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October 20, 2009 Virtual Tutoring via Twitter and Blogs By Stacey Burt

    Ever feel like there’s not enough time to work with your struggling students outside of the academic day? Who am I kidding, of course you do. I often feel that way as well. If you have a class web page I might have a solution. Utilizing your class blog for tutoring purposes from the comfort of your home or your Twitter account (best for high school teachers) you can still assist students after hours.

    I have often tried to think of ways that I can meet the needs of my students and my family that will satisfy everyone. As teachers it is so hard to work “contracted hours” and simply quit when the last bell rings. Students that need extra time can often be left hanging. If you have a class web site I think I may have a solution for assisting students beyond school hours. By creating a blog, teachers can tell students that they will make themselves available on certain nights at particular times. For instance, if you are covering challenging material that you know students will have questions about, you can tell them before they leave class to open the blog page that night from say 6 pm to 7 pm and you will be available to answer questions and provide extra help. Most web page programs have the blog option to add to pages.

    For those of you that may teach high school, Twitter could be a viable solution. I am reluctant to suggest Twitter for grades 6-8 simply because I feel it is not secure enough. I like Twitter for older students because they are probably already utilizing the application. I also like that participants are limited to 140 characters in their tweets (postings on Twitter). So what needs to be asked must also be clear and concise (replies as well). It is interesting to note that while you will be participating and helping students, you will find that students will be answering and assisting one another as well.

    Today’s technology is amazing. I love how educators can take practical applications and make them work in the classroom. I hope this suggestion inspires some of you to give it a try.

    Warm Wishes-



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