Students and teachers across the world are adapting to online education. The following guidelines are helpful not just for tutoring but for any online learning experience.
Put your phone away
While many smartphones are capable of video conferencing, they are not ideal for tutoring sessions that include both video and an online whiteboard. Additionally, they can receive distracting calls or texts during the meeting. We recommend using a computer or a tablet for online tutoring. However, we will work with students to create an ideal online learning environment, whatever their technical specifications.
Use headphones with a microphone
While your computer has speakers and microphone, headphones work better for video conferencing. With headphones, you will be able to hear your tutor more clearly and with better focus. Additionally, the microphones built into many computers and tablets pick up all of the sound in a room. Using headphones with a microphone will ensure that your tutor will be able to hear you more clearly as well.
Video conferencing can quickly run down batteries. Be sure to plug in your device, or at least ensure that it is fully charged, before your tutoring sessions begin. Also note that some WiFi routers do not offer the bandwidth necessary for video conferencing and online whiteboards. If your internet connection is spotty, you might try connecting directly with an ethernet cable.
Turn off notifications and alerts
We understand that it can be tough to disconnect, even for a couple hours, but receiving notifications during an online tutoring session is distracting. In order to get the most out of your time with your tutor, turn off notifications on the device that you are using for video conferencing before you start your tutoring session.
- Apple users can turn on Do Not Disturb
- Android users can also turn on Do Not Disturb
- Microsoft Windows users can manage notifications by editing Quiet Hours in settings
You should also close all browser tabs and windows except for those containing the tools used for online tutoring (e.g., video conferencing, whiteboard, online materials).
Find and prepare a workspace
Students should have a quiet, well-lit, and ideally private space in which to tutor. High-traffic family rooms such as the kitchen can be distracting—it’s hard to concentrate on an online session when other conversations and activities are taking place around you. Make time before your tutoring begins to set up an ideal space for focused, productive learning, and make sure that everyone in your household knows not to disrupt you during your tutoring sessions.