by TutorUp | Dec 1, 2022 | Online Tutoring
Student Achievement Suffered Due to Remote Learning
In an article published this week by Education Week, reporter Mark Lieberman discusses the continued debate over the harms of extended remote learning. He cites a report published on November 28 from the American Enterprise Institute that “found that districts that stuck with full-time remote learning for longer in the first year of the pandemic saw larger declines in enrollment in subsequent school years” and that these findings showed clear signs that remote learning was among the factors that “diminished academic achievement for millions of students in the last couple of years.”
What Do They Mean by “Remote Learning?”
A definition is in order here, to make sure we all understand what they are talking about. Remote learning was the quickly constructed “solution” to schools that were closed to in-person learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns. Initially it was thought this would be a short-term solution, but school districts, parents, teachers, politicians, and others were reluctant to send students back to school while there was an increase in infections and uncertainty about how it would affect students in the school environment. So “online school” lasted much longer than first anticipated. Starting in the final months of the 2020-2021 school year, many schools kept students at home for many more months, or even the entire school year of 2021-2022. Other schools implemented a hybrid approach, where students attended 2 or 3 days in person, with the remaining days remote.
Remote learning was not a universally built and deployed replacement for in-person school, and some things quickly became clear. Not all students had the technology or the internet access needed to participate. Even those who did had to share that computer and internet access with siblings and parents who were suddenly working from home. At a particular disadvantage were students in lower-income areas. This was a huge contributor to student dropout rates and low attendance, as recent research showed.
Teachers were also inexperienced with the new format and struggled to translate classroom activities to online gatherings. As teachers dropped out, the ones who were left found themselves with even greater responsibilities and challenges. In most cases, there was little to no training or preparation for this new reality, and teachers struggled to do their best.
If Remote Learning is Bad, What About Online Tutoring?
There can’t be many people who aren’t aware of how much time we all spend staring at screens. “Globally, people average 6 hours 58 minutes of screen time per day. The average American spends 7 hours and 4 minutes looking at (an internet-connected) screen each day,” according to Digital Information World. Gen Z spends around 9 hours per day looking at a screen. For the average US teen, this breaks down to:
- Watching TV/Videos – 3 hours 16 mins
- Gaming – 1 hour 46 mins
- Social Media – 1 hour 27 mins
- Browsing Websites – 51 mins
- Other – 29 mins
- Video Chatting – 20 mins
- E-reading – 15 mins
- Content Creation – 14 mins
Additionally, 88 percent of parents report that their children between 0 and 11 years old are watching TV, 67 percent are using tablets, 60 percent are using smartphones, 44 percent are using a desktop/laptop, and 44 percent are gaming.
In light of this, what are the reasons to consider online tutoring for your child?
Unlike remote learning, where there is one teacher for dozens of students, lecturing, assigning homework, and trying to keep students engaged, online tutoring is one tutor with one student, no distractions.
Content is Highly Personalized
The tutor is able to assess the student’s needs and tailor the subject, teaching method, and support to match that student’s needs.
Short, Variable-Length Sessions
Unlike remote learning, which required hours of sitting in front of a computer screen, online tutoring sessions are short and the time length is flexible, based on student age and attention-span and the difficulty of the subject matter.
Tutors and parents decide on a mutually convenient schedule. Families have a lot of activities going on, and the online format means you don’t have to drive somewhere. You choose the day/time that works best for your schedule, in the convenience of your own home.
Parents Have Total Visibility to Their Child’s Learning
Since sessions are online, parents can watch live or even record their child’s sessions, ensuring that they have complete visibility to what goes on in the tutoring session.
Parents Choose Their Child’s Tutor
In school, it’s the luck of the draw when it comes to which teachers your child spends the day with. With online tutoring, you review the available tutors and choose the one you think is the best match for your child. And you can always switch tutors if you find it’s not the best match after all.
How TutorUp Can Help
At TutorUp, all of our tutors are certified, classroom-experienced teachers. This means that they are not just subject matter experts in whichever subject your child needs help with. They are also trained educators who can assess a student’s needs and adapt their teaching approach to best help each student. They know how to evaluate the effectiveness of their tutoring and provide meaningful feedback to parents.
Contact us today so we can help your child succeed.
by TutorUp | Dec 21, 2020 | Online Tutoring, Parents and Family Life
There are basically four main learning styles for children (and adults): Visual, Auditory, Tactile, and Kinesthetic. Most children fall into a combination of styles, but you can usually identify one style that seems to be the most successful.
Four Basic Learning Styles
- Visual Learners learn through seeing. Showing works better than explaining.
- Auditory Learners learn through listening. Explaining and discussing things is the best way to reach them.
