I was listening to the radio recently, and the topic was about the ‘buzz’ words of 2020. Unsurprisingly, and mostly commonly used words included ‘social-distancing’, ‘lockdown’ and ‘pandemic’, all words that we have become all too familiar with this year. On a more positive note I would add ‘Zoom’ to this list, as many of us have become more used to working, teaching and learning remotely, and it is something that most of us are much more comfortable doing now than we were 12 months ago.
I had never even heard of Zoom until March 2020 and had very rarely used Skype. However, one of the benefits of lockdown is that I had to use both regularly as a platform to carry on my teaching in these unusual times, I can see the benefits of doing so. Work can be emailed over to the student who can then either print the work or have it on a screen, which we can work on together. This works surprisingly well, and those much younger and more IT literate than myself have been very patient in showing me interactive tools to show workings for more complex Maths sums, as an example. The technology available is fast and smooth, and with the exception of the odd glitch, the sessions run with ease.
Do I prefer online tuition to the face-to-face kind? On reflection I think the answer is still no. I think most children still benefit from having a tutor in close proximity who can address each issue that they come across during the session, and in some cases help them to retain their focus. However, I do think that online tuition is now a very viable alternative, and that is not something that I would have said a year ago. So perhaps there is some light at the end of this pandemic!