The Coolness of Online Tutoring

The Coolness of Online Tutoring

Just a few years ago I suggested that maybe we could find some online tutoring services for a child I had evaluated.  The poor little guy lived in the middle of nowhere…The term “Orton Gillingham” could have been an obscure skin condition for all anybody around him knew.   Nonetheless, judging by the response from others working on the case, you’d think I was a complete idiot.

Well, that’s changed.  As with so many other areas of life touched by technology, the ways in which we care for our kids has changed forever.  

Arranging for post-evaluation remediation has been one of the most painful, frustrating issues for the families of my students throughout my career.  As clinicians, we worked so hard to write a report that made sense, stripped away all the confusing jargon, and told a story about who this child is as a person…Most importantly we strived to write recommendations that were clear, concrete…doable. And yet time and time again the community just didn’t have the resources we needed to follow up.

Sometimes it was because the teachers had not been properly trained and supported.  Sometimes it was because there just were no learning specialists in the area.  Sometimes the really good tutors weren’t able to take on anymore clients.  Far too often it was all three of those things.

That’s why I’m so excited that the tide is turning.  Every day, more and more properly trained tutors/learning specialists have adopted online tools that allows them to provide high quality, multisensory support to our kids through the Internet.  

It’s not that there is any perfect substitute for being in the room.   But when there is no “room” think of the millions of kids with learning issues that can now be properly cared for over the Internet.

We need to get the word out. Many highly regarded folks are compiling lists of tutors who are offering their services online… Kelli Sandman-Hurley, Susan Barton, The Kildonan School and many others.  

Still, there are many issues that need to be addressed when a parent is seeking an online tutor/learning specialist.

My colleague, Dr. Erica Warren and I would like to help .  Next week we’re going to launch an online course that very specifically provides parents with the map you need to successfully match your child with the right online tutor.

We’re going to cover all kinds of topics including:

  • The types of key professionals that support students through online platforms
  • How to deal with safety, connectivity and cost
  • How to find the RIGHT person to work with your child
  • 14 best questions to ask when you interview prospective online candidates
  • What online instruction and remediation sessions should look like–including a video demonstration with Dr. Warren

The last part is especially cool because Dr. Warren is an expert at online educational support (well beyond just reading) so you get a real example of what it looks like.

I’ll post again next week when we’re ready to make the course available.  Stay tuned.  

 

For the kids,

Michael