Communications and Society blog: By and for students in Marist COM 201

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Online Tutoring… Acceptable?

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In London, a new tutoring system has been developed by BrightSpark Education, a London- based company started only last year according to a New York Times article by Julia Werdigier. This company hires and trains about 100 teachers in India and places them in an online tutoring program with students in Britain. At this point in time, the schools involved in Britain, the pupils using the resource, and the parents of these students have all had positive responses. Unfortunately, teachers from other schools as well as Chris Keates, a member of one of Britain’s largest teacher’s unions, do not see this program as being a positive one. Many teachers fear that this will take jobs away from them, and Chris Keates feels that this program takes away from one on one interaction between pupils and teachers.

Pupils in Britain are able to log on to BrightSpark’s website and interact with their professors in India through a video phone and a “white board” on their computer screen. This white board allows both the teacher and student to write things that can be seen and altered on both ends. All lessons are recorded so that they can be replayed by the students as well as their parents.

Despite the negative feelings about the product by some British teachers as well as Chris Keates, I think that this could be very good for students in Britain. The article discusses how many parents have trouble finding qualified tutors in Britain and end up driving their students far away in order to see an expensive tutor. This program is less expensive and it gives students a unique look at another culture. Also, all lessons are recorded allowing students to look back at their work and parents to follow up on their child’s experience. In addition to this, most students enjoy using the computer, so doing math becomes more fun online. Technology has become such an integrated part of society today, that it only makes sense for education to take part in it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/25/technology/25iht-teach25.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=technology

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Written by megwalsh6

October 27, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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