Will traditional tutors become obsolete with rising app popularity?


Deciding if you want to use a tutor, or if you’d just rather download an app to help you, is becoming more difficult these days. Technology has and will continue to amaze us with its new inventions, but when people question if professions are necessary, should we become concerned?

A tutor has historically been an instructor who meets a student at their home or a library to help with assignments or a specific subject–but with apps, students often have more on-demand academic help.

Learning from an app can be ideal for the new generation because it offers flexibility and little or no cost.

“Mobile and web applications offer personalized, low cost learning 24/7,” says Kristen Winkler, an education blogger and founder of EDUKWEST. “No need to deal with scheduling lessons in advance, cancellations or other annoying stuff.”

When it comes to a private tutor, prices can range from $10 to $15 per hour if hiring a high school student, and up to $75 per hour for a certified teacher with experience, according to care.com.

Solution: Instead of paying for someone to come in, why not just sign up for free or nearly free program students can access at any time?

(Next page: Saving money and convenience)

Khan Academy

A nonprofit tutorial program, Khan Academy thrives on its mission to provide others the opportunity to access a world-class education. With Khan, students have access to an extensive library of content that includes interactive challenges, assessments, and videos from any computer with web capabilities. Activities are focused on the pace of the student thus allowing the student to progress without the classroom pressures. (Cost: FREE)


The mission behind TutorVista is simply to provide world-class tutoring and high-quality content to students around the world. Already a premier online destination for affordable education and tutoring services—anytime, anywhere and in any subject—students can access service from home or school. The program’s comprehensive lesson and question bank create an environment where students can master subjects. (Cost: varies from $20 to $250 based on monthly subscriptions)

Tutor.com To Go

As an on-demand tutoring service that empowers students to connect to a tutor from any device, with an HTML5 classroom, this app prides itself on its accessibility. Students who use this app are given the ability to connect to a live tutor for one-to-one help in math, science, social studies, and English. There is also the benefit of additional resources from the Skills Center Resource Library that can be accessed at any time. (Cost: FREE)

Learn To Be

The mission at Learn To Be is simple: to provide free, online tutoring to kids in underserved communities. The program itself specializes in K-12 students around the globe, but is also focused on providing individualized instruction to students who don’t have the resources to otherwise compete. By using real-time virtual whiteboards with voice and webcam conferencing this program provides academic support to students struggling in math, science, and language arts. (Cost: FREE)


XtraMath, a Seattle-based organization is dedicated to helping students achieve math skills within elementary school. While problems are timed, this program allows students to build essential memorization skills they will need in order to move on to more advanced math concepts. With XtraMath educators can see areas where students are struggling and use it to their advantage when creating lesson plans.

Gaby Arancibia is an editorial intern at eSchool News. 

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