Face off: Online vs Local Tutoring
First, there is obviously a huge personal preference element to this, both for the tutor and the student. Second, this is not really a contest; they are not mutually exclusive options. Many tutors and students play both sides, and why should they not?
Online tutoring is increasingly popular. No time is wasted travelling, no extra cost is incurred, you don't have to let a stranger into your home and often it is considerably cheaper. Does that make it better? Not necessarily. There are drawbacks. Some feel online tutoring somewhat depersonalizes the experience making it less effective in building confidence in underperforming students. The technology is improving all time, with better and more capable virtual classroom tools, but it remains imperfect and can be frustrating.
There are circumstances where face to face tutoring is clearly best. It is harder to ignore a teacher who is physically sitting beside you, and for some students the rigour imposed by physical presence is the only real answer to a flighty attention span! There is also a greater possibility the tutor will get to know and develop a supportive relationship with the parents. The downsides are the additional risks to vulnerable children and the inconvenience and additional cost of travel.
What is it? For some families the demands of international travel and work can bring considerable disruption to a child's education. If regular international travel is a part of family life for whatever reason, tutoring can be the glue that keeps the students performance on track while taking and bridging gaps in schooling imposed by absence. To that end, some families opt to employ a tutor to travel and live with them during disrupted periods. It can be great for all concerned. It can also be awful if you get a bad fit! There are some highly entertaining accounts of bad experiences, which urge caution on both sides.
What's your view? Comment or vote in the poll.