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What technology do you use in tutoring lessons? Or for helping you tutor?

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by GordonNome, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. GordonNome

    GordonNome New commenter

    I have a laptop which I use for lesson planning, presentations, playing video or sound clips. I tutor MFL so I got one with a CD/DVD slot and can therefore use the CDs I have for listening comprehensions. I have also used it with my adult learners to play video clips and extracts from Euronews.
    I also use the client's WiFi, or if they are not keen to grant me access (or can't find the special code key) then I ask them to use their laptop or tablet and just give them the URL.
    I did buy an MP3 player and thought I would use it more, but the lack of speakers is an issue (could plug some in, but they are a pain). However, it also does voice recording so I may use it to record oral exam practise and play back.... or to make my own listening comprehensions.
    Also have work mobile which is a cheap smartphone so I can check e-mail on the move, look things up on the internet if necessary and also get texts and calls to a business line.
    My accountant tells me that I should count these things as capital allowances and there is some limit under which you write it all off in one year rather than worry about depreciation. Think it was about £300 but don't remember.
  2. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    I take my laptop, as like the other poster, I have created a bank of powerpoints etc. After each lesson, I email the powerpoint to the student and they have all said they find this useful
  3. I couldn't work without my laptop.

    I've latexed up the past 6 years C1,C2,C3,C4 exam papers from Edexcel and MEI, and some of the FP1, FP2, S1,M1 and S2 exams and have also a bank of thousands of questions for GCSE Foundation and Higher , and A-Level which I can fire at the students.

    As I do about 33 - 35 lessons a week, I don't have time to prepare, except in summer, so I rely on having a resource somewhere on my laptop for whatever they bring up.

    The new Android tablet I have is also invaluable.

    It is rare to need the Internet, but I have a mobile dongle which gets me broadband, if needed.
  4. PC, laptop, tablet and printer.

    Graph plotter, spreadsheet, a couple of home made programs and about 4000 documents.
  5. GordonNome

    GordonNome New commenter

    Blimey! Not only is that one full schedule, but surely if you are not planning for individual needs then you are not giving your students the service they are paying for? Do you mean that you have no "plan" for where they are going and how they are going to get there? Do you really just turn up each week with a laptop and "hope"?
    After several years as a tutor I clearly do not create new resources for every class I teach, and have explanations, presentations and exercises for many of the common stumbling blocks, but I wouldn't say that I don't plan! Every half term or so I do a plan of where we are going next, broadly speaking, and I make sure that we are referring back to the exam requirements on a regular basis, if appropriate. As my pupils range from age 5 to retirement they clearly need different types of resource to teach the same ideas and concepts, and some need far more advanced information than others. Every class gets some sort of written comment on my plan, even if it is just "continue X work from last week" if the work was not completed. Otherwise I would not remember what each of my students had already covered, or more specifically which resources we had already used and which others were free to use for revision.
    Personally I found a dongle to be a waste of money as the darn thing never gave enough oomph for sound or video files. It was good for e-mail though, and general browsing.
  6. It depends what you mean by planning.

    I am trying to create some questions on waves for a physics lesson tonight, but I know that 'plan' could be torpedoed if the student has homework from school.

    Lesson plans are very often torpedoed. If I plan to cover A with my student, and they say they have a school test on B coming up and they want to do B, then we do topic B.

    A lot of my students are in schools, where they seem to be entered for different exams almost every term. I suddenly found last week one of my students was entered for a Linear exam in March for example.

    So how can you plan?

    I have software which remembers automatically what each student has done and grades attained in that topic.

    That is an enormous help. Before I started using that software, I was forever trying to plan the next lesson. Now I just click and see, we need to cover X again, or we are on schedule and can start Y.

    You need something to take notes on where you are with each student. And having software which does it automatically saves huge amounts of planning time.
  7. You are absolutely correct. You have to know where you are with each student. I keep a student log for each student, even if I don't update it as often as I should.

    It is vital to know where the student is, and what level they are at.

    This is not easy for the first couple of lessons. It takes a while to work out where the student is.
  8. GordonNome

    GordonNome New commenter

    MFL is not the same as Physics (clearly) so I don't get torpedoed in quite the same way. Sounds like you do have the kind of plan I was referring to, with your software. Sounds interesting. Could it be adapted for MFL and is it commercially available?
    And following on from another thread, I would suggest you increase your rate and then take on fewer students so you can breathe a bit! :) Only you will be able to do market research around your area to see what others are charging and what your market can take, but I often do this by carrying out web searches as if I were a parent seeking a tutor. I then aim to keep myself just below the top rate (around here AS students try to charge £15 per hour to teach GCSE so I am higher than that, but not at "super-tutor" rate!)
    PS I would also suggest changing your TES username if it is similar to your real name.
  9. voiceman23

    voiceman23 New commenter

    I'm a self employed private tutor of Maths- I'm looking to get more students on board and have found that I am running out of ideas. I travel to most of my tutees- who are either in full time education or have been taken out for whatever reason. Anyone got any tips for advertising or advice on gaining more students?
  10. Actually, I might be doing 40 lessons this week, which is more than normal for me.

    That is why I need a laptop to help me keep track of things.
  11. You don't fancy ten of mine, do you?

    The ones who want a B at GCSE, yet can't divide 72 by 2 are hard work.
  12. Hi Steven
    This software that helps planning sounds interesting.

    What is the name of the software? How did you come across it?

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