What Resources are the Best for Online Tutoring?
Posted by Erica Warren on
Finding online learning, tutor resources can be a challenge. There is an overwhelming number of sites, apps, and products, and locating the best ones to help you create lesson plans or a tutoring approach can be a time-consuming chore. Having been an educational therapist and learning specialist for the past twenty-three years, I continually scour the internet for great resource(s), website(s), lessons, ideas. I would love to share with you some of my favorites!
My Favorite Online Resources for Remote Learning:
I love to use the program Zoom because I can connect with learners from all over the world. Whether you are a tutor, learning specialist, or educational therapist, I find it to be the best platform that has some fun and useful tools that can empower my learners.
The best part is, Zoom is free for one-to-one sessions and also for groups sessions that are under 45 minutes in length. I did upgrade my account and found their rates are very affordable. The best part is that it is a ta write-off because I use it for my business.
The Chatbox Feature:
Zoom offers tutor resources such as a chatbox where thoughts and links can be shared to help students. I often use it to present documents, research articles, and images. Students can also share important links with their tutors too.
I like to use this feature for writing activities. One of my favorite lessons I use in a chatbox involves getting my student to draw a very simple image on a piece of paper. Then they have to describe their drawing in the chatbox so that I can recreate the image. This is a great resource to help students develop their writing approach, keyboarding skills, and even their attention to detail.
The Screen Sharing Feature:
Screen sharing is a great tutoring option that allows teachers and students to watch videos together. When a Zoom participant shares their screen, it gives tutors and learners the option of optimizing for video and sound. Be sure to check off these boxes so that the presentations are clear for all Zoom members. Furthermore, screen sharing also allows a teacher to share their own pdf resources such as vocabulary and language worksheets, grammar activities, history lessons, math strategies, reading passages, and tips, to name a few. Also, the student can share their homework assignments from sites like Google Classroom or Canvas and Zoom participants can even complete an assignment together.
The Annotation Tool Feature:
An added benefit is the annotation tool that enables both the tutor and the student to draw or type over an image or webpage. It's like an invisible screen over the document and doesn't directly alter the text. If you want to save your notes, you can simply take a screenshot of the page. They offer a number of annotation tools:
This allows the tutor or student to type on the document or image. By selecting Format too, you can change the color, size, and font of the text.
This feature allows you to draw lines, squiggles, highlights, and shapes. Again, by selecting the Format option, the tutor or student can change the color or line size.
The stamp feature allows the tutor or student to place small images or stamps on the screen of a heart, ex, check, arrow, question mark, or star. Unfortunately, the size and color of these images can not be altered.
This Zoom feature can be used by the tutor or student to turn their cursor into a red dot or an arrow stamp. This helps to keep participants' attention and allows the professional to draw one's focus to an important part of the screen.
This simple option allows tutors and students to erase specific annotations.
The formatting tool enables the tutor or student to change the colors, sizes, and fonts.
The undo and redo options are a quick and easy way to erase your last annotation or recreate one that was erased by accident.
The Whiteboard Option When Sharing One's Screen:
Zoom also offers a whiteboard. This is a great way for a tutor and a student to brainstorm ideas. Furthermore, it can be used for in-the-moment lessons or even a quick break where a young child can make a colorful drawing.
Recording Zoom Sessions:
Some parents like me to capture our lessons. Luckily, Zoom offers this feature. I simply click on the record button, and when the session is finished, I can share a link to the recording through email.
When sharing an activity, tutors can give my students remote access, so that they can control my screen. This enables them to play apps or subscription-based sites from the tutor's device. Unfortunately, this feature does not work when the tutors or students are viewing the session from an iPad.
When working with a group of students, breakout rooms enable teachers or tutors to split the class into small groups for discussions and activities. After the break-out session is over, the group reunites as a whole. This is always a fun education option.
Share your iPad:
Screen sharing also allows students and tutors to share an iPad. Tutors can conduct lessons using an Apple Pencil and a drawing app such as Procreate, Autodesk SketchBook, or Whiteboard Easy and Smart. This is an excellent option when conducting a math lesson as it is a simple way to show calculations.
Other Technology Options for Tutoring:
If you don't have an iPad or you want to draw on the screen without using a clunky mouse that makes your images look like your a three-year-old, the Wacom has a number of solutions. This can be life-changing for many teachers as it is very awkward to write or draw with a standard mouse.
The most affordable option that is compatible with most computers is the Wacom Intuos. They do offer a number of other technology products but make sure that it is compatible with your computer. I made that mistake and had to return the purchase.
