Sunday, 21 June 2020

Bridging the Learning Gap with MyTutor

16 year old boy doing online tutoring session

{This is a collaborative post}

What a funny old year this is turning out to be, and of course, I mean funny, weird as adverse to funny and making me laugh. The children have now been home since mid-March and the girls are slowly (but hopefully) surely badgering away with their school work via the online system. I've been quite impressed with their school, who keep setting work and checking in with them to ensure they are OK.

It's a bit of a different story for JJ, my 16-year-old though. He should have just been finishing his GCSE examinations, but of course, they have been cancelled. So, in reality, he hasn't done any schooling for about three months and he still has another three months until college starts in September (hopefully!). He is the kind of lad who has a thirst for learning, so he'll often watch educational programs and listen to podcasts just for enjoyment and that's reassuring for me.

Thankfully he is a really bright boy, so I'm not too worried but had he have been a different kind of kid, I'm sure I would be much more concerned. Six months without any formal learning is a long time to go and that's why I was so pleased to let him have some online tutoring with MyTutor. He'll be studying Maths and Further Maths at A-level, along with Computer Science and Law, and realistically maths is a skill that needs continual input and practise to keep your skill level up.

When I first chatted to JJ about doing some online tutoring, he really wasn't interested. He didn't think it would be interesting and he said he probably wouldn't like the tutor. Nothing like having an open mind, right? However, I'm pleased to say that he is loving it and asked me for more sessions.

Read on to check out mine and his full review of our start to end experience with MyTutor.


Checking out the MyTutor Website


I found the site really easy to use, it is clear and logical to navigate. When you first go on you're given the opportunity to check out the tutors for a subject of your choosing and you can filter the list by all sorts of factors such as price range, level of tutoring, sex of tutor and their availability.

All the information about the tutor is there on their profile for you to see, what level they are educated up to, what grades they got in their examinations, how many tutoring sessions they've conducted, what reviews they have received and a bit about their tutoring style. You can then direct message them if you so wish to ask a question or find out a little more.

I used the live chat function a couple of times and I found both people I chatted to excellent and very helpful to me. The office is open 8am to 7pm Mon-Thurs, 8am to 5:30pm Fri and 9am - 5pm on Saturday and Sunday and you can call, email or live chat with them during these times. There are also helpful FAQ's to help you anytime.

Honest review of mytutor.co.uk for my 16 year old son who is off school during the coronavirus pandemic. These online maths tutuoring sessions are providing him with contnued schooling until he starts his A-levels in September. We feel tutoring is perfect for bridging any learnigng gap.

Finding the Right Tutor


I had the option to choose my own Tutor by looking through the profiles and then conducting as many free 15-minute meet and greet sessions as I liked until I found the person that we thought would suit JJ.

Or I chose to go down the route of using MyTutors expertise, I figured they knew their tutors best, so I used the live chat function and talked with Kuran. He told me he'd 'be really nosey' to find what I was looking for in a tutor and he'd aim to match JJ with someone he liked. Once he suggested James to me, we set up the free meeting and Kuran told me 'We're quite good as this, so you should only need one meeting', and he was right. James was exactly what I was hoping for, for JJ. He is well educated, articulate, personable and friendly.

During the 15-minute free session, I was able to see the lesson space, ask James any questions I had and discuss what topics would be good for JJ to learn. I just met James alone as I didn't realise that it is probably best for both the child and parent to meet the tutor together during this free short session, but luckily it didn't present a problem for us as JJ really liked him.

Using the Lesson Space


Once you have booked in a free 15-minute session or tutoring session you'll get an email explaining everything you need to do. The first thing is to run a set-up test to ensure that your WiFi and technology is OK to support the tutoring session. Don't be alarmed though, as you don't need to have anything too special and our WiFi can be very hit and miss, but it was good enough. You're advised to use an apple product or the Chrome browser on a PC, as they work best with the technology.

