Although I no longer offer the service to anyone outside of friends, I briefly offered e-tutoring sessions. It can be a rewarding situation in the right settings, but I was in a new place and din’t have the time to appropriately drum up a client base.
One of the benefits of e-tutoring is that it doesn’t matter where the tutor and the student are sitting. A student can be hundreds of miles away from the person who best fits their learning needs rather than hoping they can find a right match locally, or perhaps they have already exhausted the local tutoring pool and not found someone who can teach them.
What is happening, though, is that students are now sitting thousands of miles away from their tutor. This outsourcing brings up some fears, at least for me, since I make a goodly portion of my income from tutoring.
I can remember when a teacher’s greatest fear was being replaced by a computer (while computers may become major educational tools, they will never be able to completely replace the teacher). Now, we have to be afraid of those countries with a more advanced level of understanding in the math and sciences (the two main subjects I teach). Allowing this outsourcing of extra educational help is somewhat scary.
It almost feels like we have given up on improving our education system, or at least the math and science parts of it. How long before we have a crop of teachers come up who don’t worry about whether or not they have to teach math or science because we can turn to more advanced countries for those subjects. Are we doing the American educational system a disservice by outsourcing to these tutors?
Or perhaps, is this just one more sign that the world is getting smaller, and collaborative efforts will indeed prove incredibly beneficial to us? I think I like that idea more.
Found via elearningpost