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Online Tutoring  

Who should/shouldn’t use an online tutor?

Online tutoring is not appropriate for every student or every subject. In many cases it can be a wonderful supplement or substitute for face-to-face tutoring, but I do not want to sell it as a solution in every case. 

A student who is not able to communicate on a computer should not try online tutoring. There is a basic knowledge of computers which is necessary. The student must be able to turn on, log on, send e-mail, use a chat, or be able to be talked through the process. 

Students who cannot read or write would not be able to do this. Grade school students are generally not appropriate for online tutoring. If they are good at typing and reading then online tutoring may be appropriate, but in general younger students respond better to face-to-face tutoring.

At the moment we do not have tutors who speak every language. In most cases a student must be able to speak and write English for online tutoring to be successful. 

The student must have access to a computer and the internet. If the student is not able to get to the tutoring session (online), then this is not a good method of tutoring. 

Some subjects such as art, performance, speech, spoken language, instruments, and sports are generally not good candidates for online tutoring. These problems can be overcome by using additional technologies such as FAX, microphones, speakers, web cams, video, or digital cameras. It is important for students to discuss with the tutor the technology that they would like to use in their session if it goes beyond the baseline of e-mail and IM. 

Other subjects such as English, writing, chemistry, physics, any social science, math – which is not figure intensive, and science are very good candidates for online tutoring. A student must keep in mind that while many subjects work well for online tutoring a certain amount of flexibility on their part may be necessary. For example, in math you may not have all symbols or the ability to write pretty fractions in IM or email. However, these problems can be overcome easily.

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