- Tactile Learners learn through touch. Being able to use their hands, reading, writing, and even doodling or drawing, helps them learn.
- Kinesthetic Learners need to move and do. The kinesthetic learner may have trouble sitting still and needs to be able to be active in order to stay engaged.
No surprise that experts don’t all agree, and many of them break down these four basic learning styles into more specific niches. The important thing is to be able to recognize what works for your child, and use that knowledge to help them succeed.
Practical Application in the Classroom
Now imagine that you have a classroom of twenty students, and they all have slightly different learning styles that work for them. And they are all at different levels of comprehension and mastery of a specific subject or concept. It is clearly a huge challenge to try to meet those individual needs and ensure that everyone in the class is “getting it”.
If you are the parent of a student who may be struggling to keep up, or just needs a little extra one-on-one attention to achieve mastery of a subject, private tutoring is an effective option. Even the most accomplished students benefit from having the teacher’s undivided attention to ask questions and get answers.
Pandemic Learning Loss
This is even more true over the past year where we have seen students who normally don’t have a problem in school who are now falling behind. It may be directly related to the switch to online learning, part-time school, and the inherent inadequacies of these models, or it may also be related to the social isolation, uncertainty, and anxiety they feel.
Whatever the cause, studies are showing impressive gains for students who are trying to combat COVID learning loss by receiving online tutoring. Scientific American has published data from an analysis of 96 different tutoring models, and found that “80 percent of the studies led to markedly improved outcomes, with more than half of the studies reporting large gains as a result of these programs. In education research, such consensus is a rarity, and the consistency and magnitude of the results are both remarkable and encouraging.”
An Italian study has shown that middle school students who received three hours of online tutoring a week saw a 4.7 percent boost in performance in math, English and Italian. With six hours of tutoring support, improvement doubled. They have seen similar results in online tutoring programs in the United States and the results of these different tutoring programs “suggest that tutoring is a key tool in keeping students engaged and combatting the growing COVID-19 learning loss.”
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Trained educators are able to assess a student’s performance and learning style and can adapt lessons to suit. Tutors who are subject matter experts but are not trained teachers may know their subject cold, but it doesn’t mean they are equipped to teach a struggling student.
At TutorUp, all of our tutors are certified, background-checked, experienced teachers, and we match your student’s specific needs with the perfect tutor from our database of over 3,000 professionals. We facilitate the matchup, you schedule sessions at your convenience, and the teacher/tutor provides session recaps for every tutoring session.
We have three different solutions for families looking for personalized online tutoring
To see if our online tutoring is the right fit for your student, we offer the opportunity to purchase one hour at a time, or you can take advantage of our introductory offer for new students, where you can purchase 3 hours of tutoring and get a 4th hour for free.
For students who would benefit from more than a couple of tutoring sessions, we offer package pricing at a discount from the individual session price. You can purchase 8, 16, or 24 hours and they never expire, so you can use them as needed.
Our very best value is our subscription model, where you sign up for 4, 8, 16, or 24 hours of tutoring per month, on a recurring basis. Unused hours roll over to the next month, and you may cancel anytime.
To find out more, Get Started here.
by TutorUp | Nov 2, 2020 | Parents and Family Life
Every student in the United States has experienced some form of disruption in their education so far in 2020. Remote or online learning has ranged from basically checking in online to get current class assignments to sitting in front of a computer for hours a day in a virtual classroom with all of your classmates. Each school district has taken different approaches, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the end result has been somewhat chaotic. Teachers, students, and parents have all had struggles, and while they may not all agree on the total impact the lockdown has had, its clear that education has suffered.
The Washington Post recently reported that “Remote learning has been a struggle for teachers and is expected to set back the learning gains of a generation of students. It has been particularly hard on children of color, kids from families who are financially insecure, and those without access to computers and technology at home.”
For example, in Little Rock, Arkansas, the school district found that schools with higher percentages of English language learners (ELL) had lower login rates to the online portal the district was using. To try to remedy that, the district identified which students needed internet access or digital devices, and were able to improve the situation for those students.
Many school districts have returned to full-time in-person learning, however even in those school districts, a number of parents have opted to keep their children home because of concerns over the Coronavirus, and some districts started the school year in person but have already switched back to remote learning.
Finally, there are many school districts who are doing a combination of remote learning and in-person classes, and some have started the school year remotely, with plans to transition to in-person classes over time.
The Balance Between Remote Learning and In-Person Learning
In their recent spotlight on Online Learning, Education Week takes a close look at balancing in-person and remote instruction. They recommend essentials for remote learning that have proven to be helpful, including the suggestion that teachers should try to spend some one-on-one time with each student during the week. Also, breaking up lessons into smaller chunks is helpful not only for comprehension, but many students are using mobile devices rather than a laptop or desktop computer, so smaller is better.
