“Technology won’t replace teachers, however, teachers who use technology will replace teachers who don’t”
I’ve seen this quote a number of time on social media and as a ESL classroom teacher and online English tutor I believe this statement stands true. In this modern age where technology dominates our lives, almost every minute of the day, adapting and incorporating technology into our lessons seems a natural step forward in the learning process and has a huge number of benefits for our future generations.
- In my classroom I try and use technology as much as I can, whether its a simple PowerPoint presentation or an interactive smart-board game.
- I also tutor English online which of course is completely technology based learning and I find applications like ‘Zoom’ and ‘Adobe’ have some great functionality to help facilitate learning, but in this online teaching setting a huge aspect of engaging and capturing the students’ attention falls on the teacher.
- I found in my online classes I had to be much more expressive and almost goofy in order to relax my students and get them involved, once I realized this and implemented it into my lessons, teaching online became a whole lot easier.
- I Enjoy both types of teaching and find that being an in-classroom teacher has made me a better online teacher and teaching online has made me a better in-classroom teacher. My students have gained from this too and now have a better learning experience with me.
Using technology in the classroom or teaching online should not be scary for a teacher but rather exciting and has proven to benefit both student and teacher. So get out there, or stay in, and really think about how you can use technology to make our kids smarter, and then implement it.
What you’ll need to become an online English teacher
Teaching English as a second language abroad is a popular line of work for many millennials and others alike. I mean, who can say traveling and living in a foreign country for extended periods of time is part of their job description? The popular trend is to teach English over a period over a year and then head back into normality, however some choose to make a career out of this. But what happens when you’ve decided to head home and begin a normal life? All that experience and worldly knowledge wasted at a 9-5 desk job? Certainly not! A rise in technology, and the capabilities of the internet, have opened up a whole new world of teaching English. Online teaching!
So what will you need to get you started teaching English online?
- First you’ll need a decent laptop or desktop computer.
- A high speed internet connection. Most online education providers will insist your internet speed be no lower that 2mbps download.
- A headset with microphone. You may look and feel like a call center employee but trust me a good quality headset will go a long way and ensure you hear the student clearly as well as ensure you areheard by the student clearly.
- An HD webcam. If using a desktop computer you will definitely need one! Students respond better if they can see their teacher on the other side and interact with them.
- A good attitude. One of the cornerstones of a great online English teacher is a good attitude. Most online English schools look for enthusiastic teachers who can deal with their stress well and overcome issues encountered with teaching online.
- A quiet space. So you think working from your local Starbucks will be a perk of teaching online? Think again. You’ll need a quiet space with no distractions for you or the students. This will help your students stay concentrated and participating as well as keep your mind focused on the lesson at hand.
- A PayPal account. Most schools pay via PayPal, if you want to be paid you’ll need one!
- Lastly you’ll need students. Should you wish to teach online independently or work for an online English training school. The former can be harder as there is quite a lot more that goes into marketing your classes, building a client base, developing a curriculum and setting up a payment system. The latter is easier as these aspects have already been solved by the company you may work for.
If you’ve ever taught before, abroad or in your own country, looking for a new challenge, have a great attitude and are good with technology or just want to supplement your income, I highly recommend teaching English online. It is rewarding, both financially and personally and a great step towards furthering your English teaching career.
Mike, An Extremely Experienced Math Teacher With Us.