Today’s parents have to navigate their way through an ocean of information about every single part of their children’s lives, starting with school, sports, leisure activities, social platforms, and continuing on down the list. Being a Mom or Dad is an all-consuming task these days, and there is nothing more stressful for the human brain than to be surrounded by choices.
Actually, the more options we are presented with, the more difficult it is for our brain to decide which is the best. Being responsible for more than just themselves, parents can become overwhelmed when, in addition to every other choice they face, they also have to choose between online teaching vs. traditional teaching. It is therefore understandable that some of them might react negatively to this option at first.
About Online Learning – Pros and Cons
Parents may respond in various ways to the idea of their children taking a live online class. There are those who become fascinated by the idea and quickly note some of the many advantages, such as:
- Children can master additional online skills and tools
- Children today tend to be attracted to technology, so online training may be both more appealing to them and be able to hold their interest for a longer period
- Children can learn at early age that technology in used not only for fun
- Parents can save time and expenses on transportation
- Parents will have better opportunities to monitor what their child is learning
Others, understandably, may remain uncertain about online tutoring, for it can be quite different from their own experience as learners. They may also have concerns about the misuse of the technology or believe that it is better for their children to spend more time away from screens.
While all of these arguments are valid, even teachers with little experience in online tutoring know that with the right mindset the virtual classroom offers many great features that serve to improve and modernize traditional tutoring methods.
A Short How-to Guide for Creating a Virtual Classroom Mindset for Parents
Change is often met with uncertainty and doubt, which is not uncommon, especially when children are concerned. We created a brief how-to guide for teachers to help parents overcome their doubts and give the virtual classroom a chance.
Provide Information about Your Virtual Classroom
Provide information, but not too much. Making an informed decision is, of course, the best way to choose between a few options. Providing information offers a basis on which to make this choice. On the other hand, too much information might be overwhelming and push the parents in the direction of taking a more traditional road.
The best recipe here might be to offer small tips every now and then in order to create interest. A teacher could ask a parent for permission to send an email with details or provide a link to the virtual classroom platform’s website at a later time. More information should be given when required, and this might take some time.
Provide a Sneak Pееk
Some very helpful advice is for the teacher to prepare an actual preview on what they are suggesting. Such ideas include:
- Write an article about the virtual classroom platform that you use and provide screenshots
- Have some of your students and their parents send you testimonials on your work in the virtual classroom and publish them on your website or blog
- Record a video or a vlog episode in which you talk about the virtual classroom
- Many platforms, such as VEDAMO, allow you to download a video from a conducted lesson. For this purpose, record a short lesson especially made for this purpose and give it to parents as a presentation of the virtual classroom’s technology.
Provide Firsthand Experience in Your Virtual Classroom
In general, testing is the best way to be sure about a product you are committing to. The same goes for online tutoring. To calm parents’ doubts, the teacher might offer them a demonstration of their platform of choice. This way the parents can see for themselves what they are signing their child up for and be confident that they have made the right decision.
For the demonstration the tutor may simply create an online meeting in which they describe the options and functions available in the virtual classroom. However, a short lesson related to the child’s class topic (with some fun facts, a game, a video and/or an exercise or two) may turn out to be more convincing and make a better impression. Furthermore, it may even convince the parent to become an online learner themself.
Provide Answers about Your Virtual Classroom
Even after going through some or all of the above steps, the parent may still be feeling a bit uncertain. This is only natural. The teacher needs to be patient and answer all of the questions that may arise. Sometimes it turns out that something that is very important to the parent hasn’t been mentioned by the teacher and this creates some doubt. To ensure that parents are calm and confident in making their decision about live online tutoring, the teacher needs to be available to answer all of their questions not only before, but also during the course.