Teachers Go Online
The Internet, arguably the most useful technology of modern times, is rapidly changing the face of many professions. Teaching is no exception to this. Read on to explore the vital role of the Internet in education and exactly how to market yourself as a teacher online.
The Internet is changing teachers’ lives
Technology has undeniably greatly changed the face of the classroom and, with it, teachers’ lives. With tablets, laptops, and smartphones seamlessly connected to support learning in class, teachers are embracing technology to enhance both students’ learning and their practices.
The Internet not only simplifies teachers’ lesson preparation, with a lot of software available out there that allow them to plan interactive, multimedia-rich classes, but it also significantly aids assessment, making it faster and helping them give real-time feedback to their students. The Internet now also makes communication between teachers and students instant, meaning teachers can be contacted at all times with questions and initiate group discussions on the curriculum, engaging their students more effectively.
With more and more students opting to take classes online, it looks like the shift to technology-based learning will keep impacting the teaching profession more and more.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Internet for teaching
The Internet can both benefit and pose challenges to the teaching profession. We list some of the most significant advantages and disadvantages below.
- Provides access to a wide breadth of information: The Internet means that teachers have the ability to access resources from all over the world with the click of a button, which can greatly facilitate lesson planning.
- Bridges communication gaps: Teachers using the Internet to post information and reminders on curriculum and assignments can help to avoid miscommunication with students. This information can also easily be shared with parents via e-mail, which allows them to stay on top of their child’s performance.
- Energizes education: Teachers who use the Internet in the classroom often manage to get students more excited about learning than their counterparts who stick to more traditional teaching methods. Interactive online activities can make complicated subjects fun and easier to understand.
- Contains a lot of inaccurate information: Given that anybody can post to the Internet, it is inevitable that a lot of incorrect facts end up permeating the web. Students who do not question the reliability of their sources may use and learn wrong facts about anything from historical information to scientific data, making the teacher’s job more difficult.
- May foster cheating: The Internet has made it easier than ever to find services offering academic papers for sale and, as such, raises many concerns for plagiarism and work ethic that have to be dealt with strictly by teachers.
- It can be a distraction: Students may find it hard to concentrate in class when surrounded by digital devices and it is argued that they can learn less when allowed by teachers to use computers or tablets.
Marketing yourself online as a teacher
With millions of teachers around the world competing for jobs, the importance of knowing how to market yourself online cannot be understated. The most successful online teachers are the ones who manage to build up many referrals and maintain a good online presence, thus making their business grow.
Marketing yourself online as a teacher involves a range of self-promotional activities, from creating teaching blogs and videos, to getting a logo and a professional website and interacting with students on educational topics on social media.
Reasons why more and more teachers choose to market themselves online
- To get the word out about their services in what is a competitive professional environment.
- To showcase their teaching abilities and build confidence in their service.
- To increase their income, by attracting more students.
The role of social media in self-marketing
The presence of social media is growing vigorously in every aspect of our lives. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are some of the world’s most popular social networks with many millions of active users and teachers should think of them as an opportunity to easily reach their audience and increase their clients.
Effective social media marketing for teachers means developing a thoughtful brand by sharing and generating knowledge and content related to their services, in order to reach and engage with students and other educators alike. Teachers will benefit from developing a solid social media strategy to promote themselves online. Below we outline how to market yourself on social media.
Promote yourself as an Instagram teacher
Instagram can be a great tool for showcasing your work and promoting your teacher’s brand. Create an account especially dedicated to your teaching services and update it regularly.
Your posts can range from pictures of completed student projects and exciting classroom activities to educational photo and video tutorials on your teaching subjects. Use industry-specific hashtags to maximize your reach and engage with content made by like-minded educators, to increase your visibility on the platform.
Getting more Instagram followers
Here are some different techniques you can try to grow your Instagram following:
- Using hashtags: Instagram users most often discover new content by searching for hashtags they are interested in. Make sure to accompany your post with teaching-related hashtags, in order to be easily found by students and other teachers.
- Creating competitions: A sure-fire way to get audiences to pay attention to your Instagram is giveaways. Offer discounted online lessons or other privileges associated with your services to people who follow your account and interact with your content.
- Posting attractive images: As Instagram is a visual platform, you are guaranteed to increase your following by consistently posting quality images that are colorful and attention-grabbing.
- Participating in “Follow Loops”: Many teachers work together on Instagram to help increase each other’s following, by participating in “follow loops”, otherwise known as follow-for-follow strategies.
Making your teacher Instagram account inviting
Some tips to make your Instagram account attractive and inviting include the following:
- Use your best images: Pick high-quality images that authentically represent you as a teacher and that will appeal to your audience, such as snippets of classroom activities.
- Create stories: Instagram stories are a very popular feature. They enable you to communicate messages in creative ways and allow your audience to engage through polls and comments.
- Write thoughtful captions: To maximize engagement, it is important to accompany your images with captions inviting the audience to participate and share their perspective.
- Connect your content to current events: Posts on current events tend to get a high level of response and remind your students that classroom content can be relevant to real life.
- Be positive: By posting consistent positive content, you become an inspirational figure for your students and can shape important attitudes about school and learning.
Warning: Keep in mind that posting photos of your students is not considered appropriate, as it violates their privacy and can be downright dangerous by exposing their location to potential predators.
Creating your Facebook teacher account
When creating your Facebook teacher account, it is important to keep it clean and professional. Ensure your personal account is private and use your teacher account exclusively for education-related purposes.
