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Be an e-tutor

The online teaching industry is gaining popularity in the country. This is because the global e-tutor industry stands at $12 billion and India is a leader in providing the best services at affordable prices for world students. SHALINI SAKSENA speaks to industry experts who say that with easy payment facilities and the rates that Indian teachers command, this sector has a lot to offer

In the last few years, e-tutoring, or teaching students online, around the globe, has become popular. The minute the word ‘outsourcing’ comes to mind, India is the first destination one thinks of. This is because it offers the best that the industry has to offer — in terms of service and at affordable rates. In countries like the US, few parents can afford private tutors. This is because tutors charge anything between $25 to sometimes even $100 an hour. In India, this figure stands at $9-$15 an hour.

So, if you are a teacher and interested in giving private tuitions, online teaching is a lucrative option. It pays well and one need not even step out of the home. The fact that one can choose the timing is an added advantage, especially for those who have caretaking responsibilities.

According to Arun Verma of tutorindia.net, an online tutoring website based in Ludhiana, the e-tutoring industry is witnessing a rise of 10 to 12 per cent annually. “This is because the Internet is expanding fast. The fact that Indian teachers charge comparatively less and are the best in this industry means that they are the most sort after. The competency is higher in Indians as compared to teachers the world over,” Verma tells you, adding that e-tutoring is a win-win situation for both the teacher and the student.

E-tutoring not only saves commuting time, paper usage and other resources, but tutors have access to a wide range of teaching options and learning tools that can be used to create a better and firm understanding among students. Sometimes, tutors create their own videos and other applications which can be accessed by students easily at any time. They can either formulate their own learning tactics and concepts in a video and applications, or use the existing resources on the Internet.

“For students, who find it difficult to express their doubts in, say, a class of 30 because of fear of being mocked, e-tutoring helps them learn comfortably with an e-tutor. They wouldn’t hesitate in asking questions online,” Verma says.

The reason why this is gaining popularity is because people are getting used to online technologies and activities. Many developing countries, including India, are focusing on power availability and fast Internet connections. Because of the proximity to the US English accent, difference in currency values and high availability of academically skilled tutors, e-tutoring is getting popular exponentially for Indians.

So how does e-tutoring work for a student and a teacher? “E-tutoring is the new concept of touring which uses Internet as the media for communication. In this, teaching, course management and assessment of student’s performance are done by using online technologies. There are two types of e-tutoring: Synchronised and unsynchronised,” Vivek Singh, owner of BharatTutors.com, based out of San Francisco, US, says.

There are many free and paid tools in the market that can be used for e-tutoring. Skype and GTalk can be used for video tutoring but they lack an interactive whiteboard. WizIQ, Scriblink can be used for online tutoring as they provide interactive whiteboard.

To become an e-tutor, all one needs is good command over the subject one wishes to teach. This can be done by simply going to e-tutoring sites like myprivatetutor.com, tutorvista.co.in, tutor.com, etc. One has to fill in details that include a CV, qualification, teaching experience, profile description, which classes one wants to teach alongwith the name, email and phone number. Be sure that one gives the correct picture as many websites ban the tutor for giving false information. Once you are registered, the tutor is selected based on online tests, interviews and sample teaching sessions which are meant to test skills. The best part is that one can also teach how to drive a car, yoga and even cooking. This is not all, one can also take up writing projects/assignments on behalf of the student. Here, too the money is good. One can earn around Rs 4,500 for a project of 1,000 words.

“Generally, it’s the teacher’s responsibility to train students about online tutoring tools, course management systems and develop better interaction among them. It’s advisable to have recordings of the online tutoring sessions so that parents can also see the performance of tutors as well as students,” Singh says.

He tells you that the scope in this field is huge as the global e-tutoring industry is estimated to be worth more than $12 billion. “India is a leader in providing e-tutoring at affordable prices, particularly in the area of Maths, with the US as the largest consumer of its services,” Singh says.

When it comes to payment, almost all e-tutor websites provide a platform to connect tutors and students online. As the part of premium membership, they provide interactive whiteboard to facilitate online tutoring. They neither hire tutors nor pay them. It’s students and tutors responsibility to search each other using website’s search facility, and plan about study and payments. Generally, tutors prefer to use Paypal to get payments from other countries. For becoming premium members, the payment on the website is taken in rupees. Credit card can be used too to pay in any currency.

Just like a tutor who comes home, an e-tutor is someone who teaches students using online technologies. “Having good knowledge of online tutoring, provide pre-course guidance to online students, develop an online relationship with the students, initiate activities that will facilitate and support online learning and continually evaluate progress of students are some of the tasks that the e-tutor performs,” Singh explains.

In case of any apprehensions about how one will teach a student from the US, worry not. From time to time, the tutors in the US share their experiences with the tutors in India.

“Some challenges, like difference in time zones, variance in English accent, online monitoring and having administrating online classes, are taken care of. As the online teaching methodology is new and different from face-to-face tutoring, getting used to it needs time and expertise. In e-tutoring, students can see the tutor, raise their hands and ask questions, Singh says.

 
 
 
 
 

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