Sunday, December 11, 2011

Writing Tutoring On-line (and by phone)

I've been doing a lot of writing tutoring lately -- A LOT!  I'm amazed by the response I've received now that I've officially "hung my shingle" out.  It's really nice and I've been able to do some really great, intensive work with students.

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: (change the -at- to @ -- this is my attempt to thwart spammers).  I'd be happy to explain in more detail how it works.

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