Evotuition and other Online Tutoring Agencies
There are a number of portals and websites advertising online tutoring including, for example, Evotuition. The big advantage is that they enable tutors and students to match up regardless of where they live and with a high level of security for both sides. You can send each other documents within their system and either of you can share your screen with the other. The trouble is that they do not offer the flexibility available by using Skype and Google Docs. This combination is the best at the moment, it seems, because the tutor and student can work on the same document and every keystroke of one is immediately visible to the other. In this way mistakes can be corrected AS THEY OCCUR. This is the best kind of learning. If you know better, let me know.
With Skype, either side can share their screen at the same time as talking and in my experience it uses less bandwidth than Evotuition. If they want to, they can see each other but in my experience that becomes redundant after a few sessions. This means that web pages can be shared instantly. Also a tutor can watch a student as they work, observing each stroke of the pen. For subjects that need drawing more than writing, a £60 writing tablet is a help. If a student shares their essay or written task on Google Documents with the tutor, they can both work on it at the same time, each seeing just what the other one is writing, sharing ideas.
So it is time that the commercial portals and websites that act as agents for a large number of tutors and have large budgets to advertise themselves spent some of their profits in developing better software that is at least as good as Skype and Google. Come on! To be fair, I know that Evotuition are working on the software but they need to get a move on. As a tutor, I really like their payment system and other features. Also students and their parents can feel secure because there is an element of monitoring of the lessons by Evo. They are recorded and sometimes observed, I believe. A good child protection measure. The other big advantage from the tutor’s viewpoint of Evo and other portals is that many of them charge upfront and the payment is transferred to the tutor without the need of sending out invoices or relying on the memory of parents.