5 Shocking Facts When Learning Skills Online

There are two types of you: one that reads it and one that doesn’t. Here are five facts that are sure to change your reading habits.

The social media you use can affect how smart you’ll be in school. (Photo: Getty Images)

Teachers of all stripes have acknowledged the truism that people learn from one another and that how you interact with the people around you has an impact on how you learn.

This is especially true when it comes to skills like reading, math and science, where it’s well established that social interaction is critical to student success.

That doesn’t mean you need to switch to Facebook and Snapchat, though. Science suggests having a small presence on social media can help students avoid staying tuned out.

Before you select the perfect tutoring method, it’s important to understand the basics about how and where it’s effective.

1. Internet-based learning may not be for you

Research has shown that studies conducted on the Internet have produced more reliable results than traditional classroom programs. However, there are drawbacks to relying on online learning.

Those drawbacks include the fact that it can be difficult to connect with the tutors on-site. The digital learning environment can also be more conducive to game playing than solid lesson planning. When you’re learning, you should focus on critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork. It’s no fun to have to ask someone you’ve never met for help with those skills.

If you do choose to go online, give yourself plenty of time to download all the courses needed to aid your learning, and practice tests before you really get into them. It’s helpful to think about who might be in your class. Your relative is likely a better tutor than your boring neighborhood friend.

2. Online-based tutoring doesn’t always prepare students for classroom work

At some point, you might need to head back to the traditional classroom and ask the more experienced and capable tutor for some handholding. If you go online, you might not be ready.

A study conducted by Gallup in 2012 revealed that Internet-based students had not mastered as many foundational skills for their grade level as students who did their classes on-site. And even though those students performed better on tests after learning online, their scores weren’t as high as students who did their on-site tutoring.

This underscores the importance of having handholding during Internet-based tutoring sessions.

Read our Top 10 Quick Tips to Prep Your Kid for College and Our Guide to the Best Schools for College Readiness.

Teachers often feel overwhelmed by students’ addiction to YouTube and other digital devices.

In a 2010 study, teachers reported spending a great deal of time making sure students are staying in the classroom and focused on the lessons. These students were primarily, if not exclusively, using their phones, tablets, laptops and TVs while attending class.

For the kids who are comfortable using the Internet, these situations can make for great classroom pressure. It’s important to choose a tutor wisely so you’re not giving into an added obstacle.

4. Internet-based tutoring isn’t right for everyone

Comfort isn’t a strong enough reason to ignore the importance of face-to-face interaction. If you’re looking for a more serious tutor, look for an individual who can genuinely explain the concepts at hand to you and your peers. If you’re still unsure, explore different options in-person at school or during in-home sessions with a private tutor.

5. It’s perfectly OK to ask questions

Don’t let the exhaustion from all the Internet interaction cloud your judgment. It’s very common for students to have questions about how online learning may impact their studies. When you’re in a tutoring session, you should always be comfortable asking questions of the tutor and your colleague, and you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for additional help.

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