When a student starts seeing their grades drop, online resources may seem tempting. In fact, the web has become one of the best tools when it comes to finding information. While in the past we had to go see a doctor when we weren’t feeling great, you can now get in touch with a doctor directly via the internet!
The same is true for academic support!
It’s never been easier to find plenty of resources for primary school, secondary school, or university students.
Are they trustworthy?
What are the pros and cons of online academic support?
In this article, we’re going to answer these questions...
Online Academic Coaching can Never Replace a Real Teacher!
Imagine that your child comes home from school every day and you ask them how their day went. They say “bad”. You ask them why and they’ll probably tell you that they don’t like their teacher. If the first thing you think is, “No problem! You can find lessons online”, you’re wrong.
Because you should be careful about immediately believing kids when they say they don’t like their teacher.
However, if you see their grades slipping, it might be worthwhile organising a meeting with their teacher. Try to find out if it’s just your child struggling or if the whole class are.
If it’s true that the teacher’s no good, then academic support might be a good answer. If it isn’t, you’ll need to start asking questions about how your child likes to learn. Don’t hinge their success on a few online resources.
Is it down to their methodology?
Maybe their motivation?
In any case, online resources mightn’t be the answer to this type of problem. A child sitting in front of a screen will feel more alone and won’t be able to get advice from a professional. If they don’t understand something, there’ll be no-one there to help them.
That’s why experts tend to say that certain online resources won’t save a child who’s struggling at school. Only a pupil who’s already an autonomous learner will be able to get the most out of online resources. Young students who struggle to concentrate will be quickly distracted by all the information in front of them.
This is why you should only use the internet to nudge them in the right direction rather than a miracle solution for their educational struggles.
It can be much easier to understand mathematics topics like calculus, algebra, statistics, trigonometry, or geometry with the assistance of a qualified tutor online or in person.
In some cases, your timetable may mean that a tutorial can't be scheduled despite the fact you need help in a given subject. Of course, online tutoring services are available anywhere there's an internet connection according to the tutor's availability.
Don’t Leave Children Alone in front of a Computer
Maybe you’ve had to stay late at work.
Despite the fact you promised to help the kids with their homework, you’re too tired to help them study for their geography test or explain certain mathematical concepts to them.
Maybe some other parents told you that they let their children go online to study and complete online activities.
This isn’t always a great idea, especially when it comes to very young students.
Secondary school students start learning how to work on their own. By the time they get to sixth form, they should be pretty adept at it. However, primary school children tend to need accompanying.
There are a few reasons for this:
- Not everything on the internet is true or trustworthy.
- Your children might come across content that isn’t suitable for them.
- You can easily get distracted when on the internet.
We recommend that parents supervise young children on the internet by making sure the computer is in a shared room, for example. You might even consider setting up parental controls.
Forums can be really useful tools for learning. Take your time to make sure that verify the information you get.
You should also monitor what your child posts on forums. Speak to their teachers, too! They’ll be able to recommend suitable and trustworthy resources. When your child is using the internet for their work, make sure that’s exactly what they’re doing.
There are plenty of educational videos on sites like YouTube. Just make sure they haven’t started watching other videos.
Find out more about online academic support tutorials, too!
Being Spoilt for Choice
There are thousands of sites with learning resources for subjects like:
- Science (chemistry, physics, biology)
- English, French, Spanish, German, etc. (grammar, reading, writing, speaking, and listening)
A lot of sites boast just how many resources their online courses have.
Of course, it’s better finding a site with plenty of resources rather than one with very few.
It’s useful for students to get resources that match the national curriculum. However, you need to know where to find them. Most students will struggle to find the right resources just because of how many there are. They spend more time than they should be looking for resources that would actually help them learn.
Furthermore, whether they want to study or are being forced to by their parents, they can carry on with the programme. Specialists agree that working through the curriculum on your own isn’t the way to go. If they rush ahead, they won’t learn as effectively. The same is true when a student goes up a class: a once good student may become an average student.
If teachers focus on one topic and quickly cover another, it’s probably because it’s necessary. You need to choose the solution that works for your child. If your child is struggling with maths, you should get someone who focuses on maths. It’s that simple.
Remember the tale of the tortoise and the hare...
This is true for academic support and private tutorials. It’s not worthwhile paying for academic support for all subjects if there’s just one subject your child struggles with.
Giving them too many choices will only serve to overwhelm them. That’s what educational experts say, at least.
Can You Trust Free Online Learning Resources?
There are a lot of free online learning resources. You can find some really interesting ones.
Some offer help with studying for exams like GCSEs and A Levels.
Free resources need to be put to good use. This means effectively incorporating them into your revision schedule:
- Giving the student the right approach in terms of organisation and methodology
- They need to be used regularly
- They can’t replace learning at school
Let’s take an A Level student for example. They have plenty of resources to choose from but no one to give them any advice.
- Where should they start?
- How can they find resources?
- How can they pass their exams without help from a professional?
The fact that the resources are free means that they’re not tailored to the needs of each student. Thus, a student needs to think about how the tools and resources available can be integrated into their revision.
If your child’s struggling at school but you don’t have the budget to hire a private tutor, you might think about getting in touch with organisations or charities that offer free tutoring services or going with an online tutor.
Despite all the benefits of online academic support, they do come with several disadvantages.
Sitting on your own in front of a computer isn’t always as effective as working with the best tutors. Similarly, it can be difficult to catch up with your course by sitting in front of a screen.
However, when used alongside your studies, online academic support resources can become a useful tool. Of course, one on one tutoring is also a great way to help students with supplemental instruction. However, it can be more expensive than online tutoring or resources.
When it comes to your child's academic success, you should find a tutor within your budget who specialised in the subjects your child's struggling with. Whatever kind of one to one private tutoring you're looking for, you can find writing tutors, study skills tutors, and test prep tutors who'll employ a variety of learning strategies to guarantee your child's academic success both inside and outside of the classroom.
Those being tutored can get help with their studies, a certain assignment or essay, or preparation for an exam. Additionally, you can get them private tuition for as long as they need it.
If you're on a budget, there are plenty of advantages to using MOOCs for online academic support. While these are mainly for undergraduate students, more and more of them are offering courses for secondary and primary school students.
MOOCs can be very useful for those who've gained admission into a university or college.
Once enrolled in a course, it can be a good idea to start an introductory course, especially if it's a subject you've never studied before. Of course, private tutors aren't just for those in school. If you want to learn a new skill like painting, sewing, dancing, etc. or attend workshops, you can find yourself an instructor trained in the said skill.
Whether you're looking for an English tutor, chemistry tutor, reading tutor, or a dancing tutor, painting tutor, or sewing tutor, consider having a look at those with profiles on Superprof!
While you're at it, why not find a few online teaching jobs for yourself!