Zoom Tutoring since COVID

Posted by Michelle Myers on Sunday, March 28, 2021
Prior to March of 2020, I had looked into starting online tutoring, but I didn't know where to begin.  What software would I use?  What equipment would I need?  How would I need to adjust my tutoring style?  Turns out all I needed to get started was a Wacom writing tablet with stylus and a free Zoom account.
I've spent the past year navigating the ins and outs of one-on-one online tutoring, and I'm happy to say I may never go back to in-person again. [OK, never say never.]  I can tutor anywhere (i.e. the beach) at any time (i.e. lunch time or late nights). Plus, it offers the convenience of being able to space students out throughout the day, reach students who live too far to travel, and offer shorter time slots (for younger or focus-challenged students) that would otherwise not be worth the travel time involved.  But as with anything, there are pros and cons.

PROS:  I can write on any diagram (without having to re-draw it out on paper) and explain steps using colors to illustrate my thought flow.  If I need a blank template for a graph or unit circle, it's easily available online to fill in as I explain.  Students can scan or take pictures of problems on paper, and either email or text them to me during the session or in advance.  I can pull up a graphing calculator emulator and type button steps on a digital screen for students to see what I am graphing and how to follow along.  I can use a whiteboard to write down problems and have students tell me what stepwork to write, or they can write on it themselves using a mouse or stylus.  I can read the student's face and body language to see frustration, confusion, lack of focus, or if they are merely copying down what I've written instead of absorbing how to do it themselves.  Being one-on-one allows me to adjust my explanations to meet the student wherever they are without the embarrassment or distraction of being in front of a group.

CONS:  It's not as easy to see what students are writing, but it's not impossible.  Students who have the recommended equipment will have nearly the same experience as in-person, but if not, we can still make do with what we have.  Chromebook doesn't allow annotating on screen at this time, and sometimes it doesn't work for certain tablets/iPads.  Using a phone is possible, but also not recommended.

I recommend students have a laptop or desktop with webcam, pencil and paper,and a graphing calculator.  It would be ideal for students to have access to a writing tablet with a stylus, but not necessary.  In-person there was much focus on what the student was writing and how it was organized.  In today's online environment, the focus is just on how to get the answer.

About Me

Make a free website with Yola