In conversation with Hussein M. Hachem, Founder of Educare, on Online Tutoring
According to a report by research firm Global Industry Analysts, Inc. (GIA), the global private tutoring market is projected to grow into a $102.8 billion market by 2018. The reason being ineffectiveness of current standardized education systems to engage and motivate students to learn and the overwhelming amount of homework. Students need tutors who can help them after school hours, organize learning and achieve their academic goals.
However, tutoring has always been a luxury available to students from high-income families only. Hussein M. Hachem, a renowned edupreuner, noticed this problem and decided to solve it. He started helping students who were struggling with Chemistry, Biology and Physics. In 2013, he founded Educare Student Services – a tutoring company which provides tutoring services to parents/individuals of all race, color, ethnicity and religion. His service towards the growth of society won him many leadership awards and his efforts are recognized by President Barack Obama with the Call to Service Award.
In collaboration with WizIQ, Hussein will deliver a free webinar “Online Tutoring: Tools, benefits & advantages” on July 24th, 2015. The webinar is ideal for online tutors, educators, parents, students and all those who are interested in learning more about online tutoring.
Meanwhile, you can get a quick tour of Hussein’s tutoring journey, his views on online tutoring and the challenges associated with it.
Here are the excerpts from our conversation with him:
Your tutoring business has grown by leaps and bounds within a period of two years only. Could you tell us how your journey has been since you started out?
Educare started out of my home office. I hired one tutor in the beginning and reached out to couple of parents that I know to inform them about the company. During the past two years, we focused our efforts on bringing quality tutoring services to parents. It wasn’t an easy job. We keep a constant line of communication between us, the company, and the parents through phones calls, mails, emails, and even social media. We relied on social media to spread the word about our services and we received so many positive feedbacks. Now the company has its own learning center where it runs various programs for students K to 12 including after school programs, summer programs, ACT & SAT workshops, AP tutoring and advancement programs for Reading, Writing & Math.
You have ventured into online tutoring too. Share your experience of teaching online.
The company is based in Dearborn, Michigan and we were limited to the area when providing our services. We received many requests from parents who live far from the area that we cover to tutor their kids. As a result, six months ago we decided to provide Online Tutoring. That move expanded our horizon and exposed us to a new base of students. The generation now is well educated on how to use computers and tablets which makes Online Tutoring an accepted choice for parents. The student can hear and see us, ask questions, take tests and quizzes, and interact with the tutor as he/she is physically present to help. I see a worldwide trend that started 5 years ago but its booming now more to move towards Online teaching. We are living the Online era.
It is often seen that parents are not too comfortable with the concept of online tutoring despite the popularity and advancement of e-learning. How do you see this situation?
Many parents who hesitate about allowing their kids to receive e-learning aren’t fully aware of the concept, the advanced techniques used, and the proved positive outcome. If we look at the educational systems worldwide, we see prestigious colleges and universities providing online courses for students around the globe. You can receive degree from home. E-learning has opened opportunities for disabled and challenged students to received degree and achieve their dreams. Yes, we have to acknowledge the hesitation of many parents; however, we have to also point out that many of those hesitant parents recommend e-learning to their network after they experience the benefits of it.
According to you, what all basic things does one need to get started with online tutoring?
As a student and a tutor, you need basic knowledge in computers. It’s as simple as opening your electronic device, opening the web service, typing in the company’s website, logging in to your account and clicking start on the session. In some cases, it might be as simple as opening Skype or Google Hangouts. Many e-learning companies provide their own online platform with many sophisticated tools such as whiteboard, screen sharing, mathematical symbols and equations, shapes and forms, ability to upload documents and share them with many users, ability to take quizzes and tests and discuss results with tutors. As much as we are moving forward, technology is advancing and presenting simpler and easier tools for students and tutors.
Do you have some advice for teachers who want to seriously take up online tutoring?
I encourage teachers to start online tutoring. It is an option that opens your eye to the world as they will be no limit to what you can offer and receive. It doesn’t matter if you teach Languages or Mathematics or Physics or History or Programming, there is always a need for what you offer. All what it takes to be successful is to provide quality, loyalty and trustworthy relations with your students. Love what you do and surely others will love it too.