The Power of Online Tuition
At JK Educate, alongside our very successful at-home face-to-face tutoring service, online tuition has been a core option since 2018. Before March 2020 when Covid lockdowns meant that educational institutions had to use online teaching, there was still much debate over the effectiveness of online lessons. Many people supported the idea that children taught face-to-face were receiving more effective lessons than those taught online.
While parents continue to be challenged about the amount of screen time and technology use that children have today we must also remember that times have changed. Children are now wired for the digital age in which they live. They accrue IT skills within seconds and I’m sure you can relate to the common experience of asking your child for help to better understand how your mobile phone or iPad works!
So really, how effective is online learning? Is it simply a backup for face-to-face lessons? Or does it hold some very unique and valuable qualities that can benefit all our children?
High standards of online offerings at JK
The JK online classrooms provide a visual, interactive and multi-sensory platform that appeals to all age ranges and ability levels. It is a launchpad from which tutors and students can share images, text, video and game links. With a modern and creative feel to it, students can choose from a variety of colours and tools to work with. Our unique online classrooms encourage independence and autonomy. Students can carry out concrete written tasks during the lesson, uploading them onto the screen within seconds ready for shared annotation and feedback. Lessons are time efficient and remain as rigorous as when conducted face to face.
In addition, working online can provide a faster-paced, more targeted approach to delivery, helping to engage students and move them on in their learning.
We have found that JK’s exam success over the last few years has been in line with previous years showing that, even though students have missed out on schooling due to Covid, remote tutoring has been as effective as face-to-face tutoring.
We have also found that online lessons have particularly enhanced learning for many SEND children. Each case is different and obviously depends on the nature of the educational need and learning style of the student. For many students we have found it:
- Reduces social anxiety: For many SEND children, face-to-face interactions can be daunting.
- Reduces distraction: For students with ADD and ADHD, the relative calm and isolation of learning online at home can be extremely helpful.
- Comfort in technology: Technology can be a source of solace to many students; as a generation, they are familiar with multiple forms of technology, and, for students with SEN, technology appears impersonal, less invasive, and non-threatening and therefore conducive to learning.
- Enhances flexibility: Tutors are able to make greater use of audio, visual, or interactive materials, and students can work entirely at their own pace, playing lessons back or downloading materials as necessary.
Benefits of online lessons
Engaging in online tuition also affords students access to a wider range of tutors, no matter where the student or teacher is located. The location of a specialist tutor with a unique skill set living in the Outer Hebrides needs no longer be a barrier for a London-based student.
We are also seeing online tuition becoming more popular in schools and we are increasingly being approached by both state and private schools to support their students with online lessons. The schools are often seeking support for GCSE and A Level classes where the numbers of students are very low and where they are struggling to hire a teacher face to face. JK is able to provide effective online tuition to these students at their school during their school day.
Other benefits of online tutoring include:
Convenience: There is no rush hour travelling, having to adjust your schedule for drop-offs and pick-ups, or having to make small talk with the tutor or other parents. It’s simply focused on the task at hand.
Matching the best tutor to your child’s needs: A greater range of tutors and lesson times allows us to select the ideal tutor for your child’s learning needs and personality.
Flexibility and responsiveness: Thanks to the versatile nature of online classrooms, each and every lesson can be highly personalised to each individual child and the events of the day or week. This responsiveness and topicality are things that students love.
Comfortable environment: No need to worry about your child forgetting to pack their laptop, study books or drinks. Taking a lesson in the relative calm of home can increase focus and, as discussed previously, can reduce social anxiety for some students.
Safe and secure: Enables a high level of safety standards through the ability to monitor and record lessons. This enables tracking of every lesson in great detail to ensure that safeguarding procedures are followed, meaning you can rest assured that your child is safe and secure online.
Variety in learning: Offering students different ways to learn improves engagement, focus and enjoyment. It also allows children to improve other skill sets such as IT and communication.
Resource sharing: Cloud storage, Dropbox sharing, easy use of online resources, the ability to play back the lesson and instant tasks/homework sharing and feedback make online tutoring highly efficient.
Quality of online learning
As with all educational endeavours, the quality of teaching and the effectiveness of learning for the students very much depends on the abilities and qualities of the teacher. This is true for both face-to-face and online lessons.
With online lessons, the quality of teaching, coupled with the technology being used, defines the value of the online offering. This is where JK is able to shine with its proven high standard of online tutoring.
When Covid kicked in during early 2020, many teachers and schools scrambled to set up online lessons for their students. But with no experience teaching online and often with technology that wasn’t fit for purpose, it is easy to see how some students found the switch to online lessons frustrating and ineffective.
At JK, we have been delivering effective and well-structured online lessons for over 5 years. We know that teaching online requires a level of adaptation and lesson preparation that differs from face-to-face. Our JK Tutors are adept at delivering remote lessons, having had the time and experience to develop our online offerings into the most effective, enjoyable and efficient lesson delivery styles possible.
Making the best of online
Like with all tuition both in person and online, thorough lesson preparation is vital for a positive student experience and effective teaching. When it comes to online lessons, students require support to ensure they are ready. Their device must be charged and software should be up to date. Photographs or scans of homework must be received by the tutor in good time before a lesson so that the link between tuition and homework is consistent and accountable. Punctuality is of course paramount and is expected by both tutor and student.
If you have been deliberating whether online lessons may be right for your child, we urge you to give it a try. We are sure you will discover that amongst other things, the pandemic has collectively impacted and challenged the world of education, providing evidence that online tuition really works and is a powerful tool in our education toolbox.