Tutoring and helping our students achieve has always had a focus in education. When I was in school, the main focus was on "peer" tutoring or on the dedicated teachers who would stay after school to help you. When I first started getting into teaching, organizations like Sylvan Learning Center were starting to gain a lot of steam to help students "catch up."
We also live in the age of the "super-involved" student, who may not be able to tutor on a regular school schedule. Due to the needs of our students and society, tutoring has evolved and is continuing to evolve. The emergence of technology has improved the opportunities we are giving our students, but in many ways we are still trying to figure it out.
Opportunities exist everywhere! From cell phones to iPads to laptops, our students can now "view on demand" lessons to receive that extra help. It's what has made Khan Academy, such a valuable resource in the educational community today. How do we make it work in our situation?
I recently got an email making me aware of an article about the 25 Tools that Will Take Tutoring to the Next Level (thanks Larry!). In the digital age that we live in, it's very important to think about reaching students in different ways. Have you ever thought about using Skype, Google+, or Face Time as a tutoring tool? This free technology is now making it possible.
Have you ever heard of IDroo, a free online whiteboard, where you can diagram and share information over the Internet? Have you ever thought of providing your students with an online social learning community called EduFire, where students can chat with tutors, study flashcards, and watch educational videos about different topics? Are you a foreign language teacher and in need of a valuable teaching resource? Perhaps you may want your students to use Interlangua, where they can learn and interact with your language in different ways?
Learning in the 21st century is continuing to evolve, but the goal is still the same...helping students learn! How we help our students may vary according to their needs, ability, and background. By providing different opportunities to represent, interact with, and engage in material, we are giving our students valuable opportunities to succeed.