Essential tools for Online Teaching
Imagine you want to lift a heavy stone and move it from A to B. You can summon a couple of your mates and do it. But if you think it through, you realise that moving it with a lever is far more efficient and less time consuming. Hence, using a ‘tool’ , you achieved efficiency. In our day to day life, we use various tools to make our work more efficient. The same goes for online teaching and its nuances. Let’s see how it goes.
Personally, I feel that blackboards are cool. The chalkdust is all over you and you keep blowing off the dust from your fingers. Good old times, eh? But virtual whiteboards are far cooler. If you are teaching maths and science, you cannot go on explaining a theorem or a solution with just words. This is where virtual keyboard comes in. You can share it on the platform and everyone can see it. No missing markers and no allergic chalk dust.
– Real-time: You and the student are looking at the same document, with a minimal network lag time.
– Simultaneous: Multiple people can edit the document at the same time.
– Flexible canvas: Allows you to upload any document to be used as the background for the lesson.
– Persistent: Whiteboard sessions are stored, so that either you or the student can review the lesson afterwards (or you can share with another student or tutor).
Google docs, Google Sheets and Google slides
I could have wrote a generalised requirement for collaboration in documents, excel sheets and ppts but you are all going to fall on one comfortable sword ; Google. Currently pursuing my MBA, I don’t think I can imagine MBA without these Google applications. There are just too many voids in the team work without it. It will play an important role for tutors to assign team work and other assignments.
Camera & Headset
This is actually one of the most important part of online teaching. Teaching is all about efficient communication of messages. Now, if the communication medium is not available or not working efficiently, the message won’t be transmitted properly. This leads to incoherence in the process and the meaning of online teaching reduces to nothing.
Hence, it is quite important to have a camcorder or a webcam and also a headset.
Many tutors find it useful to record sessions with students, so that the student can review the lesson later on. It’s also a great way to self-critique your own teaching methods, and make improvements.
If you’re planning to develop an online course at some point, screen recording can be used to seed content and lessons. Just think about how many courses you’d already have prepared if you’d recorded every one of your tutoring sessions.
This glorious realm of payments is evolving quickly and there are scores of options. And it is essential for any online tutor as his operations rely on it. It is important that you find a payment gateway that has fast processing and user friendly interface. Lack of these properties will leave the student high and dry becuase the bank would have deducted the money and your payment gateway is still dangling with his anxiety.
These are the most basic requirements to become an online teacher. The market is filled with capable applications and gadgets to fulfill these needs. Hope it helps. Over and out. 🙂
Avinash Somjani is an intern at utobo and he is currently pursuing his MBA at SIBM Bengaluru. He is passionate about sports, science fiction, history and the ever changing colour of his pen.