Fast forward to the digital age and things could not be any more different. Online tutoring is revolutionizing the way tutors teach and reach out to their students. Today for a tutor with the right skills and teaching experience ‘the world is a stage’. A tutor can be based anywhere from New Delhi (India) to Texas (USA) and remotely teach students in their home country or in lands across the sea. Online tutors are using myriad online tools to aid the remote teaching process.
The online tutoring industry is increasing rapidly because of the failure of the academic system to cope with the needs of the students, and the desire of parents to provide the best possible education for their children. Slashing of public school budgets in many countries has worsened teacher-studio ratios. In some countries, the vast curriculum has made it necessary for parents to enlist the services of private tutors. Other reasons for the explosion of online tutoring in recent years include poor school infrastructural facilities, unprecedented competition (especially for coveted courses such as engineering), and the need for young tech savvy professionals to constantly upgrade their skills.
Here are 5 of software tools for improving and managing your online tutoring business:
Skype is a great free tool for video and voice chatting. The best part is that almost everyone who has a computer or a smart phone has used Skype at some point. The application offers multiple benefits for online tutors –
- Schedule Skype tutoring sessions with students as per your convenience
- Share your screen, without giving control to the other person
- Share files with your students
- Take screenshots of the video session
- Type messages during the video session
- Use emoticons to add a fun touch to an online session
2. Online Whiteboards
Virtual whiteboards work pretty much like the physical whiteboards you see in most training rooms. Everything that your write or draw on the virtual whiteboard is visible to your students. Combining the use of a virtual whiteboard and Skype does a good job of simulating the classroom experience. IDroo, is one online whiteboard application which works perfectly in sync with Skype. There are several free online whiteboard apps you can choose from, such as Sketchlot, AWW, PixiClip, Stoodle , Scribblar, and Realtime Board.
3. Cloud Storage – Dropbox and Google Drive
Free cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Google Drive allow you to store, update, and share your training resources with students at anytime, from your home or office. These online storage websites offer the following advantages –
- As long as your students have an account, adding, updating and sharing content is a breeze. For instance, students can submit their assignments on Dropbox and share the file with you by simply sending a link.
- Share only the folders you want students to access
- Easily share videos and images with your students
- Students can access these shared files no matter which device they use
- Collaborate with your students in real time. Google Drive allows more than one person to work on one document simultaneously.
- These websites also act as data backup for your digital training resources.
Apart from conducting online-personalized sessions through Skype, tutors and training organizations are using YouTube to share educational resources for existing and potential students. Create your own YouTube channel and upload videos recorded by you on your subject of expertise. The Khan Academy for instance has uploaded 33,856 educational videos and has over 2,100,000 subscribers on YouTube. Apart from giving anytime, anywhere access to educational content to your students, this is a great way of establishing your online brand as a tutor and training organization.
5. Business Management Software
In addition, to enhancing the teaching experience, you can also use applications to manage the business and administrative aspects of your tutoring business. Comprehensive business management software such as Teachworks and TutorPanel can help you with the following –
- Scheduling tutoring sessions
- Managing training calendars
- Automating session reminders
- Reconciling training sessions and invoicing students
- Automating billing and payment receipts
- Business expense and revenue reports for a better understanding of your business
Using these and other online tools of your choice, is a great way to offer a consistently high quality experience to your students, whilst making it so much easier to manage your business.