Everything You Need to Start Teaching Online

Over 6 million Americans are pursuing online education, which means it’s a field in desperate need of teachers. As it turns out teaching online is easy to get into, and easy to make some extra money on the side.

So if you want to teach online, here’s how you can get started.

Decide What You Want to Teach

There are dozens of different ways to teach online. Understanding what and where you want to teach will help you decide the tools and platforms you need to invest in.

For example, if you want to teach English online, there are platforms specifically for ESL teachers. Different platforms will have different requirements, so you must look into the qualifications for each specific company. You may even need an online teaching certification.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for online college teaching jobs, you’ll need either a bachelor’s or master’s degree. For this type of teaching, you’ll want to check out platforms like Indeed, and expect a more formal interview process.

But let’s say you’re not a career teacher, but there’s a cool skill or hobby you know a lot about that you want to teach to others. If that’s the case, it may be worthwhile to put together an online course on a platform like Udemy or Skillshare.

Get the Right Gear

No matter what you teach online, you’ll likely need the same tech. Make sure you have a laptop or computer powerful enough to regularly handle Zoom calls without lagging out. Make sure your internet speed and connection are up for the job.

While you might be able to get away with using a built-in web camera and the mic on your headphones, it doesn’t hurt to upgrade your video and audio capturing devices too.

This can help your video come through clearer, and your audio sound better. This may not sound like a big deal, but it’s vital for capturing and keeping your audience’s attention. That’s especially the case if you’re teaching ESL or something similar where an accurate sound is vital.

High-quality video and sound is something people instinctively use to gauge whether you’re a quality knowledge resource. It’s a small cost to pay for looking more professional.

And finally, you might want to invest in a platform that helps you create an effective learning management system. Learning through LMS can make it easier to capture ideas and show how they relate to one another.

Make Room for Discussion

A critical perspective of learning is from peer to peer. If you have several students take the same course, they should have a space where they can meet and discuss what they’re learning.

Studies show that when peers can ask questions and answer each other, they tend to learn the material better since they’re exposed to a wider array of viewpoints. Even in an online classroom, this is still a vital element of education.

So especially if you’re teaching your own course, create a place where students can discuss this material. Typically a Facebook group is an easy way to regulate who can get involved in the group and let students discuss the material.

Consider Taking Your Class to YouTube

So you already have the tech and the knowledge, consider making a video series teaching your material and posting it to YouTube. Hands-on skills like mechanics and baking or even origami are all much easier to learn with a video tutorial.

When you post videos to YouTube, you can make money through ad revenue. That makes YouTube a low-barrier way to start teaching and start making a bit of money on the side.

But be aware to make a significant amount of money (say enough to leave your day job), you need a lot of viewers. Typically, expect about $3 to $5 for every 1000 video views.

Plan Your Course

No matter what you’re teaching, you’ll need to plan out your course. This can be a series of easy-to-view videos for Udemy or your YouTube channel or a plan for what you’re going to teach your students face to face.

If you’re tackling a simple course for a platform like Udemy, it’s helpful to start with a simple goal. At the end of this course, I want my students to know how to… and then put together a few videos to answer that specific goal broken down into tiny steps.

You have a lot more freedom with a YouTube channel, where you can put together playlists for various subtopics within your overall topic.

For example, if you’re talking about gardening, you could have a playlist about the different elements of soil, a playlist for the growing requirements for the most common household garden vegetables, and a playlist for the most common garden pests.

The versatility of a YouTube channel makes it easier to go without a plan because you can always go back and fill in the gaps.

Teaching Online Is Easy With These Tips

Teaching online is a great way to reach more students and spread your knowledge even further. While teaching is always a challenging career choice, these tips can help you make sure you’re ready to tackle teaching online.

Decide what you want to teach, make sure you have the right certification, decide on a platform, and start producing content. A lucrative online teaching career is within reach.

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By Fahad