We understand many of you will be concerned about COVID-19 and are closely following the situation as it continues to evolve and unfold around the world.
TO HELP ENSURE COMMUNICATION IS CLEAR ON BOTH SIDES (STUDENTS & TUTORS), CLICK HERE TO SEE ADVICE TO OUR STUDENTS.
Below is some additional information regarding the latest health advice, and some alternatives to in-person tutoring.
1. In-Person Tutoring?
For all States and Regions (other than Victoria), LearnMate advises that in-person tutoring is permitted provided both student and tutor agree to the arrangement. Due to the high level of infection and spread, exercising safe distancing and increased hygiene is required with in-person lessons. It is also highly encouraged that both students and tutors wear a face mask during lessons to minimise further the risks of spreading or contracting the virus. We also recommend the continued monitoring of advice from the Government surrounding in-person activities. If in doubt, always seek online tutoring (see option 2 below).
FROM THURSDAY 6TH AUGUST, ALL VICTORIAN STUDENTS MUST COMPLETE LESSONS ONLINE (SEE OPTION 2 ‘ONLINE TUTORING’ BELOW).
(In compliance with the Victorian State Government and DHHS Guidelines as at August 02 2020
If either the student or tutor wishes to undertake online tutoring, then this must be respected (see dot point 2 below to learn how to conduct lessons online).
Group lessons (with two or more students) are allowed for all areas outside of Victoria.
Please see a graphic at the bottom of this page showing you how to keep yourself and your student(s) hygienic while attending lessons. To summarise some of the main points:
Lessons may be completed at home, a local library, school or any other location provided you practice safe hygiene.
We would recommend keeping a greater distance between student and tutor than typically done (e.g. 1.5m or more) and no more than 1 person per 4 square metres.
We would recommend no touching, no handshakes and no friendly body contact.
We would recommend that students and tutors wash their hands before and after each tutoring lesson with soap and/or hand sanitiser.
Group lessons (2 or more students with one tutor) are permitted, but social distancing must still be respected.
If you feel or your student develops ‘flu-like symptoms’, then we would recommend you tell your student not to have lessons, and set up alternative arrangements (see dot point 2 below on online tutoring).
2. Migrating to Online Tutoring (Alternative Form of Tutoring)
If you wish to still have lessons with your student, but do not want them to be done in-person, then online tutoring is a great way to ensure they can keep up with school work but not be exposed. All students/families have been informed in a separate email on these options as presented in this message.
HOW TO TUTOR ONLINE
Thankfully LearnMate has ample resources to learn how to tutor online, which you can learn very quickly!
1. See our comprehensive online training videos here. The password to access this course is: q7yt1628
2. Be sure to navigate to ‘Section 8, Lecture 60’ onwards to see all the training on how to use online tutoring (whether it be Skype or Zoom).
3. Train and familiarise yourself on how to use online tutoring and create a Skype and/or Zoom account to prepare yourself.
4. You can also see a fantastic video released here by the Australian Tutoring Association on how to prepare and train yourself for tutoring online.
Below we explain what is mentioned in the image above on how to get started on online tutoring:
Tell your student you’d like to switch to online tutoring in the meantime. Note: your student may contact you beforehand to request online tutoring.“For purposes of ensuring educational continuity, we urge you to not reject your current students due to a lack of preference for online tutoring. As this is a national health crisis, we urge all tutors to come together to ensure that students’ education is not disrupted even if online tutoring is new to you. We provide easy to follow instructions as mentioned above.” Whoever contacts first is irrelevant, as the following info below must then be followed:
If you haven’t already installed Skype on your device, be sure to download it here. Skype is a great way to connect with your tutor remotely, and you can both share your screens and work, along with video/audio calls. You can also record all Skype calls so that students can review them after the lesson!
You should then request your student’s username so you can add them to your Skype account (as a contact) and then once you add them you can call them through the software. Not sure how to add them as a contact? Learn more here.
Your lesson will occur as normal with your student through online (Skype). If you’re not sure how to do online tutoring as you’re new, then see more info above (HOW TO TUTOR ONLINE) on how to do it as LearnMate provides a whole training module to tutors on online tutoring.
Then, as normal, LearnMate will charge your student’s credit/debit card, and you will be paid the following Tuesday. Everything else remains the same with how you currently log lessons and get paid – the only difference is the method through which tutoring is done – through online (Skype).
Note: we also offer tutoring on ‘Zoom‘, which is also free to use; however, we have found that Skype is easier to use and set up. If you’d like to avail Zoom instead of Skype, please just tell your student that you’ll be availing Zoom instead, however, be sure to follow the instructions above (HOW TO TUTOR ONLINE) via Zoom.
STUDENT SAFETY REGARDING ONLINE TUTORING
As online tutoring is more of a closed environment compared to in-person lessons, we urge tutors to follow certain safety protocols (which students are also informed about):
If possible, ensure you and your student hold lessons in a communal area (e.g. a living or lounge room). We advise against having lessons in the bedroom.
If possible, we recommend your student keep their speakers on loud (so not on headphones), so that they can talk into their device through the in-built microphone, and hear through the in-built speakers on the device (i.e. the speakers that come in-built in your student’s laptop). However, if this causes technical difficulties, then your student may choose to use headphones.
Why record a lesson? Simple. After the lesson occurs, your student can review what they learnt to enhance their tutoring session. It is also an excellent way for you to review your own lesson to see where you may want to improve.
HOW DO I USE AN ONLINE WHITEBOARD TO EDUCATE STUDENTS?
LearnMate often get asked – what are the best whiteboards that tutors can use when tutoring their students through Skype or Zoom?
An online whiteboard is a learning space where both teachers and students can write and interact with students in real-time via the internet. Whiteboards (traditional, digital and web) are found in almost every classroom because it makes it easy for teachers to explain and explore ideas with students.
It is important to remember that symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or tiredness, while consistent with coronavirus, are symptoms that are associated with other illnesses, including the common cold and flu. Unless you have seen a medical professional and have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should not assume you have the virus, but be vigilant in your hygiene.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as a fever, breathing difficulties, a cough or sore throat, and have recently returned from an affected country, or come into contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, separate yourself from others and call the dedicated Victorian Department of Human Health and Services COVID-19 hotline on 1800 675 398.
If you have severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, call 000 immediately and request an ambulance.
For general information on COVID-19, you can also contact the Department of Health national hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 020 080.