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The Classroom in the Cloud: How Tutoring Centers are Stepping Up for Students

This article was published on March 25, 2022

Across the world, in 2020 and into 2021 students have attended school via distance learning with varying levels of success. Many students have struggled through all of these changes and fallen behind. Stepping into the gap are tutoring centers.

Across the world, in 2020 and into 2021 students have attended school via “distance learning” with varying levels of success. Even now, as schools reopen, many are only part-time, and students are having to figure out the balance between at-home and at-school learning. Many students have struggled through all of these changes and fallen behind. Stepping into the gap are tutoring centers. 

Tutors, just like teachers, have had to supplement their physical presence with online communication. In the past, tutors have been used by parents to help their students succeed in the school subject they struggle with. Tutoring centers have done this by offering focused one-on-one or small group attention to the student that teachers in crowded classrooms simply can’t give.

Today, for most, that “crowded classroom” is still a crowded Zoom call, and if anything, the ability for teachers to focus on individual students is even more hampered than usual. The heart of tutoring is small group or one-on-one interaction with the tutor, and that hasn’t changed. Tutoring centers are getting creative, using video conferencing to offer the closest possible experience to in-person tutoring, one-on-one or in small group study sessions that provide a safe space to tackle new concepts, allow for seamless interaction between peers and teachers, and close the gaps in the public education systems around the world.

Here are two case studies of Vonage customers using our Video API to stay in touch with their students and provide additional value during an uncertain school and work year.

Wall Street English

For 48 years, Wall Street English has used technology to teach English via their proprietary methodology. They’ve taught over 3 million people English in 28 countries. Their method is a blended model, combining in-person with online learning. But in 2020, meeting the reality of Covid-19, WSE proactively stepped up to develop a complementary fully-online program, giving students the option to choose how to learn English: online from home, in a school, or a mix of the two, and always with full support from a qualified teacher and coach.

Wall Street English utilizes the Vonage Video API for teacher-led classes and 1:1 video conferencing coaching sessions to ensure students are receiving the instruction they need. It’s also used for, online group “Conversation Classes" that allow students to practice speaking English together.

Extending the offer to bring their learning method entirely online represents a great step forward for the company, opening their program to students worldwide who may not be able to travel to one of their 420 physical locations. Wall Street English has long been a leader in using technology to teach English, and their use of video conferencing in 2020 and beyond is reflective of that.

“The decision to move online in addition to our brick-and-mortar centers is a great step forward for the company,” says David Kedwards, Executive Chairman of Wall Street English, “evolving our business to meet the needs of today’s learners. Vonage has played an important role in our digital transformation. The Vonage Video API integrated easily with our platform, enabling us to set up real-time, high-quality video classes to serve thousands of students worldwide,” he added.

Lindamood Bell

Lindamood-Bell Learning Centers provide evidence-based instruction that develops the sensory-cognitive processing necessary to learn how to read and comprehend. Their over 50 learning centers have offered online instruction since 2015, so for them, 2020’s demands were relatively easy to meet.

They utilize a proprietary video conferencing solution backed by Vonage’s Video API to offer live, individualized 1:1 instruction to children and adults. "In 2020, we were able to instantly change from in-person instruction to online instruction. Since 2015, we had been researching and operationalizing online instruction, and when everything shut down, we were able to implement online instruction within two days. There was no loss of learning for students nor loss of work for our instructional staff," explains Co-founder and CEO Nanci Bell.

Customer feedback shows their online model is a success. "Online instruction is exactly like it would be in the center. She has the same instructors, she’s laughing, she's enjoying herself. She has made such great progress from the comfort of our home,” says one mother.

The educational landscape will no doubt continue to evolve, and those institutions ready to adapt with the right technology will be far ahead of the pack

Discover how to connect today's learners to tomorrow's education innovations: Visit the education solutions page today!



Tanya Vernitsky headshot
By Tanya Vernitsky Senior Product Marketer, Video API

Tanya is a product marketer for Vonage Communications APIs that power customer journeys within innovative mobile and web applications globally. She focuses on launching new communications technologies and developing strategies for their adoption within education, tutoring and online event platforms. Tanya has previously worked in early stage YC-funded startups in the video streaming and broadcasting industry, and on products enabling better developer experiences.

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