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Do you need an online whiteboard for online tutoring?

by Will Chambers on 12th September, 2017

The Tutor Pages conducted a survey on online tutoring back in 2015. One of the things they looked at was what technology was being used. They found that 81% of tutors were using Skype and for the vast majority of them, that was it. Online tutoring without an online whiteboard is like going to the cinema and sitting with your back to the screen: you're missing out on all the action.

To show you what I mean, take a look at the pages below. These are all taken from online tutoring sessions taught on Bramble, which you can think of as an online whiteboard on steroids. They show how rich an online tutoring session can be and how important it is for there to be a visual component. Good luck trying to explain protein structure, photocell experiments and nuclear fission without any diagrams. You could try screensharing but that makes for a pretty static experience for the student. You want to both be working together, scribbling ideas down not delivering a one-sided, pixellated lecture to a zoned-out student.

We think this might be one of the main reasons online tutoring isn't more popular. Without an online whiteboard, students are getting a decidedly second-class experience. Funnily enough, that's not going to take-off. If you can bring that experience on par with the offline experience (or maybe make it even better, with session playback) then you might start seeing some interesting results. Once you've got access to an equivalent toolset online as offline, then the other benefits of online tutoring really start shining through: it's easy to find great tutors, fit them round your schedule and revise any session, anytime.

If you are looking for a tool to improve your online tutoring, then come and take a look at Bramble. It offers an all in one solution for you: audio, video, whiteboard, resource sharing, PDF exports and automatic session recording all wrapped up in a very simple package. It could be just the thing to kick-start your offering.

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