The Right Tools for Good Online Tutoring in 2021

The Right Tools for Good Online Tutoring in 2021

Distance learning and online tutoring have somehow been part of it since the Corona crisis. In this post I would like to give you an overview of which digital tools and hardware you and your tutoring school need for good online tutoring.

There are many alternatives on the market. Just choosing the right video conferencing tool for you takes some research time. Therefore, StudyMind would like to give you an overview here. So what do you have to consider when choosing the right tools and hardware and which alternatives are recommended?

At a glance: What is basically required as a teacher?

Digital tools for communication

  • Zoom
  • Google Hangouts
  • Skype
  • Teams
  • Senfcall
  • BigBlueButton
  • Cisco Webex
  • GoToMeeting
  • Jitsi
  • Screenleap

Digital tools for visualization

  • Miro
  • Twiddla
  • Scribblar
  • Groupboard (also for math functions)
  • Awwapp

More digital tools

  • File storage (Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive)
  • Video recording tools e.g. Screencastify


  • Webcam
  • Headset
  • Document camera
  • (Graphic) tablet

Digital tools for communication

A few years ago, when it came to video telephony, people mainly thought of the “Skype” tool. Today there are a large number of different providers. So that you can find the right tool for you, you should know which criteria you can use to evaluate video conference tools:

  • Video transmission available?
  • Screen sharing available?
  • Chat function available?
  • Is it easy and intuitive to use?
  • Record function available?
  • Image and audio quality good enough for my application?
  • Sufficient number of participants?
  • Price (free of charge or for a fee)?
  • Whiteboard function available?
  • Does tool really comply with regulations of data protection?

In the overview above you can see various tools on the market. Good video quality is important for online tutoring. The provider Skype is rather weak. The audio and video quality drops sharply, especially when there are three or more participants.

It is also practical if the tool has a whiteboard function in order to be able to visualize facts directly in the video conference tool. This is not an exclusion criterion, as you can also use an additional tool for the whiteboard function (see below). However, a solution in one is certainly more practical.

A recording function is an additional plus point for the pupils. So you can record the tutoring and look at the explanations again later. Under these premises, some providers such as Skype or Google Hangouts do not apply.

The following is a selection of tools that meet a large number of the points mentioned:

Zoom as one of the biggest corona profiteers

The video tool Zoom benefited from the corona pandemic. The number of users has increased rapidly and the platform is used by many institutions. Zoom is free in the basic version. However, meetings with three or more participants are limited to 40 minutes. Paid versions are available from € 13.99 per month.

Operation: Very simple and intuitive to use

Picture and sound quality: Very good (HD audio and HD video)

Range of functions: Online meetings, video conferences, screen sharing, chat, whiteboard function, transfer of keyboard / mouse control

Supported systems: Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android

Data protection: At the beginning of the corona pandemic, Zoom was criticized for data protection and security deficiencies. The US company responded with updates and improved data protection in a number of areas. However, in July 2020, the Berlin data protection officer Maja Smoltczyk came to the conclusion that the well-known providers Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, Microsoft Teams had deficiencies in data processing during a brief review of video conference services. The services are rated “red” in a 3-stage traffic light system. Zoom is characterized as follows: “Defects in the order processing contract. Impermissible restrictions on the obligation to delete. Inadmissible data exports. Doubts about the reliability of the provider.” 

Regardless of which tool you choose, do not forget to add data processing in the context of video conferences to your data protection declaration. Incidentally, the VNN supports its members with questions on data protection issues. With the free BASIS check, every VNN member can request a one-off check of the existing data protection declaration. The completeness of the declaration and the correct integration on a possibly existing website are checked. In addition, the VNN also offers a paid PREMIUM check, the price of which is significantly below that of the free competitors. If you have any further questions, please contact the VNN directly.

GoToMeeting: A tool from the business environment with many functions

The video conference tool GoToMeeting is chargeable, but it also has many functions. The tool is mainly used in the business environment. After a free trial period, there are various subscription models to choose from. The Business model currently costs $ 14.33 per month.

Operation: User-friendly login and registration

Image and audio quality: Very good (HD video)

Scope of functions: Online meetings and video conferences, VoIP audio, screen transmission, conference dial-in by telephone, recording function, chat, drawing tools, virtual whiteboard, transfer of keyboard / mouse control

Supported Systems: Mac, Windows and Linux, Mobile Apps

Data protection: The GoToMeeting tool, which also comes from a US provider, was also rated “red” in terms of data protection. In detail, the Berlin data protection department sees the following problems: “Defects in the order processing contract. Inadmissibly limited scope. Inadmissible data exports.”

Jitsi Meet scores better than Zoom and GoToMeeting when it comes to data protection

Jitsi is a free, open source tool, open source and Web RTC compatible. You can create a meeting directly via Jitsi-Meet without needing an account. Subsequently, additional participants can be invited simply by passing on a URL. If you want to meet the highest standards in terms of data protection, you can also choose paid providers. These providers also use the open source tool Jitsi, but the application runs on their own servers. By the way, this service is called hosting. An American provider is, for example, NETWAYS Web Services, whose data centers are located exclusively in the USA. But the monthly fee is a bit higher here. The Jitsi-Medium version with up to 50 users and 6 moderator’s costs $ 39.99.

Operation: User-friendly and simple. No installation is required for the free Jitsi Meet version; you can start directly in the web browser.

Image and audio quality: Very good (HD video)

Scope of functions: Online meetings and video conferences, VoIP audio, screen transmission, participants can “show their hands”, statistics on speaking time during the conference, recording function. Unfortunately, there is no whiteboard function. Below is an example of an external whiteboard tool.

Supported Systems: Mac, Windows and Linux, Mobile Apps

Data protection: Jitsi in combination with a provider that uses American servers scored well in the data protection check. The legal evaluation of the Berlin data protection is here even on “green”. 


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