Two online platforms that will change your perception of virtual tutoring.

Free online tutoring at www.tutor.com/army

Free online tutoring at www.tutor.com/army (Photo credit: familymwr)

A few days ago I got sucked into a Twitter conversation about online tutoring, and I came to the realization that not all platforms are created equal.  We all know that online education is evolving at a ridiculous pace, and even niche markets like the tutoring industry are not immune to this phenomenon.  If you don’t believe me, check out this fairly exhaustive list of online tutoring platforms and evaluate them for yourself.  The  list of tutoring platforms is fairly robust, and it will take good amount of time to evaluate each website.  Truthfully, I  wouldn’t utilize most of the platforms on the list, they aren’t very user friendly.  But, there are two platforms that have really impressed me.  Tutor Universe and InstaEdu are relatively new to the tutoring scene, and each site has the potential to disrupt the world of online tutoring.

Tutor Universe was created by some pretty cool people from Iowa, and the platform offers a lot of functionality to both the student and tutor.  First, the user profile  is clean and easy to navigate.  There are separate profiles for tutors and students, both offer specific functionality that results in a great user experience.  Tutor Universe has also integrated Facebook into their platform, making it easy for each user to share their experiences on Facebook.  Scheduling is also a breeze because Tutor Universe has provided a user friendly scheduler that is controlled by  the tutor.  Tutors also  have the freedom to set their hourly rate.  After a tutoring session is booked, the tutor and student enter the virtual study room that is equipped with an interactive whiteboard.  There are so many bells and whistles integrated into the study room I cannot list them here.  Just watch the video below to get an idea of what can be done in the virtual study room.

The Tutor Universe payment gateway is extremely secure, and users can purchase “TutorBucks” using Paypal or any major credit card.  It also appears that the fee structure has changed, and tutors now pay Tutor Universe between 15-25% depending on how often they use the online platform.  Essentially, the more a tutor uses the platform, the less they have to pay.  I like that!  Another thing I like about Tutor Universe is their approach to working with colleges and universities.  Tutor Universe is allowing college learning centers to use their platform for free, and I hope that more of my higher ed colleagues contemplate utilizing this solution for both online and face to face tutoring.

Eric's Tutor Universe profile.

Eric’s Tutor Universe profile.

InstaEdu is another online tutoring platform that I love.  The tutor technology solution is something that every online tutor should know about.  The InstaEdu website provides an online marketplace where students can search for tutors by content area, and find a tutor that can help them instantly.  The tutoring service is on demand, hence the name Insta(ant)Edu.     The video below does a great job explaining the platform, which is similar to Tutor Universe.  The online study room may be a little more refined than space offered by Tutor Universe, but the difference is so minuscule it probably doesn’t make a different.

Unlike Tutor Universe, InstaEdu does not allow tutors to set their own fee.  InstaEdu charges $24 per hour, and pays the tutor $20 per hour.  This price point makes tutoring more accessible, and the uniform price point probably eliminates one of the tutor evaluation metrics.  Payments are processed immediately after each tutoring session, and the student fee is prorated by the number of minutes they worked with the tutor.  Payments are processed through WePay, a platform that is extremely user friend and something I use regularly.

InstaEdu

The two online tutoring platforms mentioned in this post are totally worth checking out, and I don’t think you will be disappointed.  Both platforms take a unique approach to online tutoring, and make the transition to virtual tutoring less daunting.  There are a ton of other online tutoring platforms available, and I would love to hear what platforms you are using.  Why did you choose that specific platform?

Feel free to share your answers in the comment section below, or reach out to me on Twitter at @EA_Clark.

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