The aftermath of the pandemic has left a significant footprint of change in respect of how people are now going on in society in comparison with previously, both at home and at work. If the impact of the virus is being felt in wider society, it has also had a significant impact as to the awareness of the value of online tuition, and the real benefits to be derived from it, for both children and parents. The technological advances in the area of communication can only grow and with that growth must follow greater expansion into the use of online tuition as a means of delivering education. The question is whether or not that is a welcome innovation.
Online Tuition – The element of choice
I have noted in previous articles the importance of choice both for pupils, being empowered to be able to select options in later phases of their education, but also for parents in being able to select both subjects and tutors to assist their child. Choice is a powerful consumer motivator, and in the area of education, just as with any other product line, parents will inevitably prefer to select the tutoring package most suited to them. I envisage a future where it will be possible for parents to select, not just Maths tuition for a child in a certain year group, but a further option to select specific areas of learning, such as “Year 5 Fractions” and for parents to be able to enrol their child into an online small group, for a short period, to help support their understanding in that particular area. These short group orientated courses, focussing on a particular area, are a further way of making more focussed tuition accessible, not just to a wider spectrum of primary parent, but also to schools, seeking through the National Tutoring Programme, to deliver those “blocks” of learning to more vulnerable, or underachieving children in their care.
Online Tuition – A more controlled learning environment
Children who feel intimidated to respond to learning stimuli in class, or are simply too shy to answer questions, feel more secure in small groups. This is doubly true in the online learning environment, where the tutor can mute, if necessary, unhelpful or disruptive contributions. Parents are also largely responsible for providing a quiet venue where their child can take their online tutoring session – an option that may not be available to the child during the course of a school day.
Online Tuition – A contribution to a different education programme
Some articles on TES (The Times Educational Supplement) have been calling for a different approach to education in the wake of what we have learned subsequent to lockdown, and not to just be content to simply return to how things were done before. Questions have undoubtedly arisen for parents, subsequent to having to engage in home learning with their children, and being made aware of possible academic shortcomings, as to whether a wholly class based system really works and whether or not more options in delivering education are now appropriate. It has been interesting for me to note today one parent musing as to whether their previously, undisputed, timetable of fun extra-curricular activities, was now wholly appropriate for their child, or whether this round of activities should now include a more academic element. Even more interesting was the consideration of the fact that, if this round of activities precluded a much needed tutoring session, was their child doing too much!
If parents have become more aware of a much needed variety in the means by which the education of their child is delivered, this is also true of the government. The unveiling of the National Tutoring Programme as a way of providing schools with more options on delivery is not only welcome, it is also an admission that tutoring is both needed and that it works!
Online Tuition – Moving Forward
I mentioned last week of our commitment at “Learn as you teach” to provide opportunities for more focussed group tuition and indeed above, to looking at areas, which from our experience, tend to provide the basis of requests for tuition. To this end we are now advertising focussed small group courses over the summer, for key year groups in Key Stage 2 with a view to facilitating the transition of children into the next year group. The focus of our Math’s groups for children moving into years 3, 4, and 5, for this summer, will be place value, and improving both a written, and mental fluency, appropriate to the year group, in number. We will also be offering a beginner’s introduction to French, for any age between 7 and 11.