As we have already established, going online saves you a lot of time and money, either these would be spent commuting to and from your work or buying and photocopying tons of materials for your lessons. However, the world of online teaching and learning is vast, to say the least. You need to be updated at all times and do your research. It goes without saying that you need to be well equipped for your lessons, keeping in mind the resources that you need to use each time and where to find them, the tools you need to be savvy with for the implementation of your lessons, and, of course, the organizational and financial matters of your online business.
That being said, here are some useful tools that you need for your online teaching:
Fishing out your resources:
Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)à It goes without saying that social media is a treasure when it comes to not only getting new students, but also discovering new resources. LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are the mecca of materials, courses, worksheets, and pretty much any kind of activity that an online teacher would wish for. By simply using hashtags related to your teaching subject, you can open a chest full of resources. And it gets even better! In this day and age, a lot of these materials are offered to ambitious teachers for free. Let the discovery begin!
However, apart from getting our hands on new materials, social media are teeming with groups of like-minded people who are there to meet other teachers and provide support on issues that are circulating within the groups. Whether you’re a new teacher, just entering the world of online teaching, or an online teaching veteran, it’s never too early or too late to join such groups. Besides, you never know who you are going to meet and what opportunities you will unlock.
Conducting your lessons:
Skype: That is pretty much self-explanatory. From the moment it was created, this shining beacon of hope made communication of relatives living miles apart a reality. Being able to not only talk to someone you miss, but seeing them as well, was what established Skype as one of the top, if not the number one, communication platforms in the world.
The good news is that it is now being used for other purposes too, mainly to serve the digital nomadic lifestyle that a lot of people, and especially millennials, choose to adopt. Don’t you think that this is what makes it your number one choice for synchronous online teaching? I thought so too! Using Skype also allows for screen sharing, chat recording, and group videos, all free features that guarantee a pleasant online lesson with your students. Don’t forget to seem professional, however, check your internet connection, and buy a set of headphones with a mic. Trust me, you do need those things, as if your life depends on it—it kind of does, if you think about it.
There are, however, alternatives to Skype. You can try using Zoom, Google Hangouts, which is my opinion works better for group calls, or WizIQ. With Google as your research partner, the possibilities are endless, as long as you are thirsty and eager to really dig a little deeper into your teaching resources!
Financial and organizational tools:
Organization is next to godliness. Oh, wait, that is cleanliness! But, I can tell you the former statement hits the nail on the head as well. It is almost impossible to efficiently run your business, whatever that may be, without being organized and meticulous. There are a lot of tools that can help you with that, but here are some of my personal favorites:
PayPal: So. Easy. To use. Seriously, PayPal is by far one of the best and most secure ways to receive and send payments. All you need is an email and you’re all set to start bringing in some virtual money. You have a number of possibilities with PayPal, such as shopping online, a favorite of mine, connecting your bank account to it, and transferring money to and from it when you need to.
Evernote: You really need this tool in your life. It just makes everything so much easier. You can create notes, notebooks, you can store recordings and audio files, and other endless possibilities. You can also save articles that you find online on your Evernote, which is the perfect place for you to store your resources and materials for your lessons. Evernote keeps you organized and you can access it on the go, as it is available for your mobile and tablet as well.
Finding the right tools for your online lessons can prove really fun with all the platforms and programs that are available now. A little friendly tip: try to find gamified applications and softwares as well so that your students will enjoy the lesson even more. And you will not be disappointed by that either!
Are you looking to engage technology in your school or organization for learning? Do not hesitate to contact us via http://www.eyecity.ng/contact/. You may read more about our learning management consulting service here http://www.eyecity.ng/learning-management-systems/.