Tutoring 2.0

There is a plethora of resources available on the internet to help you or your child succeed in their education.  However, there are some cases in which you may find you still need a face-to-face tutor.  Perhaps you have no idea where to find the resources online that work for you.  It is completely understandable that with such a sea of resources being able to pinpoint the ones you actually need can be difficult.  And some times, you can search for hours on Google to find an answer that a person could have explained to you in 10 minutes.  So in this digital, technology-fused age, where do you find a tutor?  You could try calling the local high school and find out who is on their tutor list.  However, that’s really an “old-school” method.  There are plenty of tutoring websites to connect you with local tutors. is the best tutoring website.  Why?  It doesn’t require that it be the middle man.  Students pay the tutors directly, not through the website.  So what does it do?  It let’s tutors put up a profile on the website that basically says, “hey, I live here and I tutor in these subjects.  I charge this amount.  Here’s some cool facts about me to see if we may click.”  Tutors can pay a subscription charge for a “premium listing”, but I used the site for two years and never needed a premium listing.  Students search the site and then contact tutors initially through the site.  An email gets sent to the tutor and then after that, the student and tutor can connect using whichever method of communication he or she prefers.

Don’t get fooled by the titled of the site; it’s not for university students, nor are the tutors university students.  I’ve tutored students from the 6th grade through middle-aged adults.  I’ve received emails for students as young as a couple of months old!  I specialize in secondary education, thus I turned those inquiries down, but the fact of the matter was I received emails frequently.  At one time, I was tutoring 8 students.

You can meet wherever you feel comfortable.  You can invite the tutor to your home.  You can meet at a coffee shop (not my personal recommendation, very distracting and loud), at the library, at a park (not optimal in the winter months in the northern state of Michigan), or anywhere the two parties agree on.  The only caveat I say is with public libraries.  Check their guidelines for tutoring/doing business there.  You may have to be discrete in your payment exchange.

I also recommend the tutor keep a folder that records payments and details what transpired in the session.  It is a good safety measure.  Also, you should draw up a contract, even if it’s a simple one that states who the student is, who the tutor is, what the schedule is, where the tutoring will take place, and how much the tutor is to be paid.  Additionally, the contract should have any other policies the tutor might have such as tardiness, not showing up, or cancelling at the last minute and their penalties.  This way, you are all on the same page. allows students and tutors to connect and tutor how they see fit.  The site doesn’t force students and tutors to fit into their box of payments or certain number of sessions.  It allows students to find tutors in the area without going to great lengths to find them.  It doesn’t involve students signing on to talk to tutors via webcam or using some fancy program that allows tutors and students to share data.  It is tutoring in the digital, technology-fused age in which we live in.  It is tutoring 2.0.

MACUL 2013 Conference

Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) is a 501c3, non-profit organization dedicated to “assisting the education community through support, promotion, and leadership in the effective use of educational technology.”

This past summer I was introduced to this organization through one of my graduate professors at Oakland University.  I signed up almost immediately.  In fact, they had recently abolished membership fees and I could join for free.  I occasionally get emails from them in my email box.

Each year they have a conference in different cities in Michigan.  I just received a flier in the mail for this year’s conference in Detroit at Cobo Center.  I was excited, as the large heading said “Blending Technology & Curriculum for Today’s Learner“.  It is exactly what I love to do.

Unfortunately, I am student teaching in March and have to be in class on March 20-22.  If it was one week later, I could have gone during spring recess, but alas, I am unable to.  I wouldn’t have been able to afford the full conference anyway, as it is $185.  There is a student rate of $75.  I probably would have been able to afford that.  There are several levels of registration fees depending on what you want to do and how many days you want to attend.

There are hands-on labs, exhibits and demonstrations of ideas, and speakers/presentations.  It definitely sounds like the place for digital learning to foster.  If you are able to go, you should.  And then tell me all about it!

Infographic: The Future of Higher Education

More and more people are questioning not which college or university they should go to but if they should even go at all.  The creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerburg, dropped out of college (Harvard).  The creator of Tumblr, David Karp,dropped out of high school.  The Co-Founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, dropped out of college (Harvard).  The Co-Founder of Apple and Pixar, Steve Jobs, dropped out of college (Reed College).  The Chairman and CEO of Dell, Micheal Dell, dropped out of college (University of Texas at Austin).  With such a poor economy, degrees taking years to obtain, college loan debt sinking the middle-class, and the abundance of free online classes from most universities (Ivy League included), what reason do we have for attending a four year university?

Infographic: The Future of Higher EducationOriginal source:

eReader Poll

I’ve been spending the majority of the day reading Wuthering Heights on my Kindle app for my iPad.  I love using my iPad to read the book.  It lessens the fatigue of my hands while reading which I believe increases my reading speed and focus.  Of course, the drawback is it sucks up battery rather rapidly (but not a bad rate) and I cannot use it outside in the sun.  I do have a paperback edition I will use for quoting and if I need to read outside, but it is very effective for siting for a long period to read.  I will not be completely sold on eReaders though.  I agree they have their uses and many positives.  But I just cannot forget the feeling of a new book in my hand, opening its cover and bringing its story to life.  I do feel the sense of accomplishment in the visual comparison of how much I have read and how much I have left.  Also an eBook (at least the Kindle version of Wuthering Heights does not have page numbers because you can increase the size of the text which thus alters the page numbers and creates an issue for citations.

I’m going to go more in depth on eReaders in another post so please – comment, email, facebook, whichever your preferred medium is – your thoughts and experiences on eReaders vs. paperbooks.  Or simply answer the following poll.

What is your preferred type of eReader?

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