Education in the time of COVID-19

We are all being called on to do more than we are used to.

  • Schools are suddenly closed, and they are scrambling to figure out distance learning.
  • Parents are figuring out how to juggle their own work and their kids’ education (to say nothing of their own self-care).
  • Some students are trying to keep up with the new work. Some are struggling to make meaning from the new assignments.  Almost no one yet knows how much they are learning.

For tutors, the job has always been understanding the student, and clearing away barriers to learning. It’s just that now, the barriers come in many more varieties besides just misunderstanding the material. Now students have more challenges:

  • Teachers struggling with new tools
  • Students’ need to manage their time more than they feel ready for
  • Students trouble owning their own learning in the face of reduced testing and other checkins

For all of us, the challenge is figuring things out fast, and changing things fast as we figure out what works.

That’s how tutors can step up, because: the fastest learning team is a motivated student and an expert.

Tutoring by video, Done Now and Done Right

COVID-19 has undeniably reshaped the way we live, work, and interact. As countries grappled with rising case numbers and healthcare challenges, individuals and communities were thrust into a whirlwind of change. From remote work and online education to social distancing and mask mandates, the very fabric of our daily routines have changed.

It’s Had a Tremendous Impact on Education

For countless students worldwide, this pandemic has led to one significant consequence: schools are closing. The initial closures, which many hoped would be temporary, are now stretching into months. This unforeseen extension has thrust both educational institutions and their students into the deep end, forcing the shift to distance learning. The transition is happening in real-time, regardless of whether schools and students are prepared for it.

Distance Learning is More Than Just Video Calls

Effective online tutoring is not as straightforward as you might think. It’s not just about hopping onto a video chat or spending a few hours getting the hang of Google Classroom or Zoom. It’s about creating an environment where learning can thrive, even in the absence of physical presence.

We began virtual education well before the pandemic. For several years now, we’ve been teaching most of our students via face-to-face video sessions, improving our approach over time to provide an enriching and interactive learning experience. Our online classes connect students from all over the world, including those living in the same country as us.

Some of our students live very close to our office but still choose our online classes. They prefer the smooth and user-friendly experience we provide with our online tutoring platform, which often feels as good as, if not better than, regular classroom lessons. No kidding: the experience can be so seamless that even a five-minute walk seems wasteful.

This didn’t happen overnight. Our success results from relentless practice, year in and year out. We’ve honed our skills, adapted to various challenges, and refined our methods to provide top-notch education remotely.

How Do You Take the Most Advantage of Video Tutoring?

Online video classes are becoming more common. However, not all teachers are familiar with this method. For newcomers to online teaching, it can be challenging.

To help, here are some ideas for getting the most out of an educator unaccustomed to working over video, based on our real-world experience. We’ve tried different methods, talked with other educators, and learned from our mistakes to offer practical advice.

If you have questions, please schedule a chat. We’re here to help with no hidden fees. Just set up a chat, and we can discuss online education together.

Tutoring: in-person vs. offshore

As the offshore tutoring industry continues to gear up and get huge, I’ve been coming around to the idea that different people have different needs, and it’s good for everyone when many solutions are available for a problem. It’s just like having McDonald’s around the corner: it’s no good when you want a gourmet meal, but if you want a Big Mac, then that’s the very best place to go.

And then I read this article in SFGate, in which the following quote seems to have slipped past the editor:

Kevin said he feels more comfortable talking to his tutor — sight unseen — than asking questions in class: “No one is paying attention to me that much.”

Is it just me, or is this a problem with this “service”?