E-learning is the most popular type of distance education today and has been around for some time now, however events of 2020 brought it to the fore like never before. More and more freelancers, teachers, trainers, even university students are opting to teach online.
Work from home whilst giving you the flexibility of choosing your hours can become stressful if you do not have the right equipment to deliver.
Let’s talk about the absolute must-haves for teaching online:
If you are testing the waters, start with a basic model but remember the recommended requirements are the minimums, try buying a faster machine for better output. Pricing and models vary from one region to another and that is why I am abstaining from making any suggestions.
Some come with mobile connectivity, some don’t. Choose one with an adequate screen size. I would also recommend getting a tablet keyboard to make it more user-friendly and productive.
Devices come with a built-in mic and speakers, but these are not particularly good at managing background noise. Headphones help reduce noise barriers thus allowing the effective flow of information and enhanced experience.
A headset is a mandatory requirement for most online employers. How do you decide which one to buy?
If you work long hours, noise exposure through in-ear headphones can lead to injury.
Just like a good headset ensures teachers and students can hear and be heard, a good camera can enhance the visual connect helping teachers and students to bond well. Most of the recent laptops, tablets, and smartphones come with inbuilt cameras. If for some reason your camera is malfunctioning or your device is more than 5 years old, it is time to buy a new webcam.
Most eLearning providers require minimum upload and download speeds and may ask you to submit a speed test as part of the recruitment process. Some even insist on a wired connection instead of Wi-Fi.
A stable high-speed broadband connection ensures your class runs smoothly without video or audio lags.
Now that we have sorted the gadgets, let's take a look at your workspace.
You will need a designated area to set up your classroom.
Many ESL companies have their own virtual classrooms with inbuild virtual whiteboards.
Once you have set up your workspace, switch on your camera to test the visual aesthetics and while you are at it, try out the functionality as well.
Having the right equipment will exhibit your commitment to your employer. Be prepared for some expenses initially. Check with an accountant to see if the tax system in your country allows you to offset the cost, in which case you will have to collect the receipts of the items bought, for your tax returns.
This is not an extensive list of nuts and bolts required for online teaching.
Whether your setup is Minimal, Optimal, or Extravagant, ultimately is your choice!
-written by Preeti Lamba
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