For those of you who don't know, I'm moving to Oxnard, California mid-February. My husband is Navy; so moving is part of my job description as a "Navy Wife". I have six tutoring students in San Diego that I work with and I was struggling to find a suitable replacement tutor for myself. I have several friends that I trust to hand them off too; however, they were too busy to take on six tutoring students. This led me to start to look into the world of online tutoring.
Wow!! There are a LOT of websites that offer online tutoring. The initial research steps were extremely overwhelming as most of the sites that popped up were for students looking for online tutoring. I'm not willing to work for another tutoring business since I already have a few steady clients.
When I finally found some resources for people looking to do tutoring online, I was again disappointed. Most of the tutors I researched used Skype with add-on features, but I have a Mac, so the add-ons don’t work on my computer. I then saw some advertisements for some AWESOME online whiteboard tutoring apps. But then I saw the cost (insert frustrated face here). Since my business is just starting to take off, I really don’t want to have to pay for software, especially if I can find it free elsewhere. Then I remembered an awesome tutoring blog I had pinned on Pinterest a couple weeks ago, The Tutor House Blog. One of the articles was a guest blog post by Joanne Kaminsky from becomeanonlinetutor.com. She mentioned that she was trying out Google Hangouts with one student. I went to Joanne’s blog and found an article she wrote about tutoring with Google Hangouts.
Google Hangouts seemed like the most promising solution so I found a guinea pig to test it out with (Thank you Logan!). I must say it is awesome! We had a lot of fun checking out all the different tools and even playing with different “props.” Some of the features include: being able to simultaneously create or edit a shared drawing board that is saved to Google Drive, being able to simultaneously create or edit a shared document that is saved to Google Drive, screen sharing, remote control of the student’s computer, video chat (duh), voice chat, group video and/or voice (this means you can call mom on her cell to enter the conversation during tutoring!), streaming capabilities, and super fun props that you can “wear”.
If that wasn’t enough, Google Hangouts also is a great application because of its functionality. On a desktop computer, it is a web app. This means there is nothing to download and runs right through your gmail account or through a chrome browser extension. There are also apps to use it on any Android or Apple device. This means almost any student can use it!
For Tutors: I created an Online Tutoring Checklist that will help students prepare for online tutoring.
For Students: I’m really excited to try online tutoring with some students! I’m looking for two students to do a FREE half hour tutoring session (one mac, one pc). Email Candice@alphadeltaacademy.com if interested!
Students and Tutors: Have you done online tutoring before? What did you like/dislike about it?