As technology and online tools continue to change the education landscape, tutoring changes too. If you’re a tutor or thinking about becoming one, you should adopt online tutoring tools to help you teach more effectively and efficiently! Not only are these fabulous tools to improve your lessons, but they can also save you time and money.
Now, there are endless tools out there, but we’ve narrowed it down to 11 of the most helpful and reliable ones you should try.
I. Tools to improve engagement, organization, and productivity
Whiteboard.fi offers virtual whiteboards. If you have students who are visual learners and like to see diagrams and images drawn out rather than listen to an explanation or read text, this would be great for them.
You can type or draw on a whiteboard on your screen, and through a unique link or screen sharing, students can watch you draw in real-time. The student also gets their own whiteboard on their end that they can engage with and you can view.
Otter is a transcription software. There are several ways you can use Otter for tutoring. One way to use the free version is to record yourself brainstorming a lesson plan. Otter will transcribe the audio, and you can easily create an outline that way!
You can also have Otter take notes for you during your lessons. The tool can transcribe your lesson audio (30 minutes with the free version) into a written document. Then you can then reflect on those notes later to track your student’s progress or share the notes with your students as a review. Remember, always get consent to record!
Students of all ages love Kahoot. Use it to gamify your lessons or review sessions with fun quizzes! You have the option to use premade quizzes or create your own. It’s a fun way to engage your students and a valuable tool to review material.
The Basic free version has limited features when it comes to customization. You can create quizzes that have multiple-choice and true/false questions, which should suffice. However, you’ll have to upgrade to access some premium premade quizzes, add premium images, and add other questions like polls.
Notion is a note-taking website and app that aims to help you stay organized and boost your productivity. A huge plus is that it is super customizable. You can have all your lists, notes, and lesson plans in one spot!
People have used Notion in such creative ways that there is even a whole Tik Tok niche where people describe tutorials and unique ways you can organize your projects!
Notability is an extensive note-taking and annotation tool available on iPad, iPhone, and Mac products. However, the most practical way to use it is on an iPad with a stylus.
Also, you can add audio to your note documents, insert diagrams, annotate photos, and even broadcast your notes live during a virtual lesson. There are endless possibilities with Notability!
Grammarly is an awesome AI writing tool and grammar and spellcheck plug-in. Use Grammarly for lessons involving writing, editing, college essays, general essays, or even for language learning.
You can also use it to correct students’ written homework. It’s a Chrome plug-in, so all you need to do is download it, install it, and you’re all set.
The OG note-taking and project-sharing package. Drive allows students and tutors to share presentations, written documents, and image files. You can collaborate and edit the work together or asynchronously.
Also, Google Docs has three functions tutors should know about editing, suggesting, and commenting. Tutors and students choose to edit the document directly, provide suggestions that the other person accepts or rejects, or have the document in “view only.” You can toggle between the modes using the dropdown in the top right corner.
II. Tools to build your digital presence
To successfully market your online tutoring lessons, you need students to be able to find you online! SquareSpace is a website building and hosting tool you can use to make a website for your services. You can start with their templates and customize your website to your heart’s content.
While they don’t offer a free plan, you can get a 14-day free trial to test it out. Afterward, the most affordable option is a $16/month annual Personal plan that includes mobile-optimized websites and templates.
However, if you want to start marketing yourself for free and fast, you can always sign up as a tutor on Lessonpal (or maybe you already have – hi tutor!). Fill out a profile in minutes, and voila. Our team will review your profile and approve if there are no issues. Then you’re on your way to getting students.
Once you set up your Lessonpal profile or your SquareSpace website, adding a link to your LinkedIn account is also a good idea to solidify your digital presence, credibility, and professionalism.
III. Tools for online meetings
We all know about this online meeting app! And it’s for a reason. It’s an easy-to-use online video meeting platform with multiple functions and tools.
On Zoom, you can host secure lessons, share files and messages in a chatbox, and share your screen. With a free account, you can host 40-minute meetings. Also, a greenscreen feature on Zoom can set your “classroom background” to a neutral image (such as an actual classroom or cafe).
To access Zoom, sign up for free on the website and then download Zoom as a mobile and desktop app. Before using Zoom, ensure you are comfortable signing off on their Terms & Conditions, as they sometimes change their rules (not in favor of the consumer) to have more access to your recorded content, for example.
10. Google Meet
Google Meet is another video platform you can use with a Google account. Zoom and Google Meet are relatively similar, so testing them before choosing which to use for your lessons would be good.
Even though they’re similar, you get more time on Google Meet. You can meet for 60 minutes during a singular Google Meet session, compared to 40 minutes on Zoom.
IV. Tools for secure payment
PayPal is one of the most well-known and secure forms of online payment used worldwide. You can send and receive money in PayPal, and use it as a digital wallet or transfer earnings to your bank account.
Lessonpal uses PayPal to pay its tutors directly. It’s also simple to open an account!
More online tutoring tips
To help students focus, you should choose a calm, quiet setting so they aren’t distracted by what’s happening in your environment. Ideally, there are limited background distractions, the space is quiet, and your camera and audio are good quality.
Furthermore, you should avoid noisy public spaces like loud cafes, crowded dorms, and family rooms. A good location doesn’t need to be anything particularly fancy, but if a pile of dirty laundry or dishes is visible from the screen, consider cleaning it up!
Lastly, audio and lighting really matter. Grab headphones with a microphone and test them with your computer before giving your first lesson. Sit facing a window or have a lamp illuminating your face for the best lighting.
Try it out
Although tutoring online can initially seem intimidating, you can use several online tools to plan, organize, deliver, and manage great lessons.
Plus, setting up a Lessonpal tutoring profile will give you the foundation and infrastructure to offer engaging lessons while you use all these tools!
- You can set up a free Lessonpal tutoring profile in minutes to establish your digital presence. Lessonpal tutoring profile pages are SEO-optimized to appear in Google search results, allowing you to customize your information and lesson packages. You’ll never have to worry about paying a fee to list your services, and Lessonpal customer support is reliable and quick if you ever need assistance.
- Also, becoming a tutor on Lessonpal means you can view all the tutoring requests posted by students looking for a tutor. You can browse through relevant leads, connect with students, and take advantage of the free trials and custom lesson options. Additionally, the support team works hard to find students for you, considering a student’s needs and your services to make the best matches.
- Once you’re set up and delivering lessons, you can utilize Lessonpal messaging on the platform to share documents, images, and other files with students. For example, you can quickly and easily attach a lesson summary you compile in Notion, Notability, or Drive from the Lessonpal messaging page.
- Lessonpal uses PayPal to securely pay tutors on time. The first step is to process the payments from students and parents and then directly pay tutors for the lessons they deliver. You won’t be kept waiting and wondering where your payment is. Lessonpal ensures that tutors get their hard-earned money on time through PayPal. You can leave your earnings in your PayPal wallet or directly transfer them to your most convenient bank account without any fees.
The big picture
All in all, you can use many helpful online tutoring tools to level up your lessons. Apply to become a Lessonpal tutor today to use them well. If you’re already an online tutor, you can also learn some tips for growing your side hustle in this post.
Finally, along with online tutoring tools, you can always find worksheets to improve your lessons or other multimedia content that can add much value. Don’t be afraid to ask your students what activities they enjoy. It can lead to new ideas and more engaging lessons. Happy tutoring!