5 Platforms For Offering Online Tutoring
With tutoring services increasingly being offered online, it’s important that your business has an effective and simple delivery method for online lessons. With so many online platforms available for offering online tutoring it can be difficult to choose the best one for your business. In this article we’re going to discuss 5 platforms for offering online tutoring. We’ll highlight the main features and advantages of each one, as well as any potential limitations that should be considered.
The five platforms we’re going to discuss for online tutoring are:
Each platform has it’s own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to evaluate how each one will fit your business’ needs.
Lessonspace is designed specifically for offering online tutoring, and is one of the more versatile collaborative platforms for tutoring students online. Lessonspace offers video, audio, chat, and screen sharing. In addition, you can easily share a whiteboard with students, as well as import and annotate documents.
Lessonspace uses the concept of “Spaces” for it’s online lessons, so students and tutors are assigned a unique space for their lessons that they return to the next time they meet.
Teachworks has a direct integration with Lessonspace that provides a simple solution for tutors and students to connect to their Online Lesson Space using their Teachworks Calendar or Lesson Reminder Emails. If you’re interested in using Lessonspace in your Teachworks account, you can find more information about the integration here: Lessonspace Integration.
Skype is a free-to-use communications platform that offers video, audio, and chat communications. All you need to connect with students using Skype is the Skype application, a Skype ID, and the student’s Skype ID.
Skype allows you to share your screen, so you can show students the information on your laptop or mobile device’s screen while teaching them about it in real time. Using Skype’s chat feature, you can also easily share files and photographs, which are saved in the “Gallery” section of your conversation for future reference.
Skype does lack a whiteboard function that most virtual classroom platforms support, but if your services don’t require a whiteboard, Skype may be a great (and free) option.
If you plan to use Skype for Online Lessons, you may want to keep student and customer Skype IDs available on their Teachworks profile using the Custom Profile Fields Add-On. If you’ve created custom registration forms as well, you can ask clients for their Skype ID when they register with your tutoring business.
Scribblar is another option designed specifically for offering online tutoring services. Scribblar supports chat, audio, and virtual whiteboards. Scribblar’s online whiteboard offers a wide range of features that include uploading files, taking snapshots of the whiteboard for download, and exporting the whiteboard to PDF. Everything added to a whiteboard is saved automatically, but it can easily be reset each time a lesson is completed if a new student has a lesson in the room.
Scribblar’s basic plan offers 5 rooms, and up to 5 users per room at a time. The rooms are permanent (meaning they save information if you go back to them at a later date) and can be password protected to prevent users from joining the room when it isn’t their time for a lesson.
A few potential limitations of Scribblar: if you set room passwords for each student, the room password will need to be changed manually between lessons (unless you subscribe to the “Pro” Plan and have unlimited rooms). Scribblar also lacks video (i.e. webcam) communication, and will need to be paired with other programs if students/tutors are are going to have video communication.
Zoom offers online meeting software that combines video conferencing, online meetings, and chat. Zoom supports both one-on-one and group meeting rooms.
In addition, Zoom supports one-click content sharing, real-time co-annotation of documents, and a digital whiteboard that can be used by all users. Sessions can also be recorded and transcribed so students and tutors can revisit the information that was covered at a later time.
Zoom is generally geared towards larger and enterprise companies, but does have some pricing plans (including a limited free option) that can be used by smaller companies. Zoom’s platform is highly intuitive and easy-to-use, so it’s only real drawback for some companies might be it’s price.
Teachworks can simplify connecting students and tutors in Zoom meeting spaces using the Location Links Add-On to provide links to Zoom meeting rooms on the Teachworks Calendar and Lesson Reminder Emails. This article has more information about setting up Online Lessons With Teachworks.
BitPaper is a free online whiteboard platform that also supports video, audio, and chat communication. BitPaper also supports all of the same basic functions of other whiteboard teaching tools: file sharing, screen sharing, importing documents and images, and exporting the paper to PDF.
You can easily save each “Paper” you create in BitPaper. When the Paper is saved, it’s URL becomes permanent, so any user that has access to it can return to the Paper at a later time. This function is perfect for scheduling repeating online lessons between the same student(s) and tutor. Since the Paper URL is permanent, it can be copy and pasted directly into the “Lesson Description” of the student’s lesson for easy access. You can even add “Pages” to a Paper, so each lesson can have it’s own fresh start with a blank whiteboard.
Teachworks Can Simplify Offering Online Tutoring
If you plan to offer online tutoring using one of the platforms mentioned above, Teachworks can simplify the process of connecting students and teachers to their online learning spaces. With Teachworks, you can send automatic lesson reminders to students, families, and teachers that include links to their online learning space, so they never miss another lesson due to a misplaced URL.
If you want to test out Teachworks’ scheduling software in partnership with one of the platforms mentioned above, click the button below to get started on your free trial.