In the midst of the stigmas of webcams, parents can find a positive. Webcams, which are video cameras that connect to computers, now are beginning to serve the educational purpose of providing live tutoring sessions for students. This device, which emerged in 1994, has the advantages of allowing tutors and students to be remotely present to communicate face-to-face in real-time, allowing students to interact with a tutor anywhere in the world, saving on transportation time and costs, and allowing students to record tutoring sessions for review.
Various websites offer online tutoring or online classrooms, for students from elementary to high school grade levels, which become realistic through the means of web cams. Specifically, utilizes webcams, speaker/microphone, and an interactive whiteboard for its one-on-one tutoring, online classroom, and workshops taught by a certified teacher, John Bovey. Just like in a real classroom, the teacher assigns and grades homework, quizzes, and tests that are turned in by the student who scans, faxes, or mails it. The classes meet three times a week for one hour and can be assessed by the student and parent logging into the website. The only additional equipment and software that are needed include a microphone, headset, Flash Player, and high speed internet. This particular online math tutoring is available at $25 per hour and provides the first half hour for free.
Another tutoring site that involves the use of webcams for one-on-one tutoring is Studyfaq.com. This site offers tutoring for any subject and allows students to pull up and select their choice of tutors by typing in a specified subject in the search box. Students may then review the tutor’s rating and comments from other students that have used these tutors. The tutors range from college students to certified teachers who charge their own rates that they accept through Pay Pal. Tutor City also requires that students have a Skype account that provides free calls over the internet to other Skype users (tutors). Students may download this software for free at www.skype.com.
It should finally be noted that not all online tutoring websites use webcams. One such site, Studyfaq.com, relies solely on an interactive whiteboard for its one-one-one tutoring. The drawback of not using webcams is not having face-to-face communication between tutors and students and students not being able to record the sessions for later reference. For the most effective, realistic tutoring sessions, parents and their students should look into sites such as Studyfaq.com that take advantage of the superior technology of webcams to improve education.