Online tutors are still a sexy new idea for many people. For others, it is the wave of the future in education. This new technology is intriguing to many who feel the traditional system of tutoring is not working. There are those who feel strongly that online tutoring is the way to go, while others are against the technology and prefer a 3D, hands-on approach. There are benefits and disadvantages to both but there are six reasons why online tutors, and specifically Online Reading Tutor (ORT), are great choices.
1. Online Reading Tutor effectively teaches reading in several components. First they focus on phonemic and sound symbol association. In other words, they teach that each letter has a sound that corresponds to it and that children should sound out the letters in words. Secondly, ORT employs visual matching and auditory visual matching. Using this method, the students are taught to recognize high frequency phonetic combinations of vowels and consonants in order to facilitate accurate reading. Students are also taught vocabulary so they can identify the meanings of the words within the context of the material. There is an oral reading fluency component that is particularly effective for students who have a specific learning disability or dyslexia. Finally, comprehension training uses high interest stories that correlate to state standards.
2. ORT uses technology to assess each student individually, creating what they call an “Individual Training Plan.” The program assesses the student’s reading abilities relative to their grade level. Online Reading Tutor creates performance goals and integrates them into the ITP (Individual Training Plan). Teachers are increasingly aware that it is effective to pre-test students and to specifically address their individual learning needs. Online Reading Tutor has just released a very useful application that screens students for a possible reading disability or dyslexia. They also offer a free one-week trial of their Orton-Gillingham based software. This could be beneficial to parents looking for help for their smart children who struggle with reading.
3. The computerized layout of this teaching program allows students to access the program anytime, anywhere. Frequency is very helpful when learning new skills. Most learners tune out after about 45 minutes, while in-person tutoring sessions last one hour. Therefore, a significant amount of time is unproductive in a traditional 60 to 90 minute in-person session because the learner is not able to stay engaged for that long. Online Reading Tutor is unique because it allows students the ability to access their lessons more frequently at shorter, more intense intervals. It is best used five days a week for 30-40 minutes per session. Some students train twice a day for 20 minutes. Keith Topping writes in Tutoring from The International Academy of Education that “learning in frequent short sessions is more effective than in occasional long sessions.”
4. Online Reading Tutor is so confident that their program will help children, they offer a guarantee that students will improve one grade level after 30 hours of training. Many other online tutoring programs offer guarantees because they add to their credibility in the often misleading cyber world.
5. One of the key features of the Online Reading Tutor program is that a fully certified teacher monitors each student throughout the entire process. It is important with online learning that the tutor be a qualified professional. With Online Reading Tutor, each student keeps in touch with their teacher via email, phone calls and video messaging. Screen sharing technology is also employed as needed. In this way, the teacher can access, monitor, and alter the student’s training as needed.
6. The online tutor approach is affordable when compared with in-person tutors. ORT costs $230 per month on a three-month contract or $295 per month. For struggling families with financial difficulties, they have accommodations. In some jurisdictions, if the student has an IEP (Individual Education Plan) for their reading disability, the Online Reading Tutor tuition may be an income tax deduction. Online tutors, and specifically Online Reading Tutor, can save families thousands of dollars normally spent on traditional tutoring. It is the frequency of the training that makes Online Reading Tutor so effective. This makes it a truly savvy choice.
Most modern-day reading training should include several components as defined by the National Reading Panel, including phonemic awareness, phonics, decoding fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. ORT uses these components. Students achieve significant permanent gains after completing their Online Reading Tutor training. Through the use of these methods, they keep up to the standards taught in the best schools today. These, then, are six really good reasons why online tutors, and specifically Online Reading Tutor, may be the wave of the future in education and online tutoring services.
Opinion by Nicole Drawc