Sunday, December 11, 2011
I meet with the majority of my students in person, but lately I've had a number of students who, because of distance or time constraints, prefer to work on-line and over the phone. I've tried a few models for this (Skype, etc.), but have found the most successful set-up to be one where the student and I work together (in real-time) using Google docs and talk over the phone as we work. Skype is nice, but with writing tutoring we don't really need face-to-face interaction as much as we need the ability to edit the same document simultaneously. I just finished two such on-line tutoring sessions this morning and have two more scheduled for later today. It's really a nice solution for busy schedules.
All you do is create a document in Google docs and then invite the student to "share" it. They then receive an email notifying them and including a link to the document. This way they can simultaneously edit with you as you talk on the phone. If the student has already written a draft, just copy it into the shared Google doc and go to work. As the student writes, I see their changes (in real time) on my screen and we can discuss content, organization, sentence structure/mechanics, etc. It works really well!
Feel free to contact me if you have questions about how to set this up: hollyvanh-at-gmail.com (change the -at- to @ -- this is my attempt to thwart spammers). I'd be happy to explain in more detail how it works.