Online tuition has been with us now for a few years yet, in my experience, relatively few people have heard of this form of tutoring or, if they have, dismiss it lightly because of some of the bad press that it has received. The function of this article is to correct a few misinterpretations about online tuition and lessons conducted remotely.
My personal experience is as the former director of a national tuition agency – one of the first to introduce internet or online tuition as we called it to the UK. I have also been an online tutor myself, providing intensive day courses in online search engine optimisation and website monetization via our online tuition service. Our tutoring business is now sold and I am retired, therefore I would like to feel that my advice here can be considered impartial.
Here are the six main objections to online tuition and my standard responses.
“I want a human, not a machine”
That’s exactly what you will get – a human doing the tutoring. You will get the same sort of person over the internet whom you would have got if you had booked a face-to-face lesson.
“It’s a bit … weird”
If that relates to talking to a person who is not physically present with you then someone explain the popularity of the telephone to me. You talk in real time to a real person during the lesson – the only difference is that they are not necessarily geographically close to you.
“My child wouldn’t concentrate”
Our experience showed the opposite. Students find it much more focussed in the same way that the old radio programmes used to captivate their listeners. There aren’t distractions like considering the tutor’s attire, their mannerisms etc.
“I wouldn’t be able to relate to it”
There is no difference in online tuition and face-to-face tuition in this respect. If you can’t relate to what the tutor is saying or doing during the lesson then that is a failing in the tutor, the student or both.
“I can see it would be suitable for my child”
We’ve tutored just about every subject and every age group via online tuition. From twin 4 year olds learning French to adults learning the violin and foreigners doing elocution lessons to remove their accents. The only subject that does not lend itself to online tuition is ‘handwriting’ and even that is possible.
“I’m not good technically and it would be difficult to set up”
All you need to do is install MSN or Yahoo Messenger or SKYPE or another carrier service (all free), push in your USB ‘plug and play’ microphone or webcam with mike, log in and off you go.
This is part of a series comparing internet and home-visit tuition. If you are considering having private tutoring, then don’t lightly rule out online tuition.