Platforms and Tools for Learning!
Tutors, parents, and learners will all find some useful information in this one.
Today there are so many tools and platforms that tutors and students can use that geography is no longer an issue. Missed sessions are basically no longer an issue either. You can't make your in-person session? No problem, we can do an online session!
We can teach students from anywhere in the world; and, of course, we can learn from a teacher from anywhere in the world. (You know I believe that all learners are teachers and all teachers are learners - or should be.)
It used to be that seeing and hearing your student in real time was almost impossible. Writing or drawing together in real time sharing - forget it!
Now, we can do all of this and a whole lot more.
I see you!
With Skype, Zoom, and/or BitPaper (to name a few), the tutor and student can see, hear, and share real time writing, typing, drawing, videos, etc. We can import documents to share, and we can make them editable. In other words, the student can make notes, changes, highlight, or draw something right on the same document.
But wait...there's more!
We can save our sessions. We can save the recordings (if recording, of course) or the altered documents - or both.
Being able to see each other means that we won't miss facial expressions and other cues that we use when communicating in person. If you are like me, sometimes your hands are almost as important as your speech when communicating. With the camera set properly, we can share these expressions as well.
There are other ways to share documents. Here are a few options:
Many sites allow you to assign math problems or reading passages to students. You can also print exercises for your "in person" clients.
If you are not "live," you can still send audio files, video files, and - of course- text files and documents.
Some courses are asynchronous. For these, the student completes tasks on his or her own. These are for more independent learners or as an entry into more complex courses. I have asynchronous courses for English, math, and study skills. Students watch videos and slideshows, read texts, complete quizzes and assignments, and receive a certificate when they complete the course. While some asynchronous courses don't, mine allow contact with the instructor and even feedback on some of the assignments.
Other resources (and there are thousands of them) include the following:
Trello - organize yourself and/or collaborate with teams.
Evernote - another organizer and so much more.
Eastoftheweb - short stories and word games.
Braingenie - mostly math & science (part of CK12.org).
The Math Worksheet Site - generate various math sheets.
Openlibrary.org - read and borrow books
Readwritethink.org - free language arts material.
Writingsparks.com - instant writing challenges.
Youtube - videos.
There are thousands of tools and platforms that tutors and learners can use. I have mentioned some of the ones I have used - and continue to learn how to use. All of the resources I mentioned here are free (at the time of writing this) - so there is no reason to try them out.
In future blogs, I will explain more about the individual platforms and tools.
If you are a tutor, check out some of these and incorporate them into your toolbox.
If you are a parent, now you can see that online tutoring is a fantastic avenue for your child (or even yourself).
There are no longer any barriers to learning!
This week’s video: Platforms and Tools online.