"What we learn with pleasure we never forget," Alfred Mercier
Due to the lockdown rules imposed by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa during the 2020 year, the people of South Africa were homebound. Gone were the days where your tutor could come to your home to provide private lessons for you. You were even unable to attend school or university and losing out on learning made you feel quite useless. The only way that you could access information and learn anything was via the internet.
Many tutors felt that their roles were slipping away so they too turned to online platforms such as Zoom or Cisco Webex to provide online lessons. Tutors started sharing their extensive resource bank online just to help children who were experiencing no learning at home.
Despite the ease of access to the unlimited resources available online for the foundation phase learners, primary school and high school learners, we often shy away from using these resources or we don't feel like using online tools is enough to enable us to learn. While reading this, you must be asking yourself two questions:
- Is having an online tutor effective enough for me to learn?
- Would I settle for online tuition over normal face-to-face interaction?
Well, we hope that we can provide these answers for you. Let's explore the world of cyber-tutorials some more.
Is Online Tutoring Effective?
In order to answer the question of whether online tuition is an effective learning tool, we need to explore some of the advantages that online tutoring has brought to the fore.
1. Pause, Breathe, Ponder, Choose, Do
Having the fear of contracting Covid-19 has caused all activities to be paused for a while. Hence your face-to-face interactions with your tutor is a thing of the past. If you are feeling rather negative about the online tutoring method, take a second out to just breathe. Breathe in and out deeply so you get rid of all your anxiety and all the negativity related to the online tutoring method. Ponder about what online tutoring could mean for you. Although you are back at school, you do not attend school every day. This means that online tutoring could work to fill in any learning gaps that you may have. Perhaps you were given exercises to complete from your DBE books and you cannot seem to wrap your head around what is expected, this is where an online tutor can come in. The tutor will be able to tell you what you are expected to do and teach you techniques on how to interpret instructions. Think about the effect that not being in class has had on you. You are starting to forget all the work that you have learnt. So instead of pondering about the disadvantages of online tutoring, choose to learn with an online tutor as it is your only options. Do the actual online lessons and see how you feel from there. If you are learning and feeling like you are getting the necessary help, the online lessons are working for you.
2. One Step at a Time
While all of South Africa is trying to return back to some normalcy, it is taking a considerable amount of time to experience the life that we once had. Your parents may be trying to find their feet again after having been retrenched from work during the Covid-19 traumatic period. Financially things may still be quite tight. The online learning platform allows you to catch up on all the work that you have missed out but it may be a cheaper option than the traditional face-to-face tutoring method. Tutors are teaching lessons from the comfort of their homes and this means that they are charging reasonable tutorial fees. You could still get to learn without having to spend unnecessarily. You also have the time to take your online learning one step at a time. With online tuition, you can meet your tutor more often during the week and still pay a reasonable fee.
Children who are independently using video conferencing software to sign in to their online tuition classes are becoming more independent learners. During online lessons, your tutor will share many interactive learning tools with you like Edupuzzle, Youtube videos and Quizizz. This means that even when you are not in an online tuition class, you can still surf the web to find these accessible websites and tools so as to learn independently as well.
You can watch recordings of the lessons that you had with your tutor, read over lessons conducted by checking lesson plans that may have been by your tutor sent to you via email and even retry assignments and quizzes that you had initially performed badly in. Having an internet connection and being equipped with tools from your tutor will allow you to take learning into your own hands.
4. Online Classes Work as Revision Tool
If you are not willing to do online tutorial lessons every day and you would much rather use online tools to help you master subject content, it is an option that you have at your disposal. You can speak to your online tutor to assist you with some online resources that you could use during the week. Using these resources will be a way for you to revise the concepts taught to you via Whatsapp or at school by your teacher on a daily basis. You can also then only schedule tutorial lessons before class assessments and big tests. You can set up revision lessons as well so your tutor can help you revise everything that you have learnt on your own. By using online mediums you have the flexibility to do this.
5. Online Lessons Serve as Motivation
The fact that these classes offer a way of learning that is slightly more interactive and less traditional than the classroom learning style, spells fun. When you are having fun interacting with online tools such as ThinkLink and Edupuzzles, you are having fun learning and being probed to learn. As you are having fun learning, you are feeling more intrinsically motivated to learn.
6. You are Still Learning with Tutors who are Specialists in their Fields
Online tutorials allow you the option of seeing your German tutor, Mathematics tutor and Musical tutor on the same day. These tutors may all be entirely different people but all specialists in their respective fields. You will still be learning all that you need to without having to travel from one tutor to the next. This means that you can set aside 3 hours for tutorials daily and go straight from one online video conferencing room to the next immediately.
Tutoring Websites That You Can Visit
If you are interested in the possibility of gaining an online tutor to help lessen your schooling woes, you can visit the Superprof website to find the right online tutors for you.
Upon visiting the Superprof site, Type the name of the subject that you are interested in getting tutored in. A list of tutor profiles of all tutors who are providing the service will pop up. You can assess the tutor by his or her years of experience, recommendations from previous students and even by the tutor's preferred teaching method stipulated in his or her biography. Once you find a tutor on Superprof who falls within your budget, you can speak to him or her about tuition options and days for tuition.
Wisdom Begins in Wonder
If you do not want to designate a time to meet online with your tutor, you can still get the necessary tuition in the form of pre-recorded videos. Some private tutors have recorded their lessons and have uploaded these lessons to storage platforms such as Dropbox or Google Drive. For a small fee, you can gain access to the tutor's videos and then you can indulge in a sort of self-study. This method of learning is more desirable for learners who want to learn at their own time and learn at their own pace. A video recording may not have all the answers that might arise while you are watching the video. This will make you wonder more about a certain concept and this may cause you to research the topic online on your own.
Have You Considered Virtual Tutoring as an Option for You?
If you are keener on actually trying out online tutorials, you need to be made aware that not everything online is rosy. While very young children are quite tech-savvy, the internet is filled with content that is not always age-appropriate for them. In this regard, parents who are considering the online tutorial option for their young children need to control the amount of exposure their children get.
Older children can be given more freedom on the internet, however, parents must still keep checking that the internet is being used only for accessing educational apps and for online tutorial classes.
Aside from having to constantly monitor your children when they are interacting online, the internet contains an overload of information. Teenagers and university students may find it far too tedious to sift through the information and find what is useful for learning and what is not. Therefore with online learning, having a solid structure is of utmost importance as well.
While self-studying is effective in helping children gain confidence in their ability to learn, it is still more effective if a professional online tutor guides them in their online self-learning journey. An online tutor can ensure that learners do not in any way feel demotivated about learning.
Despite the disadvantages of online learning, we ought to remember that:
"Online learning can be a lifeline to those who have obstacles, such as geographical distance or physical disabilities" Paul Levinson