Slowing Things Down
Teachers will find the right pace for their particular students, but taking things slow is important in order to make sure everyone is comprehending and keeping up. Teachers are also finding that many students need the flexibility to do their classwork on nights and weekends. In the Madrid-Waddington school district in New York, they found that 30 percent of students completed much of their work outside of traditional school hours.
In situations where students are attending school in person, they most likely ended the last school year at a deficit, and are spending a good part of this fall semester just trying to get caught up with where they should be. And there is always the chance that schools will decide to return to remote learning if a COVID-19 resurgence crops up in their area. Because of this, many teachers are trying to take advantage of real classroom time to focus on curriculum elements that are difficult to teach remotely.
Not surprisingly, the students with better online access and whose parents can coach them at home are coping better with remote learning. Realistically, even in districts where reliable online access is great and students have appropriate digital devices, parents have jobs and usually have more than one school-age child, and the roles of teacher and tech support are not something they can easily assume. So parents are increasingly looking for help in managing their children’s educational activities.
How Tutoring Helps
Before COVID, the vast majority of students who participated in some form of tutoring were attending school in person. What they needed was some additional support in order to master a subject they may have been struggling with. There were many models of tutoring available: specialized classes with multiple students at a brick-and-mortar location; one-on-one tutoring in person at such a location; one-on-one tutoring in the student’s home or the tutor’s home; in-person tutoring at a library or other public facility; online group classes a student could sign up for; online study guides and practice tests; and online individual tutoring sessions.
Since COVID, much more emphasis has been placed on the various online tutoring methods due to the concern over meeting in person, even with social distancing, masks, and sanitizing. However, combined with virtual school, online tutoring may seem like more of the same, resulting in burnout. Younger students have much more of a struggle keeping up with remote learning than older students, but it’s certainly not ideal.
That’s when the distinction between online classes and online one-on-one tutoring is so important. When you can have a tutoring session one-on-one where the tutor is an experienced educator and not just a subject matter expert, and they focus their entire attention on one student and that student’s individual, unique needs, the fact that it takes place over a video screen is very minor. Parents are looking for high quality online tutoring to help them out as well as helping out their children academically.
What online school is missing is the ability to really reach students individually and ensure that they are “getting it” and can keep up. Many students are distracted or don’t even bother to log in. They just try to complete their assignments on their own and get them turned in. And teachers have the incredibly difficult task of trying to engage groups of such disconnected students and meet curriculum goals.
It May Seem Counterintuitive
Parents who are finding that their students are struggling with remote learning may not immediately see how more time online can possibly help. But once they see that online tutoring sessions can be exactly like in-person tutoring sessions, and they see how their child is engaged and improving academically, they embrace it as an important tool in helping their child succeed.
For more information on how our certified teacher/tutors can help your child, one-on-one, check us out!
by TutorUp | May 8, 2020 | Online Tutoring
The entire world is learning a new way of interacting as we practice “social distancing” along with a newfound enthusiasm for frequent handwashing. We are all hopeful that in-person get-togethers will soon return, but in the meantime, as much interaction as possible is moving online.
In keeping with that, TutorUp has just launched online tutoring services so that our students can continue learning while staying home, and our teachers can work from home, observing best health safety recommendations. Our online platform includes video, audio, a shared whiteboard, messaging, and document sharing.
We are proud of the services we provide that set TutorUp apart from other tutoring service companies, including our foundational service which is in-person, one-on-one tutoring provided by local certified teachers. During the coronavirus outbreak, we have made online tutoring available as an alternative to allow your students to stay SAFE as they continue their learning.
Our Tutors are all Certified Teachers
Our new online tutoring provides the exact same quality service our parents and students expect. All of our tutors are experienced, background-checked teachers, and they are still able to work with students in private, one-on-one tutoring sessions. Moving online has given us the ability to serve a much larger audience, and we are finding that many parents welcome the help as they struggle to keep their children from losing ground academically while home in isolation.
Schools are doing their best to continue to keep students engaged, but the reality is that most are just not equipped to deliver their normal curriculum in an online format. Many students still find that they need some one-on-one instruction, and parents are concerned about how difficult things might be in the fall when school resumes.
Online tutoring is convenient and flexible, and doesn’t require our teachers to travel, so we are passing on that savings to our parents and students. Contact TutorUp today to find out about online tutoring and how to get your student signed up for safe, high-quality, affordable tutoring sessions with one of our experienced teacher/tutors.