Choose a professional photo as a profile picture and list your educational background professional teaching achievements. Updates to your page can include announcements, blog posts, and videos about the subjects you teach, in order to establish an online community around your classes.
Communicating with students via private messages
Facebook, as a platform, has a large focus on personal, one-on-one interactions and makes it very easy for teachers and students to communicate quickly and directly. However, it is a legal grey area in education whether private communication over the Internet is appropriate and should be allowed.
While a lot of schools do not yet have policies in place that prevent this, it is best for teachers to stay on the safe side of the law by restricting communication to the official, monitored and supervised platforms in order to not inadvertently cross professional boundaries.
Using Facebook to promote yourself as a teacher
When getting started on Facebook, it could be very useful to post an advert about your services. Once you start to build up your following, you should aim to keep your audience engaged by regularly sharing photos and videos of student projects, activities, and events and content related to the subjects you are teaching.
This is, essentially, marketing yourself, as not only posting on Facebook can give your students’ parents a glimpse into what their children get up to daily, but it works to inspire trust and confidence in your services as you are building yourself up as a thought-leader in the education community.
Ways to use Facebook in the classroom
Facebook can be a lot more than a self-marketing tool, though. A growing number of teachers are actually using the social networking platform creatively to boost engagement in the classroom. Here are some ways you can do that too:
- Create a Facebook group for your class: Groups on Facebook have privacy settings, meaning that teachers can make a Facebook group for their class that is a safe place to share information online.
- Use the Facebook Timeline for class projects: The Facebook Timeline feature can be a fun way to share presentations.
- Share multimedia: Resources, such as videos and website links, can be shared across the social networking site.
- Create Facebook polls: Students love taking polls, so this added Facebook feature helps to keep them engaged with the curriculum.
- Use Facebook Live to provide additional help: Facebook Live allows teachers to record videos which students may view through live streaming or later, a feature that works wonders for supplemental learning.
Pinterest for teachers
Pinterest is a favorite platform with educators, as it is a great place to find inspiration for lessons and classroom activities. Using online “pinboards” teachers can save anything from photos to blog posts in one easily accessible and usable place.
Pinterest not only contains a huge wealth of posts with tips for teachers to look through, but users can also create their own pins linking to their website, blog or other social media and gain exposure themselves. Teachers can also create collaborative boards on the platform, making it a truly interactive tool.
Earning money from Pinterest as a teacher
There are several different ways to make money as a Pinterest teacher, such as:
- Affiliate Marketing: With affiliate marketing, you receive a commission for every sale that occurs from your referral link within one of your posts. Teachers should focus on sales of products that fit within their niche, i.e. education.
- Selling Your Own Product: Creating a pin linking to a product, such as an online course, could be a great way to boost your tutoring income.
- Re-pinning others’ pins to win an audience and, indirectly, make money: By pinning people who are in your target audience’s pins, you draw attention to your own, thereby building a following and potentially gaining new clients.
‘Teachers Pay Teachers’
Teachers Pay Teachers, commonly referred to as “TpT”, is an open online marketplace, where teachers come together to sell and buy original educational resources in digital, downloadable formats. Since its establishment, it has become widely popular with educators across the globe, who use the platform not only to earn extra teaching income but also to communicate with a very active community of like-minded professionals.
What they are
Teacher blogs, often referred to as edublogs, are blogs created by teachers for educational purposes. These blogs help teachers share their knowledge and ideas and allow them to connect with their reader-base of other educators and students, all while establishing their professional brand.
The rising popularity of teaching blogs
With websites like WordPress, the landscape of blogging architecture is becoming increasingly simplified and so it is no wonder that more and more teachers are turning to blogging. Blogs give teachers credibility since they are evidence of their passion and commitment to their work. Educational blogs also often create conversations around various topics, inviting students, parents and other teachers to participate, establishing strong and curious learning communities.
How to increase your income with a teacher blog:
Here are some ways to make money through your teacher blog:
- Placing ads: Ads are the most straight-forward way to make money from blogging. Partner up with companies that share your values.
- Using affiliate programs: An affiliate program pays you a percentage of sales each time people click from your site to theirs and buy something.
- Doing product reviews: Many companies are looking for credible bloggers to review their products online for a fee.
Online Tutoring Platforms
What they are
Online tutoring is the process of tutoring in an online, virtual environment in which teachers and students are separated by time and space. Most tutors use established online tutoring platforms for their lessons, which are websites that incorporate the latest technological developments on the market to create sophisticated learning environments. Using online tutoring platforms has both benefits and challenges for teachers.
- They offer user-friendly, synchronous teaching environments that allow easy interaction and file-sharing.
- They often provide training for tutors.
- They vet tutors professionally, thereby increasing their credibility.
- They actively help tutors find students.
- They sometimes present technical problems or system compatibility issues for the users.
- They can be impersonal, with only a small percentage of tutors actually using the optional digital whiteboard and chat features.
- They do not allow students to develop a full range of skills in certain specialized subjects, given online courses are rarely accompanied by practical requirements.
Time to Market Yourself!
In today’s age, marketing oneself is paramount for professional success. In an online education environment that is rapidly growing, teachers can significantly increase their earnings by successfully using Internet resources, such as blogs and social media, to build a credible brand.
While online tutoring platforms often help to advertise their tutors, it is wise to independently maintain a carefully-curated online presence that will earn your clients’ confidence. Join Eurekly to reap all the benefits of tutoring on one of the world’s leading online tutoring platforms and maximize your earnings!