With the educational landscape constantly shifting, it is important that the resources available to students change with the times and expand technological horizons.
One Jericho-based company is leading the charge and fostering a new era in education. Started by a team of highly seasoned professionals with more than a decade of experience, iTutor is an online-based tutoring platform that removes the shackles of home tutoring and gives educators and students the freedom to work together to achieve a new level of learning.
Muttontown resident and iTutor CEO Harry Aurora said the recently relocated company has multiple benefits. First and foremost, he said, students can get the help they need for school from the comfort of their own home.
“We recruit tutors from Montauk to Buffalo, all state certified,” said Aurora. “This is where we need to move the needle in education. The future of education is not brick-and-mortar. We need to grow with the technology.”
Denise Marder, iTutor education director, said the company offers the best of both worlds in education by combining the advantages of computer technology with the one-on-one interaction that makes tutoring so vital to a student’s academic success.
“The students have their computers or tablets and all the features that come with those tools, but they still have the advantage of speaking directly with a tutor,” said Marder. “It is a virtual classroom. And one of the best parts is that the sessions are recorded. The students own the sessions so they can log in to their account and review the material whenever they want. Administrators and parents love it because they can access the sessions to see how they are going.”
And the Long Island school districts utilizing iTutor’s services seem to be growing in numbers. The districts they are either contracting with directly, working with through BOCES, or are close to getting started with are Baldwin, North Babylon, Port Washington, Islip, Lawrence, Freeport, Garden City, Central Islip, Syosset, Jericho, Smithtown, Oceanside, Elwood, Valley Stream, Hauppauge, Carle Place and Plainedge.
Aurora said schools are quick to work with iTutor because not only do they benefit from having better prepared students, but they also see relief on the financial end of the equation—savings that translate into other teaching resources. According to the Virginia-based International Association for K-12 Online Learning, in-person tutors cost an average of $11,300 per year, while companies like iTutor offer more reasonable prices for premium online educational assistance, averaging $6,400 per year.
“And the education is customizable, allowing students to progress at his or her own pace,” said Aurora. “Also, there is no traveling, and parents don’t have to worry about strangers coming nto their home. There are no health concerns to worry about, and tutoring schedules are not affected by inclement weather.”
Aimee Johnson, education coordinator with iTutor, said the service also helps shy students interact, whereas face-to-face tutoring might keep them from truly prospering from their tutor’s knowledge.
“A lot of kids tend to clam up because they don’t want to show that they are struggling,” said Johnson. “This helps to diffuse any nerves. The use of technology can make it fun and it gives the student an opportunity to interact with the teacher.”
As for the tutors themselves, iTutor gives educators the chance to take that part-time tutoring job they wouldn’t have otherwise taken because of their own responsibilities at home. And iTutor operates without any geographic boundaries, opening up a pool of talented educators.
“We have access to some amazing teachers who don’t have to live close to the students,” said Marder.
The tutors specialize in math, science, social studies/history, language arts and foreign languages. iTutor also gives parents the tools to help their children adapt to the challenging Common Core Learning Standards.
“My children go to the Jericho School District, so I know what the needs are,” said Aurora. “Parents are looking for a solution like this.”
Students, parents, administrators and tutors may visit www.itutor.com for more information.