Showing posts with label peer tutoring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label peer tutoring. Show all posts

Friday, November 25, 2016

Three Ways to Host Online Tutoring Sessions

I recently received an email from a reader who was looking for some tools that she could use for online tutoring/ instruction. The catch was that she needed to be able to share a whiteboard with her students. That's not an unusual request because whiteboards can be invaluable when trying to explain a mathematics concept online. These are the suggestions that I offered to her.

Web Whiteboard for Google+ Hangouts. This little tool adds a whiteboard to your Google+ Hangout. You can draw on the whiteboard while still taking advantage of all of the other features of Google+ Hangouts like voice, video, and text chat. To use Web Whiteboard in Google+ Hangouts simply go to the site and click G+ Hangout.

Stoodle is a free collaborative whiteboard tool hosted by the CK12 Foundation. You can use text chat while sharing your whiteboard. Registration is not required in order to use Stoodle. In the video embedded below I demonstrate the features of Stoodle. offers a whiteboard tool in their video conferencing system. There is a free version of available. The free version does limit some of the functions, but you can try the full version for free for up to three weeks. The other limitation is that you do have to install the desktop client or the iPad app in order to use so it's not an option for Chromebook users.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stoodle - Quickly Create Shared Online Whiteboards

Stoodle is an online whiteboard service supported in part by the CK-12 Foundation. Through Stoodle you can quickly create a collaborative whiteboard space. On your whiteboard you can type, draw, and upload images. You can connect Stoodle to your computer's microphone and talk your collaborators while drawing, typing, or sharing images.

Stoodle does not require you to create an account. To create a Stoodle whiteboard space just click "launch a classroom," name your room, and share the URL assigned to your room.

Applications for Education
Stoodle could be an excellent tool to use for impromptu peer tutoring sessions. Stoodle could also a great tool for hosting online brainstorming sessions.

Monday, November 19, 2012

9 Ways Students Can Host Peer Tutoring Sessions Online

During my last year as an undergraduate studying history and political science I got my first taste of teaching by running short tutoring sessions for freshmen who were in U.S. History 101 courses. In those days tutoring had to happen in the university library or in a vacant classroom. Today, thanks to web conferencing tools, students don't even need to be in the same country in order to tutor each other. Here are some good tools that students can use to host peer tutoring sessions online.

The Obvious Options
Skype is probably the most obvious option for hosting an online tutoring session. The screen sharing option makes it easy to talk and show diagrams or other images to aid explanations. The limitation is that for group video conferencing you need to have a premium Skype account.

Last week Google announced that Google+ can now be activated inside Google Apps for Education domains. This means that students within the same domain can host Google+ Hangouts. In a Google+ Hangout students can video conference, text chat, share documents, share their screens, and use third party apps like Concept Board to host online collaborative brainstorming sessions. Outside of a Google Apps for Education domain students who are 13+ can host Google+ Hangouts to use for peer tutoring.

The Lesser-Known Options
Live Minutes is a service offering free hosting for webinars. It takes less than thirty seconds to set-up a webinar on Live Minutes. To get started just click "start sharing" and a meeting space is created for you. That meeting space is assigned a URL that you can share with the people you want to join you. Live Minutes offers a good selection of tools that you can utilize to share ideas with others. You can talk to each other using either the Live Minutes audio or by connecting through Skype. Live Minutes offers a collaborative whiteboard for drawing. Uploading images and documents for others to see and comment on is also an option. And in the future Live Minutes will allow you to share videos during your webinar.

Any Meeting is a nice service for hosting and recording live webinars without installing any special software. When using Any Meeting as a webinar host you can share your screen, use your webcam, and use text chat all at the same time. As the webinar host you can invite others to talk to the group using their webcams. You can have up to six webcams active in a webinar at any one time. You can record all or part of your webinar for free too. If you have people that just want to participate in the audio aspect of your webinar, they can call in using the phone number and access code assigned to your webinar. is a registration-free tool for hosting online video conferences. allows you to have up to five people in a room. You can start using by simply clicking on the blue "Get a Meeting Room" button. When you click that button will create your room and assign it a URL to share with the people you want to video conference with. Once the room is created just allow to access your webcam and you're in business. You can make your room public or private after it has been created. If you do want to register on, you can. Registering on allows you to create a personalized room with a URL chosen by you. That room is yours to use as many times as you like.

Meetingl is a free service for hosting video conferences. A Meetingl conference room can be created in less than a minute. To create your room just go to the site, click "New Room," name your room, and send out invitations. To broadcast your video and audio select "allow" when you're asked if you want to grant Meetingl access to your computer. Mettingl is flash-based so you and your conference participants will need to be on a laptop or desktop computer. is a free service offered by Log Me In. allows Mac and Windows users to quickly share their screens with each other and work together. To use you do need to download the client. Once you've downloaded the client you can start sharing your screen with anyone you like. Just give your nine digit access number to your collaborators to give them access to your screen and to converse with you. Use to share a slide presentation and chat or share scientific calculator on your screen and explain to students how to solve an equation.

VSee is an alternative to Skype for hosting a video conference and sharing your desktop with others. Just as with Skype, you can hold multiple party calls and share your screen with another person. Where VSee tries to differentiate itself is in the quality of their calls and connection speeds. VSee offers HD video for clear call quality. For mobile users, VSee claims to use 50% less bandwidth than Skype.  Sharing files through VSee is a simple drag and drop process of just dragging your file onto another person's video window during your call.

Big Marker is a free service for conducting online conferences. Big Marker is a great option for conducting online tutoring sessions, brainstorming sessions, and other online presentations. Big Marker allows you to create your choice of a private or a public online meeting room. If you make your room public anyone can join. If you make your room private you have to give participants a password to enter the room.  Once in your Big Marker conference room you can share screens, chat via text, chat via audio, or turn on your webcam so that people can see and hear you. Your Big Marker conference room comes with a white board that you and your participants can write and draw on. As the creator of a Big Marker conference you can control who can and cannot be heard or seen in the live audio and video chats.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ask the Owls - Learn and Teach Online

Ask the Owls is a new service for teaching and learning online. On Ask the Owls anyone can who has a skill or knowledge that they want to share with others in an online classroom can do so. To teach a course just sign up as an "owl," complete a short course description form, upload your course hand-outs, then schedule your live class meeting. When the time comes to start your class just enter your classroom and click "start call" to start broadcasting with your webcam and microphone. A live chat box is enabled for your students to use while you're presenting.

Courses can be publicly listed on Ask the Owls. If you want to learn a new skill or learn some new knowledge, just browse through the course listings and sign-up if there is room in a course. Courses are currently limited to ten enrollees at a time. If you do sign-up for a course, but change your mind about taking the course make sure that you un-enroll so that someone else can get in.

Applications for Education
Ask the Owls has a course enrollment limit of ten which makes it appropriate for small online tutoring sessions. Ask the Owls could be a good platform for peer tutoring groups to use.

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