Hello, Cyberspace! Welcome to the Future of Learning!
The word ‘tutor’ probably conjures images of a kindly figure, glasses perched precariously on their nose, explaining the complexities of the Pythagorean theorem or the nuances of Shakespearean verse. Fast forward to the 21st century, and our friendly tutor is now aided by an even friendlier, and certainly more omnipresent, companion – technology.
So, let’s dive into this pixelated pool of information and explore how technology, in particular, tutor management software like the wunderkind that is TutorCruncher, is revolutionising the world of online tutoring.
Rebooting the Tutoring Landscape
Prior to online tutoring, extra learning was really a matter of geography, where you lived and the availability of tutors in your area. Now, with online tutoring, the world truly has become a classroom. The tech behind this fascinating development? Virtual communication tools, interactive platforms, and comprehensive tutor management systems.^[1^]
These technologies have flung open the doors to a plethora of learning opportunities. Can’t find a local tutor who’s proficient in Swahili? Not a problem in the online tutoring world!
The Tech Behind The Tutor
It is important to understand how this revolution has come about. It is perhaps obvious to remind ourselves that the global pandemic of 2020/2021 made online tutoring something that everyone embraced through necessity.
It has remained part of the educational mix ever since and shows no signs of stopping as the desire for better learning outcomes consistently grows. Students, Parents and Educators alike are now using online tutoring as part of their learning journey.
In part the adoption of online tutoring is fueled by the idea that e-learning environments can improve the outcomes for learners.(1) Whether it is mainstream education or private tutoring arrangement, none of it would be possible without the technology behind the tutor.
Whilst early adopters might have used video conferencing software like Skype with a physical whiteboard, they soon were treated to improved technology such as online whiteboards.
Fast forward to today and individual tutors, schools and tutoring businesses now have access to powerful tutor management software that not only improves teaching but helps them manage the business aspects of online tutoring.
Tutor Management Software
Now, let’s talk about the cornerstone of modern online tutoring – tutor management software. It’s like a Swiss Army Knife for tutors, packing in everything from scheduling and billing to analytics and communication.^[2^]. Some of the benefits of a fully featured tutor management software for both tutors and learners are outlined below.
1. Scheduling and Booking: No More Calendar Chaos
Remember the ‘good old days’ when tutors and students would scramble to find a common slot in their chaotic schedules? Those days are gone, thanks to scheduling and booking features. Tutors set their availability, and students can book lessons at their convenience. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy!
Most Systems will have extensive filtering and external integrations to popular calendar systems so you don’t have to be logged in to the system to manage and view your schedule.
2. Intelligent Tutor – Student Matching.
For both learners and teachers the right tutor is essential. A tutor management system can help with matching educators with learners allowing filtering by skills, subject or location for instance.
3. Lesson Planning, Recording & Feedback.
Managing lessons is simplified by being able to schedule repeating lessons, future follow ups and having reminders sent to ensure everyone turns up on time to maximise everyone’s time.
Some of the better systems will include lesson feedback reporting, that allows instant notes for learners to understand their progress and for tutors to plan the best way to maximise pupil’s learning outcomes.
4. Easy Booking.
Booking lessons can be an administrative nightmare! Publicly bookable lessons removes some of this burden. In addition, a quality system will handle cancellations smartly based on your settings. This means that cancellations that are still chargeable are handled with ease.
5. Invoicing and Payment: Keeping the Cash Flowing.
Goodbye Paperwork – Hello Payday!
Financials are taken care of on the fly. No need for timesheets, the software will keep track of who owes how much and for what with details of every lesson. You can create automated invoices so your billing runs hands free.
If you are a tutoring business with multiple tutors the software can track who worked when and what they are owed, the better platforms will also automate payment to them for you. Accounting is simplified because everything is tracked and sales tax and other costs are applied within the system ready for export.
6. Communication Tools: Making the Connection
Let’s not forget the importance of communication. Using a top level tutor management software means communications between tutors, students and administrators has never been easier.
Having a comprehensive management dashboard with unique logins and communications history provides a safe accountable and trackable method of communication. The better systems allow you to send emails or SMS, all from within the platform.
7. Comprehensive Teaching Tools.
Providing high quality professional tutoring services that provide success for learners requires far more than an online whiteboard. While it is the basis of most tutoring systems they are not all created equally.
By opting for a fully integrated technology stack you combine video calling, screen sharing and whiteboard facilities into one collaborative workspace.
The Result: An Enhanced Learning Experience
The impact of this technology on the online tutoring landscape is seismic. It has streamlined operations, enabled personalization, fostered engagement, and above all, enhanced the learning experience. There is mounting evidence of the benefits of online tutoring in relation to better results for learner – “on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction” (2)
After all, who wouldn’t want to learn when you’ve got a system that’s more organised than a librarian and more reliable than your favourite pizza delivery service?
So, hats off to the technology behind the tutor, the unsung hero of online tutoring. It has transformed a vocation once bound by geographical constraints and administrative nightmares into a service that’s helping learners across the globe.
As for our friend, the tutor, they are no longer just a teacher. They are now tech-savvy educators, navigating the digital landscape with ease, thanks to tutor management technology.
So, here’s to the tech behind the tutor, making education more accessible, efficient, and engaging. Long live the digital revolution!