Cloud-Tutoring – Combining Automated Teaching and Personalized Learning

The most frequent Fi3M guest poster is back once again! Today Idahosa will give us food for thought on the possibilities of scalable, yet interactive language teaching, and the system he has set up to facilitate it, following up with the soundcloud feedback concept he introduced in the previous post.

I’m getting a lot of private lessons myself these days, and I can certainly see how a lot of this could be applied. Although one thing I feel is never going to be scalable is live spontaneous conversation practice and real time interaction, which is something I’m working on a lot these days, in Arabic.

Having said that, for beginner learners starting off who would cover almost the exact same material as other people, and for advanced learners who need to tweak some pronunciation and turn-of-phrase issues on exercises their teacher can assign them, this definitely holds a lot of potential for saving money and time, and helping students and teachers potentially work better together.

Check it out, and let us know your thoughts in the comments! Over to you Idahosa:

In my vision of language education:

  1. Every student should have a personalized learning experience.
  2. No teacher should ever have to repeat herself more than once.

Seems paradoxical right? The teacher can repeat a piece of information only once in a book or CD, then distribute that message to the to the masses the way Pimsleur or Rosetta stone does, but then student experience would NOT be personalized at all.

On the other side of the spectrum, the student can get all the personal attention he needs buy hiring a private tutor, but then that tutor would find herself repeating the same advice and instructions over and over again with each new student.

Indeed, these values are in direct competition with one another in the traditional educational models, but with “Cloud-Tutoring” they can co-exist. A Cloud-Tutor is a language educator who personally instructs his or her students virtually through “The Cloud”.

In my Mimic Method Flow Series Cloud, for example, I have over 500 students whom I personally provide pronunciation instruction to in less than 1 hour a day, any time of day I choose, from any place in the world. Within the next year, I plan to multiply my student numbers while still providing personalized feedback to each one with minimal man-hours per day.

Read on to learn how I plan to do this. By the way you should know – there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t do it too….

Summary of Cloud Tutoring

In my last guest post, “How to Receive Language Feedback for Free and Provide it for Profit” I discussed different ways you could use the free web application Soundcloud to share your language learning sounds and give precise feedback on other people’s sounds through the “timed-comments” feature.

I created a “Flow Forum” to facilitate this change, and many readers of this blog were excited to “unmute their language learning” by submitting recordings of themselves speaking their target languages and helping other people learn there’s (Note: The Flow Forum is being dismantled to establish more focused language-learning forums, learn more here). Here’s an example of a post to this forum – scroll over the icons at the bottom to read the comments.