comprehension.

black-digital An online blackboard: you dreamt it, the internet it made it possible!

Take the case of a history course on the Roman invasion. By using a map of this era and annotating it as you go along marking the different conquests, for example, your class will become dynamic and evolve naturally.

Similarly, an English tutor can correct and highlight grammar errors by spelling it right directly onto text while the student is watching.

Videoconference

After telephones and academic support classes via correspondence, the more modern learning happens via a videoconference.

This system allows a tutor to give online tutoring classes to one student or an entire classroom of people. 

Amongst the tools at your disposition, we think BigBlueButton is pretty neat. It’s free and easy to use.

Dedicated to teaching, you have total control over the videoconference:

  • You can activate or deactivate the audio;
  • Whiteboard;
  • Digitalizing documents;
  • Recording tutoring sessions.

This new digital approach is ideal for a refresher course during school holidays for example.

The Podcast

Podcasting entails recording a lesson. Like this, students can access audio and video resources at any moment.

In 2015, a Survey Monkey study showed the following:

  • 73,5 % of students said they used podcasts regularly.
  • Of these, 52 % have listened to more than 10;
  • Over 60 % of students used podcasts in order to catch up on a class they had missed, completing notes, or working on a notion they did not understand in class.

This study proclaimed that students are passive in class and active when they listen to a podcast. 

Please note that learning through podcasts can be done anywhere and at any time. In front of your desk, at home, or in public transportation, on your smartphone.

Online Forms and Quizzes

Understanding a lesson the best one can means testing knowledge. 

With e-learning, it’s easiest to do this with multiple choice tests.

With this type of tool, you can validate your student’s learning and facilitate homework correction. 

Amongst the tools that can help you with this, we recommend the following:

  • LimeSurvey;
  • KwikSurveys;
  • Google Formulaire.

It’s a perfect complement to online exercises that allow for consolidating knowledge on a specific subject, whatever it be and at whatever level.

Discover the inconveniences of online academic support…

Digital Manuals

As the name suggests, the digital manual is used to replace or supplement the traditional textbook.

There are 3 types:

  • The textbook or homothetic manual (basically a digitization of the paper version);
  • Digitally enriched textbook with interactivity;
  • The digital manual, to be used exclusively on a computer, tablet, and smartphone.

Obviously, the best thing is for students is to have access to the digital versions of the textbooks that are used in class.

Like this they can work autonomously on what they studied in the classroom at home, or with the person who takes care of their academic accompaniment (in this case, you, the private tutor).

Polls

Still in the testing stage, voting online has gotten a lot of attention.

Its objective is to allow students to participate in class using an electronic screen.

In class, students can vote as a response to what the teachers are saying.

For online tutoring, many sites offer this type of technology. This is the case, for example, of:

  • Socrative;
  • Polleverywhere;
  • Mentimeter.

In fact, you understand that this voting system is nothing more than a type of interactive and instant quiz.

Perfect if you want to add to a revision session or make sure your students have understood what you attempted to teach them.

You instantly know what you need to focus on or not.

Learning through Academic Games

Primarily used during elementary school, academic games lose some importance during middle school and high school.

Yet, it has proven to be very effective to learn through games.

game-now Games are a very important part of your child’s education.

The advantages of games are:

  • The active participation of the student and immediate feedback;
  • Healthy competition between a group of students;
  • The student is less afraid of being wrong and often tries as many times as is necessary.

For in-home private tutors, games can be a fun part of homework.

Especially with math, where they can help young students better understand and learn important notions such as mental calculation or multiplication tables, among others.

Whether you are a national education teacher tutoring your students after class or an in-home private tutor, you now have all the tools to give your students an academic boost.

It’s a fact, the digital has transformed academic support and in-home support.

In addition to improving student motivation, it simplifies document sharing while providing a large number of resources that are available on the internet at all times.

This all at a moderate cost.

In fact, for a tutor, it has become increasingly difficult not to use digital technologies when organizing a class.

Take a look at MOOCs for quality online teaching support!

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