How to debut as an online teacher
Teaching is more than a career for many people — it’s a calling. Despite how important the work of teachers is to society, nobody would ever say that it’s an overpaid profession. Many teachers must work more than one job to make economic ends meet.
Fortunately, there’s another smart option for educators seeking to make more money or the freedom to work for themselves: Online teaching. Thanks to the power of today’s advanced learning platforms, it’s possible to quickly build a profitable business as an online tutor or teacher.
Let’s take a closer look at how online teaching works, and how you can get that process started.
Why is online teaching a growth opportunity?
The Internet has transformed virtually every sector of the world economy, and the field of education is no exception. From the time of the ancient Greeks (and likely long before), the standard pedagogical model was unchanged: Students assembled in a room to hear instruction from a teacher. Lessons were confined to one place in time, and teachers could only accommodate a small number of students without diminishing returns.
The emergence of distance learning (think early correspondence courses) represented the first alteration to this model. It wasn’t until the introduction of online learning, however, that true disruption occurred. Thanks to the power of the Internet, the classes were available anywhere, anytime.
Additionally, teachers could take advantage of modern technology to offer rich, dynamic multimedia content and social functions, making the online learning experience, unlike anything that had come before. Online learning made education more efficient, accessible and flexible, while also driving improvement in educational outcomes.
The result was massive growth in the adoption of online learning across the globe — and exciting new opportunities for teachers seeking to grow their business. Now, if you have the subject expertise, you can tutor for major tests (ACT, SAT, GRE, LSAT, etc.), offer assistance with homework or supplementary education or even launch a full-time online teaching/tutoring business.
Because online learning has made tutoring and teaching so accessible (you can begin with the click of a few buttons), more students are seeking help in a broader array of subjects, something that’s creating even more opportunities for educators.
If you have a college degree, are a college student, have a language skill or some other marketable area of knowledge, you likely have the qualifications necessary to start tutoring.
How to debut as an online teacher?
As we’ve discussed, the ability to teach anywhere, anytime to a global network of students represents a market opportunity the like of which teachers have never seen before. Instead of being confined to your local community, you can now market your expertise and skills to a worldwide group of learners.
While some online teachers might opt for the perceived security of joining an established online learning firm, much greater financial opportunity awaits for those who work independently. Additionally, you can set your hours and work on your preferred terms. Lack of prior experience is not a hurdle, as long as you have marketable knowledge and expertise.
Yet to work independently, it’s essential to have the right online teaching tools. Fortunately, the barriers to entry here are not high; you’ll need a computer, high-speed Internet and a platform/medium for instruction.
While video conferencing software might seem like an inexpensive option, the truth is that these tools do not have the necessary features or functionality to support a robust online learning business. While they work fine for communication, they simply lack the functionality necessary to create engaging, interactive content that pleases learners and creates better classroom outcomes.
So what should new teachers and tutors use? The best choice is an advanced, full-featured virtual classroom.
Why are virtual classrooms the most effective tool for a new online teaching and tutoring business?
- Virtual classrooms are software-based representations of physical classrooms – a digital copy. Teachers and learners meet face to face and in real time over Web-connected devices. Whiteboards — a key organizing feature of in-person classroom instruction — are virtually represented.
- After the simple process of integration with your Web browser or another platform, educators are ready to tutor and teach in real time. Attendance is tracked automatically, and online learners have a full range of social functions they can engage in (polls, discussion boards, social media, chat, etc.).
- One of the best features of a virtual classroom/online classroom is its ease of use. There is no steep learning curve; you can get set up quickly and easily, no IT infrastructure is required, and the user experience is deeply intuitive and seamless to operate.
- No third-party plugins or separate downloads are required. A virtual classroom allows you to design courses with a sophisticated built-in tool and upload your materials in any format.
- Administration functions are also a snap. You can schedule and then launch courses with the touch of a few buttons, schedule real-time online office hours and collaborate with other tutors from across the globe by scheduling conferences.
Finding the right online teaching tools
Not all online learning options are created equal, and not all of them will deliver the same powerful capabilities or seamless user experience. Some of the most important features to look for in a virtual classroom include:
- A cloud-based setup so that you don’t need to spend much on building an infrastructure
- Simple setup and easy integration, more likely a DIY kind of thing so that you can get straight to business instead of facing IT hassles
- High definition video and audio which is a must of face-to-face, online teaching
- Whiteboard to make virtual appear real, in fact, more effective and engaging
- Mobile apps given how popular mobile devices are among digital natives
- Tracking and reporting features, so you know who logs in at what time and what they view
- Scalability to help your teaching business expand with no growing pains
- Advanced social functions, which help learners engage and collaborate
- Analytics and data-rich insights to get insights into who’s doing what and who stands where so you can tweak your lessons
By searching for a virtual classroom/online classroom that boasts these attributes, new online tutors and teachers can ensure that they have the right tool for early success. You won’t need technical expertise, you can teach variable numbers of students at any given time, and you can create engaging courses that help build your business. WizIQ is one of the best and complete online teaching platform with webRTC virtual classroom that meet all your e-learning delivery need.
Online teachers and tutors have never seen greater demand for their skills. By expanding or entering into the online market, you can quickly build a profitable business doing what you love.
Choosing the right technological tool is an essential part of that process. By using a powerful, full-featured virtual classroom, you can make the transition to online teaching an easy one — and highly lucrative.