Using PDF Materials for Tutoring and Lesson Plans:
My website, Good Sensory Learning, offers a large selection of tutor resources. Here are a few:
- Why Should We Learn About Angles: This is a fun, interactive PowerPoint lesson that teaches students about angles. It helps them to learn the concepts with the use of memory strategies.
- Fun with Fractions: This is another cute, interactive PowerPoint lesson plan that uses fun cartoon-like characters and activities to teach fractions.
- Monster Multiplication: This resource offers a structured and multisensory way of teaching long multiplication with the use of cute, monster characters.
- Measurement Memory Strategies: This Powerpoint is another resource that is packed with adorable images that have embedded memory strategies.
- The Integer Ladder: This resource uses a number ladder instead of a number line. It also uses bunnies in the lesson and integrates kid-friendly games.
- How to Write the College Essay: This is a whole workshop that offers all the materials to teach students to write an outstanding college essay.
If you come to my website, you can do a search to find related resources. You can look by subject (math, grammar, language arts, reading, social-emotional), grade level, collection, and more. I offer over 150 products. Come read our review page!
Try Online Assessment Resources When Tutoring:
Conduct learning evaluation resources like:
- The Eclectic Learning Profile: This resource offers a book on multisensory teaching as well as an assessment on accommodating the 12 ways of learning in a classroom.
- Good Sensory Learning Reading Assessment: This is a comprehensive, phonics-based assessment that helps to define the reading needs of any struggling reader.
- The Executive Functioning Screener: This screener helps to define the severity of a student's executive functioning challenges.
- The FREE Dyslexia Screener: This resource helps to uncover the likelihood that a student has dyslexia.
- The Working Memory Screener: This screener uncovers the likelihood that a student has working memory problems.
- The Dysgraphia Screener: This screener suggests the likelihood that a student has dysgraphia.
Cognitive Remedial Activities and Resources for Lesson Plans:
Here are a number of cognitive remedial activities that can be done with students on Zoom that strengthen cognition:
- Following Directions the Fun and Easy Way: Fun following directions activities can be used to improve one's ability to focus, listening skills, core reading skills, scanning skills, vocabulary development, and more.
- Hey, What's the Big Idea: Main idea and details literacy game, provides instruction on teaching this important higher-order language skill.
- Making Inferences the Fun and Easy Way Making inference activities/lessons and games can help to improve reading comprehension.
- Compound Word Puzzles Critical thinking puzzles using compound words can be used in a reading or early literacy lesson.
- Mindful Visualization for Education Visualization assessments and games can bring the fun factor into any online lesson.
- Working Memory Activities Activities that exercise and strengthen working memory can support students as working memory is the number one indicator of academic success.
- Abstract Thinking and Multiple Meanings Activities that develop critical thinking skills and higher-order language are critical when teaching middle school, high school, and even university students.
- Reversing Reversals Cognitive remedial activities for students that experience letter or word reversals as well as problems with directionality. This is common for students with dyslexia.
- Memory Master Game that improves memory skills, visualization skills, and following directions abilities of learners of all ages.
Other Online Sites Worth Investigating When Tutoring Students:
- Google Keep: Use the Google Keep resources to help students organize assignments, ideas, appointments, and more. You can create a folder for each class or color-code them in one folder. I also use it to teach my students how to write essays, because it works seamlessly with Google Docs. To learn more about this approach consider this course: Teaching Writing: A Structured Multisensory Approach
- Google Docs: Google Docs allows you and your student to work on a document at the same time. I also love to teach students to use the feature VoiceTyping as well as their many free add-on resources such as EasyBib.
- Integrate games activities and resources for learning a lesson with sites like:
- Quizizz: This free website offers interactive quizzes that can be accessed from any computer.
- Sporcle: This website offers free, online, trivia quiz games on virtually every topic. They even offer printable worksheets and resources.
- Seterra: Free, online, map games are a great option on this website. It's a great resource for history teachers.
- Quizlet: Test preparation flashcards, games, and practice tests in just about every subject. Students can also create their own free sets,
If you are a professional and you are seeking training or instruction on how to start or expand a learning specialist or educational therapist practice, I offer a menu of courses that I created and developed over my 23 years in this business. be sure to click on the image below:
I hope you find this post and the many resources helpful. If you have additional resources, I'd love for you to reach out and contact me.
Cheers, Dr. Erica Warren
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator, and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning. She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Learning Specialist Courses.
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