The Effects of Edtech in the Classroom vs. Private Tutoring
Updated: Jun 25, 2020
Better known as Edtech, Education Technology is the combination of Information Technology (IT) tools and educational practices in hopes of advancing and enhancing learning in both online and in person settings.
Within the classroom, students and teachers have been equipped with new technology to guide their learning. In the last 10 years, we’ve made further advancements than the previous 50. Smart Boards, Smart Markers, and interactive projectors have given teachers a new way to process and visualize information. These visual helpers are efficient (they can be preloaded with materials), easy to use, and students don’t have to worry about reading their teacher’s handwriting (an actual issue). Students, in addition to the new classroom tools, can digest more information in less amount of time through other tech advancements such as learning robots, IoT devices, and online learning platforms.
One major reason Edtech has been on the rise is the need of personalized learning. Today, the average classroom size in the United States is 23 students. That is 23 unique personalities, 23 different learning capabilities and learning styles. Today, teachers have more resources than ever to individualize learning for their students and once put into motion, not only did student scores improve, but their moods did as well. It is easy to see how individualized learning can lead to better grades, but it took many years before educators had the ability to do so. However successful, we must also remember that this technology comes at a price. Today, only private and the highest tax bracket public schools can afford new technology in the classroom. Something that was planned to facilitate learning and decrease the learning gap within the classroom has widened the gap on a larger socioeconomic scale. And one thing that was believed to contribute to the widening of this gap, has lessened it: private tutoring.
Private tutoring has been around since the Greeks held class. Today- though in large part- is still used by more affluent families, the recent technological advancements have lowered the cost of tutoring. Now with more students receiving private tutoring than ever before, it is up to the educators (the tutors) to continue evolving their use of technology. One major positive impact, in particular, has been within online tutoring. And though pandemics such as the Corona Virus were not a factor when these advancements were made, they are more important now than ever before. Online capabilities combined with decreasing cost of hardware (computers, laptops, ipads) have given tutors the ability to work remotely reducing travel time and, thus, their cost per hour. The online tutoring business became well recognized and accepted within the education community as an evolving and more affordable solution for parents.
However, as the number of students who received tutoring increased, both short- and long-term outcomes were not immediately affected. Students still struggled in their respective subjects and did not increase their scores by a significant amount. Strange at first, but the answer became clear as to why. Individualized learning is not guaranteed if you have a private tutor. Many tutors lacked the ability and the time to personalize sessions for their students and used the same method for all. This led to parents stressing about wasted money and opportunity. They were lost as to how to pick the right tutor for their child leading to more and more time spent interviewing and picking the right tutor. However, the answer as to who would make a good tutor for your student was not so obvious. Choosing tutor is a subjective task and one that needed to be evolved. Reading tens and sometimes hundreds of tutor profiles did not guarantee any type of success. Paying more per hour for the same subject matter also proved fruitless. This is where tutoring stood in 2019.
In 2020, StudyBuddy arrived. We brought a fresh perspective to finding and hiring a tutor. Through big data research and our own premonitions, we were able to take Edtech further. We created a new technology never used in tutoring. A self-learning algorithm that was able to take the most important factors in student-tutor success was born.
With StudyBuddy, students and parents can rest easy knowing that we have gone through the trouble of finding them the optimal tutor. Once you put in a request, you will be matched with the ideal tutor based on your unique profile. All our tutors individualize their lessons for their students, but the key is the original match. We know the tutor-student relationship is a personal and long lasting one, so our technology is geared to maximizing this relationship. We look forward to continuing closing the gap in education and giving students of all backgrounds an equal opportunity to learn.