Tools For Online Tutoring – Do I Need A Stylus?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been chatting to a number of tutors who are just starting up their businesses. I’s been really rewarding to share some of my experiences to help them with their first steps in online tutoring.
I jumped into the world of tutoring without a great deal of forward planning, and like many of us had been toying with the idea for some time, but had my hand forced after a change in circumstances. Never one to turn down a challenge, I used it as a challenge and have grown the tutoring side of TeachAllAboutIT considerably over the past year. With that said, there were a few things that I really wish I’d known about before I jumped in feet first, and hopefully this blog and the accompanying podcast will go some way to address them.
One of the biggest worries that I’ve seen is what hardware do I really need to start online tutoring?
Graphics tablets
Whilst you could go all out with graphics tablets that cost hundred of pounds, it’s just not necessary for tutoring. The hardware needed very much depends on your subject – if you’re looking to tutor maths, dcience, art, so any other subject that requires you to hand draw diagrams then you’re going to want either a touch screen or a graphics tablet.
I like the Huion H420 USB Art Design Graphics Drawing Tablet because it has a 10 inch surface and comes with a handy glove to stop the pointer from flying about all over the place.
Combination Laptops
Alternatively, you can look at an all in one method. After my Microsoft Surface finally died after 7 years (not bad for a 1st generation tablet), I invested in an HP Pavillion laptop. For me, this had a number of benefits: I can use it like a standard laptop, it’s 180 hinges mean that I can use it like a massive tablet and draw directly onto the screen, and I can use it as a hybrid when tutoring online.
Being a massive nerd, I spent several weeks trawling websites and shops to find the ‘right’ laptop for my online tutoring, admin, and teaching needs. To be honest, the only grumble I’ve had with it is the combination headphone/microphone socket – with recording podcasts, I like to use a specialist microphone which is not supported. But this was easily solved by buying a splitter cable.
Tablets
Something that a number of my students use is an additional tablet & stylus for writing.
Benefit – you can use it for a multitude of other things
drawback – it’s not as accurate as a graphics tablet
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