As you probably already know by now, MOE has announced that all schools are suspended and students will transition fully to home-based learning until the end of the circuit breaker period (which may be 5th May or later).
Although meeting face-to-face is now prohibited, we can all agree that learning never stops.
Since all face-to-face tuition is now not allowed, parents and tutors have no choice but to take up online tuition.
While some tutors are reluctant to do so as they are not familiar with teaching digitally, others have been quick to embrace the change.
SmileTutor recommends tutors to embrace technology and give online tuition a shot, especially since there is a possibility of extended periods of COVID-19 restrictions.
As a tutor, there are innovative ways to grow your student base by offering your tuition lessons digitally while at home. To guide you through this process, here are some tips we can recommend to help you set up your first digital class:
1. Decide on the digital classroom tool you wish to use
Not every teacher or tutor can adapt with online learning easily, especially if they have to do the technical troubleshooting themselves.
Tutors must also have the right tech to do their lessons, as well as a stable internet and learning platform where your students can log in.
Try out which platform works well and try it before introducing it to your students.
Remote classroom tools vary significantly in how teachers or tutors can teach their students.
Here are some of the tools you can try out to sort out your remote classroom:
a) Google Classroom
Google Classroom allows teachers/tutors and students to log into a virtual classroom wherever they are in the world.
Tutors can use the platform to assign tasks, lectures and resources, while students can submit their assignments through their assigned Google Drive folder and wait for it to be graded.
Students can also review previous courses in their own time by checking their Archived Class folders.
b) Hangouts Meet
For this app, tutors can start a one-on-one video call to their students to conduct their tutoring sessions. All they need is a Google account to sign into Google Hangouts Meet.
BookWidgets allows teachers to create exercises for any subject and get it graded immediately. Tutors can also use the app to provide feedback to their students which they can review.
HotChalk allows teachers or tutors to interact with both their students and their parents and have everything in one platform.
It has a library, quiz center, and tools to help students interact with you. The tool is offered for free and doesn’t require too much tech knowledge to work.
With this tool, tutors can record a video through their Google Chrome browser, edit it and share the video instantly to their students.
Students can also use this same tool to record their responses on discussions, especially if you are teaching them languages like English Tuition.
This tool enables students and teachers to create a collaboration canvas that they can customize based on the tasks they have for the lessons.
Padlets can be used as forums, blogs, Q&A forms and many others.
With this tool, you can combine a lot of educational mediums to teach students such as videos and other content.
These materials will be sent directly to your student’s device and can be viewed anytime and anywhere.
You can also sort out playlists and tests which are personalized to match every student’s needs.
In Socrative, you will find it easier to grade your student’s work because everything will be done automatically.
Teachers and tutors can also use the system to track individual progress and provide suggestions that you can apply to help these students with their studies.
2. Communication For Parents to Prepare for the First Lesson
Before you sort up a digital class and send it to your student, email the instructions to their parents so they can check how it works. You can contact SmileTutor staff to get a in-depth step-by-step guide on how to use Zoom, Cisco Webex, or Google Meets to set-up your first online classroom.
Your email must also include what parents can expect in these classes, how attendance will be checked and how they can help their children in these classes.
To help your students get used to your classes, it is ideal to schedule the first digital lesson to start 15 minutes early, as it is likely there will be some technical difficulties that need troubleshooting and hand-holding to get through. Moreover, it may take time to get used to communicating via the video conferencing tool.
3. Set Up An Adequate Working Environment
It can be distracting if your work environment is filled with temptations like your comfortable bed or the 50-inch television.
Your work environment must be used for work alone.
You should also invest on an ergonomic chair and good lights to improve your work conditions.
Also, if you’re doing video conferencing, make sure your video backdrop has a neat and tidy environment. This will indirectly encourage your students – who are watching your lessons – to stay productive.
4. Innovate And Stimulate Discussions
In online learning, it can be difficult to determine your student’s feelings and encourage them to participate actively using these examples.
You can use your chosen platform’s features to inspire them to study like using videos, assign reading materials and other aside from assigning them homework.
You can even be creative and get their suggestions to get the discussions rolling.
This Covid-19 period is specially difficult for students. Besides being empathy on the current situation, remember that every student learns in a different way and it is key that you know how to motivate them properly.
You can give them extra credit if they participate in the online discussions or a reward if they have done exceptionally well.
You can also use deadlines to motivate them to work and review their lectures.
5. Ask For Feedback
There are times you can’t get a system right for the first time, especially if this is the first time you will use it for your sessions.
In this case, let your students and their parents try the online platform you are suggesting for your tutoring sessions and ask them about their opinions about it. Know what things they liked and which parts must be improved on.
You can use their feedback to research alternatives to make their online learning experience better. Don’t be affected if your student’s parents reject your good intentions.
In these uncertain times, it is crucial that students feel some semblance of normalcy by having their routine still present in their daily lives even if it is online.
As tutors, utilizing remote learning can help these students feel that everything is still ok and ensure that their futures will still be on track.
Of course, do some research first before you utilize remote learning because it may not easily blend to your teaching style. Practice makes perfect!
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