Kool Kanya presents the ultimate guide on how to start teaching online from home.
Data entry, translation, transcription, and so on often make for most of those boring opportunities to work from the comfort of your home.
But have you considered teaching?
Read on to learn everything you need to know before you become an online teacher!
- What Is Online Teaching?
- How To Start Teaching Online?
- What Are The Benefits Of Online Teaching?
What Is Online Teaching?
Online teaching is the same as regular teaching; except the delivery of the course is via the internet.
This could include e-learning platforms, small-batch classes taken over video calls, or even setting up classrooms online using websites which allow you to compile lectures, resources, and assignments in the same place (such as Canvas).
Online teaching has existed for as long as there’s been the internet, but it was truly revolutionised by Khan Academy, which produced easy-to-follow tutorials on subjects that young students often struggled with (read: maths!).
The success of Khan Academy has carved the path for platforms such SkillShare, Udemy, and Coursera, and online teaching has become a staple in the reasons why people turn to the internet. And you can turn to the internet to fulfil that demand.
What Can You Teach Online?
Today, courses can range from ordinary schoolwork to college-level courses to upskilling avenues to actual diplomas!
You can also find interest-based courses in a lot of fields, such as yoga and meditation, illustration, and life lessons.
A great example is Roshni Mukherjee, who started Exam Fear, a platform which creates video resources on YouTube to teach a number of subjects to students across age groups.
Another is VSauce, an American YouTube channel that creates fun videos on everything from maths to gaming to popular culture.
Can You Make Money From Online Teaching?
Yes, you can.
Most of the above formats of online learning can generate some amount of revenue.
However, each one requires both time and energy to grow your individual classroom, or your e-learning platform. In general, the internet is saturated with all kinds of ways to learn stuff, so what you offer has to be unique and worth paying for.
Thus, syllabus, resources, coursework, and what you bring as a teacher matters a lot when it comes to the success of your online teaching career.
Don’t feel defeated when it takes some time to start making money with online teaching, especially when you are doing it on an e-learning platform, or without a tutoring agency.
The average salary of an online teacher, especially one who has a reputation for themselves, is between ₹20,000 to ₹50,000 per month according to Study Spectrum. It could exceed that bracket as well.
India Microfinance has also claimed that depending on the difficulty of a given subject, teachers can charge between ₹300 to ₹1000 per hour of online tutoring.
How To Start Teaching Online
To start teaching online, there are certain things one needs to keep in mind.
Idenfity Your Subject Matter
Obviously, it is important to know what subject you want to teach, and whether you have sufficient knowledge about it, as well as the ability to impart it.
When it comes to broader subjects, such as english or maths or philosophy, it is a good idea to have a few niche areas within them.
This will help market it better, and improve the chances of your course being chosen by potential students, as it will appeal to the capsule attention span of internet explorers.
Identify Your Market
Market research is the first step in any venture, and online teaching is not different.
Some things to keep in mind:
- What age group you want to teach (school-aged children, college students, adults).
- At what level you want the students to be (freshers, intermediates, interest-based).
- What others are offering, and how you can take inspiration and learnings from their programs.
- How you want to teach (pre-recorded lectures, video calls, whiteboard, etc.)
- What kind of platforms offer you these opportunities
Here is a simple guide to market research.
Stock Up On Teaching Guides
If you’re a seasoned teacher, then you probably know how to pivot your classroom from physical to virtual.
But if you’re just starting out, it would be a good idea to learn how others learn. You can pick up basic classroom skills by reading blogs and articles on websites like teacherofindia.org, teachershelpteachers.in, scholastic.com, and geteducated.com.
The British Council is also an amazing resource for teachers, as it has classroom packs which teachers can download and use to teach.
Google too has compiled resources for the same.
Build A Lesson Plan
Once you’ve done your market research, you have to build a lesson plan (both for individual classes, as well as the course at large) which you can share with potential students to help them understand what they will receive out of the course.
A lesson plan also orders the material you want to teach in an organised manner for your convenience. It will also help you create a schedule for the coursework that can be altered and adjusted.
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What Do You Need To Start Teaching Online?
Basic Computer Skills (or access to someone who does): It’s pretty obvious that in order to teach online, one needs to be able to use a computer. If not, then you should either be willing to learn them, or have someone in your household who can assist you with computer-related stuff.
Good Internet Connection: You might be a great teacher, but bad internet can throw a wrench in the works. Make sure you invest in a good wi-fi system, or a data plan.
Teaching Equipment: If you’re lucky enough to teach a subject wherein you can simply record a lecture in video form and upload it, or just deliver it over video call, then you don’t really have to worry about this one.
But if a simple video won’t cut it, then a blackboard (or a white board) is the cheapest and simplest way to go. If you really want to invest in some tech, then you can opt for a tablet with a digital pen, or use an online whiteboard (click here, here, and here).
