Thursday, September 08, 2005

Outsourcing Tutoring


Needless to say, critics have been vocal in their opposition to the offshoring, noting that the industry has few standards and employees are not closely monitored. Sensitive to such charges, online tutoring firms in the US have adopted several approaches; Tutor.com uses only instructors based in North America, while rival SmarThinking has employees in South Africa, the Philippines, India, and Chile, but ensures that only tutors in the United States provide English lessons.

However, online tutoring, according to its advocates, has the advantage of eliminating factors such as skin color and appearance. SmarThinking's chief executive and co-founder, Burck Smith, claims that the Internet makes online tutoring "more egalitarian than most classrooms." With distance learning, students in rural areas who may not have ready access to qualified teachers can now receive instruction online. Parents and students who use such services are also aware of the savings; the Marinaros say that Growing Stars costs a third of what they were paying an in-home tutor.


Nothing is safe from outsourcing. The Web is a powerful tool. It can be used for education. And this is another way to help your children.

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