How the Internet is Making Homework a Nightmare for Teachers


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Photo by omtimes.com

Whether you are a student in school and trying to find the time to write your next book report, or a blogger looking to go live with some new content on their site – everyone needs a little help once in a while.

This also applies to everyone at different levels in their education, career and life as well. Whether it’s an elementary student stuck on long division or a calculus student at Harvard in need of help on a linear algebra theorem, having someone nearby to help when homework is too challenging to do on one’s own is important.

While homework services and study groups are not readily available at the public libraries, they are available quite frequently on sites such as Facebook or Twitter. These social media platforms themselves don’t offer these services, but there are plenty of independent companies and individuals who specialize in offering tutoring on every subject from Basic Algebra to Learning English as a Foreign Exchange Student, for example. You can check out Dormzi.com if you want to hire a qualified tutor specializing in high school or college level classes across a wide array of topics. 

The U.S. has already been offering these types of services to students. But lately, India has gotten in on the game as well. They are competing with U.S. tutors at a rapid pace, causing many U.S. tutors to have to lower their rates to be able to compete with companies in India that offer the same services.

While the U.S.-based sites are more professional in many ways and offer more credible tutors with higher skill levels, the willingness of India-based freelancers to jump into the tutoring game has created a unique supply-and-demand issue for American tutoring businesses.

Some of the most popular online U.S.-based tutoring sites are Tutor.com, a New York-based online tutoring portal that allows only highly qualified and certified teachers to work on their platform, and Course Hero which allows students to get homework help 24/7. There are hundreds of other services in the U.S., as well as India which offer a variety of homework help services including essay writing and math tutoring.

France has recently joined in the game, as well, where they offer what they call “the Uber of homework services” where tutors are as frequently accessed as a cab ride through town.

These platforms operate on a fee-based service and members often pay either a monthly fee or a fee per service as they hire tutors to meet their needs.

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Why would teachers object to this?

You would think that teachers would like their students being able to access homework help anytime they need it. Many of them are glad most of the services are there, but it causes problems in a number of areas. 

Plagiarism, which is not only unethical but illegal, has increased since the rise of online homework help, especially involving those services that allow essay writing services. Teachers worry that students are taking the easy way out and assigning their essay to random strangers who may not even use reliable sources to create the essays.

With more than 2,000+ searches per month in Google for the phrase “write an essay for me” and several other variations, it’s clear that there is already a demand for students to start finding help and writing solutions online. This has also opened up a whole new world of opportunity for businesses and money making opportunities as well — where there is a demand, investors and entrepreneurs will soon follow.

Other concerns involve student safety since they are often dealing with tutors that they do not know because of the privacy issues of the Internet. Social media plays a large role in fueling these fears due to the access that students have to a world of information, much of which can be created by people with specific political or educational goals that have nothing to do with the subject matter.

Les Echos, a newspaper in France noted that Bonnenote.fr, a new homework help site that has recently sprouted in France, has as its goal to revolutionize the national education system there by marketing their tutoring businesses.

How to Use Homework Services Responsibly

The key to utilizing these services in a responsible matter is by communicating with teachers and students as to the responsibilities they have to follow the rules of not engaging in Plagiarism and educating them about how asking someone to write one’s essay for a fee is not an ethical thing to do.

That being said, if you are a business owner who wants to outsource homework services, you should keep a few things in mind to keep it both legal and ethical.

  1. Make sure the teachers are either certified or have the skills necessary to be a credible model of education to the young people they are helping so that the quality of education is high.
  2. Vet the sources these outsourced agencies are using to make sure they are credible. U.S.-based sources are always better, though they are higher in cost. Explain to parents that they are paying for higher quality tutoring in general since US tutors are required to meet certain standards that children are required to reach in the United States.
  3. Make sure the portal or platform you plan to use is secure and that it will protect the data of students and families. You don’t want to have a security breach that may question the credibility of your service if you outsource homework help.

According to many of the top teacher blogs online, there is definitely a growing trend to outsourcing homework help, references, and essay-writing to various companies. Many of these sites use freelance tutors, some of which are certified teachers. Do your homework and find out what the standards are that they follow to get their tutors or teachers. Make sure they are focused on the subjects that students need to go onto the next level in their actual school or educational program.

How to Keep the High Quality Going

Parents and students expect the quality of tutoring services to be high and based on the standards of the country and state in which they live. The closer you can align the standards to what they expect, the better your business may perform if you decide to offer this.

Make sure you focus on the following points to ensure the quality of tutoring and instruction is solid and sound:

  • Legitimate references: You must make sure that the references used by the service or tutors is based on reliable sources. This is harder to do these days when there are many mainstream media news agencies that are pushing political agendas. Do not use sources like Snopes.com or Wikipedia.com. Cross-check for validity always.
  • Copied work– Make sure students and others understand that copying someone else’s work is not permitted in the educational environment. Stress the importance of hearing their words, not the words of someone they hired to write it for them and that such actions are illegal.
  • Outsourced writing– It’s fine to outsource writing, but once they get this paper back, they must study it then rewrite it in their own words to avoid plagiarism.

By following these standards, you can provide a great service to students of all ages and educational levels without worrying about the legalities.


Zac

Zac Johnson is an entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the world of online marketing and branding. Follow his journey at Blogging.org and ZacJohnson.com.

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