You will also need to familiarize yourself with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
What Platforms Can You Use For Online Teaching?
These platforms offer the service of hosting your classes online, so that you can use their easy-to-implement tools rather than spend time and effort setting up your own platform. You can choose a platform of your choice by looking at their terms and conditions, as well as ease of usage. Some examples include Vedantu, Tutor, LearnPick, MySchoolPage and EDx.
Keep in mind that each platform has their own on-boarding practices; including prior experience, subject exams, demo lessons, teaching diplomas, and so on.
As mentioned earlier, there are platforms that allow you to build your own classrooms. Benefits of this include the options to compile lectures, resources, and assignments for your convenience, as well as that of students.
Drawbacks include the fact that these are paid platforms. You might want to try out less expensive methods of delivery before you purchase a plan of one of these.
We’ve given Canvas as an example, but here’s a list of the top ten alternatives you can avail. Google Classroom is a great place to start from, as Google products are easy to use and integrated with all other products by the company.
This is one of the easiest ways to host a class, as well as one of the cheapest.
- make lesson plans
- create dates for classes and submissions
- conduct classes with the option to present your screen
- take in assignments
- and keep all your classroom data in one place.
Video teaching using Google apps make your classroom accessible, and fully integrated too!
If you’re in this just to make sure that people across the globe have access to lessons and information, then YouTube is the platform for you.
Keep in mind, it takes time and effort to grow your channel to the point where you get paid. But you’re in the right place if you just want to give video lectures out of the goodness of your heart, and without the hassle of dealing with students or grading assignments.
PBS has a number of YouTube channels where they make educational videos about literature, art, and science. Unacademy specifically creates videos for a variety of audiences, from SSC students to civil services aspirants.
In order to get discovered on YouTube, it is important to align your content with what people are searching for, whether it is understanding physics or learning how to cook. Use Google Trends to understand what people are searching for.
Once you develop a good following on YouTube, you can also use that to drive traffic to your own platform with paid classes. However, that is a strategy for the long haul.
This is the most difficult way to go about online teaching, as you would have to either know how to build your own website, or pay someone else to do so.
You would also have to pre-record videos and upload them to a site such as YouTube or Vimeo in order to embed them into your website.
The benefit is that you will operate under your own brand, but the drawbacks are that it would cost you more time, money, and effort than is necessary to take the plunge into online teaching.
How To Market Yourself As An Online Teacher?
Here are three simple ways to market yourself:
LinkedIn: It’s a free career platform for promotions and connections, where you build a network specifically related to your work, and advertise your business for free. Here are a couple of examples of people doing this: The Learning Spot and MyCaptain.
Social Media: Use your Facebook, and Instagram to their fullest potential by putting the word out that you are teaching online, and keep these posts public so that they can be shared widely!
Word Of Mouth: By sharing your business with your family and friends on WhatsApp groups, as well as with your contacts through broadcasts, you can make sure that those who know you are in the loop.
You can also offer demo sessions to those who want to try out what you are offering.
You can also create a payment program that is staggered. This means that if you have a course that is 12 sessions long, you can charge a certain fee which you collect every four sessions.
This will ensure that both you and your students are accountable.
How To Collect Payment For Online Teaching?
If you are working with an e-learning platform or operating under a tutoring agency, your payments will depend on them.
A price will be set for the course, or for each hour spent tutoring, and they will receive a cut of your earnings. These will be transferred directly into your bank account.
When you are teaching online without using an e-learning platform or agency, there are two ways to get payments.
One is using UPI applications which allow you to connect your bank account to your phone. Here is a list of all the UPI apps which function in India.
The other method is bank transfer. For this, you will have to share your account details with the students, after which they will have to add you as a beneficiary through their online banking portal and generate a payment.
Both are secure channels for payment, and can ensure that the money comes directly to you.
What Are The Benefits Of Online Teaching?
Flexibility: You can usually choose a preferred time slot on an e-learning portal as per your convenience. The same goes for video call-based classes. WIth YouTube teaching, there is no need to depend on a timetable.
No Infrastructure Or Commute: You don’t need to rent an expensive space when your classroom is run from a computer. You can skip a commute, as are your students; both parties can teach and learn from the comfort of home.
Can Be A Main Job Or A Side Hustle: With online teaching, the flexibility offers the ability to earn a comfortable primary income, or a complimentary secondary one, depending on your situation.
If there is one thing we have learnt in 2020, it is that circumstances can change, and very quickly at that. One of the most difficult things for a number of educational institutions was to shift online at the same pace as other industries.
With this guide, you can make that shift easier, especially in urban India, where schools and colleges often open up from mid-June onwards.
If you’re new to teaching, you’ve hopefully found where you need to begin. And if you’ve been one for years, we hope that you’ve found a way to impart the same knowledge using a new medium.