Technology is rapidly changing the way students learn. Most young people have already embraced this and accepted it as a normal part of their daily lives. This could be online shopping, connecting with friends through social media platforms or providing online tutoring classes.
This fact has been endorsed by Neil Morris, who is the Director of Digital Learning at the University of Leeds. He argues that digital technology is fundamentally changing learning and teaching.
Technology is providing new opportunities of learning and collaboration among teachers and their students. It has already transformed the educational mapping of many schools, colleges and universities. A lot more online tutorials are provided, as well as open online courses.
There are some tech-savvy parents, who are starting to adopt new and changing technology. But many are still in the dark about the incredible opportunities for learning that online tuition opens up.
According to a report by the Sutton Trust, which is a charity that works to increase social mobility through education, more than 40% of pupils in London have a private tutor at some point in their schooling. This is fueling an industry that is valued at £2bn a year.
Although the tuition businesses has mainly been traditional door-to-door, pen and paper tuition, there are more and more people who are switching to the idea of setting up online tutoring sessions.
The benefits of online tutoring are endless for both tutors and students. Here are five benefits of online tutoring that are the most helpful, if you are thinking of starting out your online tutoring business:
1. Wider Range of Students
With online tuition you can teach a much wider range of students, including the lucrative international student market, rather than just a narrow selection of students who live in your local or surrounding area.
Tracy Rose is the principal of the online music school Music Lessons Anywhere which she founded in 2013. Her online school now has 13 specialist online teachers and teach students from beginners to intermediate and advanced levels.
Tracy loves what she does as she gets to combine her two passions; music and teaching.
When asked what the main benefits for online tutoring for her were, she replied;
“One of the main benefits is that the teacher can teach from home which saves travel time. Students needn’t travel either, of course, which generally makes teaching online much more convenient.
Another main benefit is that teaching hours can be broadened, since students are being taught from all over the world in different time zones. Meeting students from other countries from contrasting cultures has been one of the highlights on online teaching for me personally. In one day I’m in Africa, Australia, America and various European countries!”
If you are a languages tutor for example, wanting to reach out to expat students who are looking to learn your native language, then what better way to do this with online tutoring?
Also, families who live outside of the big cities and may have struggled to find a subject-specialist tutor in their area can now have easy access to you and your team of highly qualified tutors, from all over the country.
Online lessons mean that if a child lives between parents, they can still have consistent, regular lessons regardless of whose house they are staying at.
2. Focused Sessions
If you are the type of tutor who just likes to focus on the lesson at hand and avoid all the “distractions” of home tutoring (making cups of tea, waiting for student if they are late turning up or chatting to the parents each time for a progress update!) then online tutoring allows you to be more targeted and focused and start as soon as you are both logged on.
That’s not to say you can’t be polite to your students and actually ask about them and their wellbeing!
By having focused one to one sessions, you can develop personalised learning to suit the individual student as well as encourage self-directed learning too. With no behaviour or classroom management issues, you can focus on the struggles and misconceptions of the individual student and lead them at their own pace to those moments of inspiration.
This helps self-esteem and boosts the student’s confidence, without having to worry about what their peers may be thinking.
3. Flexible hours
You are your own boss when it comes to online tutoring- you can tutor as much or as little as you like. There aren’t many jobs that allow you to set your own hours.
You can decide which students to take on and when depending on your timetable schedule, especially if it means tutoring across different time zones, like Tracy Rose. With the advancement of technology and Wi-Fi, it’s made it much easier for online tutoring.
If you have other commitments then online tutoring allows you to create your own timetable to suit your needs. This tends to work well with the students who often are working around the same tight schedule as you (early morning before school or college or evenings during their homework time)
4. Access to technology and materials
Through online tutoring right at home, you’re guaranteed to have all of the materials you need with you to study. Free video apps and software are readily available for tutors to use.
Online tools for tutoring have also grown over the years and you’ll have access to many educational materials (PPT slides, differentiated and editable task sheets, study guides).
Interactive on screen whiteboards can be shared between you and your student.
The costs involved for online tutoring are simply; having a good computer to work from, a fast internet connection and online tools which are often free to download.
As an online tutor, you save tremendously by not having to worry about travelling costs as this is done from the convenience of your own home/office space.
When it comes to charging, it is always best to research the market rate for your subject. Specialist subject tutors that are in rare supply but high in demand can afford to charge slightly higher rates.
Try not to overcharge. Parents are happy to have regular sessions when the fee is reasonable. If they are happy with their child’s progress, they are likely to continue paying for sessions and during school holidays.
6. Job Satisfaction
It should go without saying that no teacher or tutor goes into this without the joy of seeing a student achieve their goals and develop confidence in themselves.
Tutoring is not just a matter of conveying your subject knowledge over to students, but of identifying learning problems and providing solutions to help students overcome their barriers.
The role of a tutor is multifaceted, which requires a wide range of interpersonal and communication skills. However, the strong professional relationship that develops between students and tutors is very rewarding for both parties.
Online tutoring offers a whole host of benefits and the ones listed here are just a snapshot of how you might benefit.
Whatever your individual situation might be, you can make it work for you as a tutor – either as a side-line business or as a fully-fledged career change. You decide your working hours to fit around your personal requirements and commitments.
Essentially, you can fit tutoring around your lifestyle. With time and perseverance, tutoring could even help you create a lifestyle you really want. Sounds great right?
If you have now been convinced by the benefits of online tutoring, read our blog on 6 Ways To Use Social Media for Tutoring Business on how to get yourself noticed out there!