Kimberly added remote tutoring capability in 2017. Although in-person tutoring will always be the gold standard, reducing the commuting burden for parents can make the difference for giving your student what they need.
Please note that if attention is a significant challenge for your student then remote sessions may not be the best option.
Listed below are the essential requirements for remote tutoring success.
Printable checklist to support your student.
Be ready early
Allow 10 minutes to log on to Zoom and enter Kimberly’s waiting room. Sometimes, the connection will lag or the computer may need to be rebooted. Those ten minutes provide a buffer so your student doesn’t miss valuable tutoring time.
A quiet, distraction-free room
It is vitally important, especially if your student is not using a headset, that background noise is eliminated. Everything that is happening nearby (i.e., people talking, unloading dishes, preparing dinner) comes through loud and clear.
This is challenging work and quiet is an absolute necessity for your student and the tutor.
Although the technology works well most of the time, there may be times when your student needs help. A parent must be nearby for the entire session, especially for students in elementary school.
A newer laptop or desktop (Mac or PC). Chromebooks or iPads are NOT compatible. If using a laptop, make sure it is fully charged or the power cord plugged in before the start of the session.
I purchased a Logitech h390 USB headset from Amazon and find that it works well.
A separate mouse. It is much easier for students to manipulate the tiles with a mouse during screen sharing.
Google Chrome is required since Whizzimo is built specifically for this browser.
Please visit Zoom to download the free video conferencing software. Walk through the registration steps, including start a test meeting. This step insures that the software is installed and working.
If you have trouble setting it up, please email me and I can have my husband help you get it working before the first lesson. (He’s a software developer and loves this stuff… and he’s dyslexic, too.)
Kimberly will send you her personal meeting ID to use for your student’s session. Students should log on 10 minutes before their scheduled start time. They will be in the waiting room until Kimberly admits them, at which time they will also need to turn on their audio and video options.
Finally, the most critical element is a fast Internet connection. Netflix provides an excellent speed test that provides an informative, simple message.
If you find that your speed is slow or there are frequent problems with remote sessions (such as audio and video freezing or even worse, disconnects), try some of the troubleshooting ideas below.
If the problems described above are occurring often, ten minutes before every session, perform the internet speed test.
Anything below a 10 (ten) can cause problems. For example:
In some cases, clients discovered that they were not receiving the speed advertised/promoted by their service provider. To investigate this, call the company, provide the numbers you’ve tracked, and compare them against your plan.
For example, if I have the Verizon 100 Mbps Plan:
but my results are often:
then I should ask my provider to run some tests.
If the tests turn out fine, then request support for improving wireless in your home. Following is an example:
Often, a wireless router is in the basement. The room where your student does remote tutoring is on an upper level and the wireless signal has to travel through two floors. A dramatic speed increase is possible by running a cable run from the router directly to the room (and not using wireless).