“An important part of tutoring is a social relationship with an interested adult,” said Amanda Neitzel, assistant research scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Education Research and Reform. “How can you build it in an online format?”
She added that her worry was that the federal push for tutoring would lead to “an expensive disaster.”
Virtual tutoring is a huge business opportunity for the educational technology sector. Investment in high-tech grew to $3.2 billion in the first half of 2021 from $1.7 billion in all of 2019, according to market research from Reach Capital, a venture capital firm specializing in education.
According to James Kim, a Reach partner, several online tutoring startups are raising half of their new business from federal funding. School districts typically pay $1 to $100 per student who will use tutoring over the course of a year.
E-tech investors and entrepreneurs say the academic and social failures of schools in remote areas have little to do with the services these businesses are providing. They emphasize that their platforms are supposed to complement face-to-face education, not replace it, and that being able to have a tutor anytime, from anywhere, is beneficial.
“Online tutoring is one-on-one communication,” said Myles Hunter, chief executive officer of TutorMe. watch Zoom videos for eight hours a day.”
However, Mr. Kim, a former teacher, understands the doubts well.
“I think the skepticism is justified,” he said. “I have introduced a lot of technology products but there is no place in my classroom. Especially during this pandemic time when this market is full of money, we see people looking for ways to make a quick buck.”
Some cities and states – like Chicago, New Mexico and Arkansas – are starting live tutoring. But recruitment is fraught with labor shortages, a key reason district leaders say they are turning to online tutoring.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/21/us/online-tutoring-stimulus-funding.html Federal funds will use online tutoring despite the setbacks caused by the pandemic