Having had plenty of time to reflect on the pros and, erm, pros of online tuition, I can’t help but wonder what is going to be next. Where is the technology heading? Technology has finally caught up with the demands of online tuition and crafty use of this said technology enables students across the globe to access quality one on one education wherever they are.
So, how good actually is it at the moment? Well, nearly every messaging app has the ability to make a good standard of video call, so this takes care of the communication aspect of tutoring. Even if students and teachers decide to use desktop apps – the apps we have on our phone are more than good enough to be used as a backup or indeed, as an alternative way of connecting student and teacher. Internet speeds are adequate enough that the awkward nature of video calls are a thing of the past, and in most cases it is just like being there in person – essential if you think you are a bit of a comic, and timing is everything 😉 One of the key aspects of this game is empathy – being able to see a student is everything, and the tech is deffo up to the task
The logistical side of tutoring is also enjoying a renaissance at the moment too. As a maths tutor, whiteboards are essential, and my axe of choice is Bitpaper. Both me and the student can collaborate in realtime, whilst at the same time communicate via the video calls mentioned above.
Now one of the key benefits of being online is that we have all the digital resources of the internet at our disposal. There are a myriad of collaborative websites out there (feel free to mention ones I may never have seen) and these are only a few taps away.
Not only do we have websites, we also have access to cloud services such as Google Classroom and Dropbox etc that we can access from any of our devices. Perfect if you quickly want to share a file, or video, or presentation, or code to your tutee 3600 miles away. Perhaps one service that you may not be aware of is Autodesks Fusion 360. This is a cloud based CAD program that also has a connected smartphone app. I can create a CAD file and associated engineering drawing, and then my tutee can open and view it via their smartphone. We can then discuss and answer questions on the whiteboard that we have in front of us. The app is free, and this is perfect if they can’t access the full desktop version. Embrace the cloud people!
So where are we heading? My interest was piqued when I stumbled across the header image in this post. Now from the image you can see it’s an application of Virtual Reality. Now imagine if that was an online tutoring session. Both student and tutor could be discussing the forces acting on a prosthetic, say, or ‘actually’ visiting the volcanoes in Iceland, but being, say, 1000 miles apart from each other. The Maker community has always been strong, and I can also imagine internet connected robots and other devices that can be manipulated and explored with each other, in realtime.
Now this is just the tip of the iceberg, and these are just a few glimmering thoughts about what the future of Online Tuition might bring. The future is exciting, and people way cleverer than me will be enabling online tutors like me, and others, to help people in ways that have never been done, or even ever imagined before. Welcome to the future.
5 thoughts on “Welcome to the Future”
Spot on! The advent of faster broadband, wireless, tablets and cross platform video calling apps on Whatsapp, Facebook etc. make this is a no brainer. Not just for online tuition but as a way of communicating and connecting with friends and family. My family was using video calling back in the early 2000s as my parents lived in Romania/India/Hungary and we had to stay in touch. My mum does not use computers but she will call relatives in India on Whatsapp video calls with one click from her phone while she is in London. What a beautiful experience to be able to see your family in real time thousands of miles away. For tutoring video calling + whiteboard is a no brainer. VR and 3D type tutoring instead of 2D video calls/whiteboard is already in the works and I too am excited about it!
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Thanks for your kind words Atul – 3D and VR Tutoring is the way forward I think – I can’t wait to teach engineering concepts with materials actually around us – virtually – but still around us! I think even the HS2 college has embraced VR to train the new generation of High Speed Rail Drivers.
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It is now 2020. Is this the future we envisaged all that time ago? Maybe, but not quite. We certainly didn’t predict the context around this shift!
Great post! I love how clearly you explain the advantages of online tutoring and the amazing technology that can be added to lessons. I haven’t heard of Fusion 360, but it sounds great. I’ll have to check it out. I have heard a little bit about virtual reality and online tutoring. I think you’re right about this, and you’ve made me so excited about what would come next!
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Oh wow – thanks for the kind words. Yeah – Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality really do have the potential to be a game changer in this space. Especially for the Engineering side of my tutoring that I do. The possibilities are endless!