In March of 2015, I was having a discussion with Amy Herd, an online dyslexia reading tutor about how most online tutoring platforms are built for older students and sometimes not very user friendly. We talked about our wishes for a platform that was simple to use and little kid friendly.
Here's a snippet of that conversation:
I would love to have an affordable program that both my student and I could manipulate what is on the screen. I would like letter tiles with color options. It would also be nice to have blank tiles, dice, an easy way to play card games. It would also be nice to have a whiteboard and access documents, where the student could read, write, underline etc. Also, the ability to cover certain words or parts of words if the student is struggling because the word's too big. Something like a word frame.
I did a little research on building something like that and realized I didn't have the funds to build that for tutors. Life got busy again and I left the project on the back burner. Recently, another tutor Laura Freeman, (a dyslexia tutor) was on a phone call with me in which told me about Whizzimo. It's a reading desktop app and mobile app that she had been using. She explained that Whizzimo was dyslexia program friendly and had all these cool tools built inside of it. You could play games and the student could interact with the program at the same time as the tutor. I was intrigued as it sparked my memory about what Amy and I had talked about.
I scheduled a tour of the Whizzimo app and was blown away. No only did it do most of what Amy was talking about, but it had a library of done for you lessons and a data base of over 40,000 words all categorized. I was over the moon excited and told Amy right away because you can use Whizzimo on your computer or download the Apple store app.
Whizzimo's multisensory reading and spelling activities are available anywhere, so you no longer have to rummage through your trunk, desk, or classroom to find materials. Talk about time saver. My favorite bit of information about Whizzimo is how it was developed. The co-founder, Lincoln, was a reading tutor. He was sick and tired of all the tiles getting shuffled around and lost. He was tired of the hours of planning. He teamed up with Jerome and they created a desktop app that saves teachers time with it's ability to save lesson plans, store all the words, and make it simple to pull your reading lessons together. Another important detail to note is that Whizzimo works on your computer, iPad, accessible via your browser on an android tablet, and even the smartboard found in classrooms. So tell your teacher friends too!
After telling Amy about it, she reported back that Whizzimo has ignited a fire of excitement for online tutoring again.
I just wanted to share my excitement! I revamped my online tutoring to make it more hands-on for my 9 year old student and he loved it! We did an hour session over Zoom.us and he didn't want it to be over. My old online tutoring methods were boring for him. The old way was the same kind of lesson, just less hands-on. He was able to control the Whizzimo tiles for reading.
- MULTIPLATFORM SOLUTION – Your Whizzimo account is accessible on any tablet or computer. Move between devices without missing a step.
- SIMPLE & POWERFUL – Instructional tools should be easy to use. Whizzimo is designed to support your current instructional routine.
- FULLY CUSTOMIZABLE – Everything from the sound tiles' colors to the concepts you cover are customizable with just a few clicks.
- READING-SYSTEM FRIENDLY – Whizzimo is equally effective when used on its own or alongside your current reading system.
- SMARTBOARD-COMPATIBLE – Whizzimo works well on your smartboard. Simply turn it on, log in to Whizzimo, and start having fun!
- MULTISENSORY LEARNING – Whizzimo's design is aligned with the best multisensory reading and spelling practices.
Special Offer from Whizzimo
After talking with Lincoln, he wanted to offer the tutors of The Tutor House a discount if they decide Whizzimo is for them. All you have to do is try Whizzimo for free and then Lincoln will set up a time to take you on a tour of the program. Start by entering your email address on the home page. When you're talking to him, mention the tutor coach and get 10% off. Whoot!!
If you'd like to see it in action before you commit to a tour with Lincoln, head over to their blog and watch one of the several demo videos of other live tutors using Whizzimo. You'll be blown away. Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments.
Thanks to team Whizzimo for creating such awesome software and for sharing a special deal with us.