The Tech Savvy Tutor
4 Resources to Help You Stay Ahead of Your Competitor
My first client was a referral from a friend. The only thing tech related was the phone I was using. As my number of clients increased (even to 3) I realized I needed some help. Certain clients wanted to pay in cash, while others payed by PayPal. Clients liked being able to communicate through phone and texting, while others liked e-mail. And with 3 clients and 3 different subjects, I sometimes got confused as to what I was bringing with me during my next session.
Here are some of my tools that I have tried or currently used to operate as a tutor:
1. Tutors Office - My first tutor management program. It's simplistic and easy to operate. They offer it for free for a trial period. Then it's only $5.95 and up depending on the number of clients. They offer tools for tutos to include calendar scheduling, student management, payment management, invoicing, expensing, and tax reporting. They're definitely worth your time to check out.
2. Tutors Nirvana - This is my current tutor management program. It offers a good rate including a 30-day free trial. I find it to be an excellent portal to your clients. Like Tutor's Office, they offer a calendar, scheduling, potential client contact portal, student/family management, payment/expense management, invoicing and other great features. It also offers a list of recommended tutors in which you'll be listed. Your recommendations from clients will be posted here. That is, primarily, why I made the switch. The profile lists a summary of my experience and allows potential clients to link up with me.
3. Pay Pal - While Tutor's Office and Tutor's Nirvana offer invoicing capabilities, I like to go with Paypal. I use to sell and buy regularly on eBay and I have grown accustomed to PayPal. What I like best is the ability of paypal to take credit card payments. Of course there are fees that you have to pay, but it's small. It's even easier to get payment if the client has PayPal. Creating an invoice is also a lot easier.
4. ALEKS - One of my favorite math tutorial sites is www.aleks.com. From their website:
"Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn't know in a course. ALEKS then instructs the student on the topics she is most ready to learn. As a student works through a course, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student to ensure that topics learned are also retained. ALEKS courses are very complete in their topic coverage and ALEKS avoids multiple-choice questions. A student who shows a high level of mastery of an ALEKS course will be successful in the actual course she is taking.
ALEKS also provides the advantages of one-on-one instruction, 24/7, from virtually any Web-based computer for a fraction of the cost of a human tutor."
But wouldn't it replace you? No, not really. It provides what I can't to the client. Extra hours, extra practice for a low price. I'm still needed to explain concepts that the program can't. I typically recommend this program when I identify a student that is really far behind in math and needs more than 2 sessions a week. It's only $20.00 per month.
Well, that's it for today. I'll bring new resources every Monday to Help you stay ahead of the competition.--Randall