Ten minutes before the meeting you'll receive an email with a link to launch your lesson space, or you can log in to your account and the launch button will also be there under bookings.

You'll see from the image below, that the majority of the screen is devoted to an online interactive whiteboard that both the tutor and student can use, then on the right, you have the video link and a typed chat function. But JJ said it was just easier and quicker (you get the most for your money) by talking and letting James do the writing.


Screen shot of online tutoring session

How did JJ find the Tutoring Session?


So far JJ has just had his first session and to be honest we thought that might be all he'd have, but he enjoyed it so much he really wants to continue with a session once a week until he starts college, so that he is learning something new and testing himself.

During the free meeting, James and I spoke about him covering complex and imaginary numbers. When I mentioned this to JJ, he said that would be good, as he was familiar with the concepts but had never studied them before. After the 55 minute lesson, I asked JJ how he had found his time with James and had he leant anything and it was amazing how much he had picked up in one session.

He said that James was a really great tutor for him as he related the new topic areas to GCSE concepts to help him understand, thus relating new ideas to what he already knew. James was clear in his explanations, and he found the session very useful and educational, with him definitely wanting to have more sessions. 

I asked him how he found the learning space and he said it was very easy and intuitive to use. The whiteboard is good and he could see the potential to use other features with different topics. I had observed some of the session and James had been using the whiteboard whilst JJ chatted to him and gave answers and asked questions. I asked why he didn't use the whiteboard and he said there wasn't any need with what he was doing and James had instructed him to say the answer and he'd write it down go make it quicker and they could cover more content. Both JJ and I were happy with this. 

We both thought it was very useful that the whole session was videoed and JJ could access it for the next six months, so if he has an exam coming up and he wants to refresh, he can see the session again. I've watched some of the session on playback and I'm really impressed with James style, he is great at questioning and drawing the information out of JJ in a positive way. JJ also commented to me that he liked that James was not patronising at all. If JJ said he got a concept then James trusted him and moved on and this was appreciated as generally, he is a quick learner.

Quote from parent on a tutee

Reasons to use MyTutor


  • They're tried and tested with a 4.8 score on Trustpilot, 96% of the 863 reviews listed them as excellent or good
  • There is a great variety of young tutors, all high achievers themselves and attending the top universities in the UK
  • Prices start from just £18 for a 55-minute session and that is super reasonable
  • The times of the sessions can match your availability, so you don't have to change your weekly schedule to fit them in
  • I found the recommendation for our tutor James to be perfect against the brief I gave Kuran, so he sure knows how to make a good match
  • Safe messaging system, so your child can message their tutor without any personal contact details being swapped and it is all there in your account for you to see
  • Communication is top notch and you receive email confirmation and reminders, so you don't have to keep logging in to your account if you don't wish to
  • Pay as you go basis, you can change or cancel any session up to 24 hours before it starts, as you'll only be charged then
  • The online learning platform is easy to use and we found it very stable, that was even with us living in the countryside and not having the best Wifi speed
  • The sessions are available as a recording afterwards, so the child can refresh their learning again if they need to, perhaps closer to an exam date
  • We found our tutor James, to be knowledgeable, reliable and very relatable for my teenage son
  • There are also over 10,000 study notes available to anyone for free. You just search for the subject you are studying and the right level and there are loads of exam-style questions with super answers for you to study


Conclusion


Our experience with MyTutor has been excellent. Even if I had been paying for this session myself, I'd have been really pleased with how everything went. There genuinely wasn't one part of the process that I wasn't satisfied with and it has given me the confidence to use online tutoring with my daughters who are not quite as naturally bright and engaged in learning as JJ.

Thank you MyTutor and thank you, James, for great service.

If you fancy trying out a session then head over here and sign up, using this link you'll get £10 off your first session. You can't be off that!


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MyTutor pin






Disclosure: My son has received his tutoring sessions free of charge and I have received a fee for writing this post. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

 

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