So far, one of the consequences of COVID-19 is that students and teachers are finding themselves relying on technology for learning. While the industry of online education is predicted to rapidly grow in the coming years due to the global pandemic, there is already a large online market, consisting of teachers who embraced technological innovations early by choosing online teacher jobs, i.e. remote tutoring jobs.
Remote tutoring — a unique phenomenon of the digital era
Technology is rapidly transforming all industries around the world and education is no exception. Teachers are sharpening up their IT skills in order to make the most of their profession by tutoring remotely.
Defining Remote Tutoring
Remote tutoring is the process of teaching a subject in an online environment. With the proliferation of Internet access across the globe, it is now easier than ever for teachers to find distance work as online tutors. Remote tutoring allows teachers maximum flexibility, as they are able to interact with their students in real-time without being in the same place.
Technology: Making e-learning possible
Some of the most important technological achievements that have made online tutoring possible are the following:
- Virtual Reality: Virtual Reality (VR) technology gives students the opportunity to learn via interacting with a 3D world.
- Artificial Intelligence: Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used by educators to automate activities such as grading and to enhance personalized learning for students.
- Cloud Technology: Cloud computing technology means that teachers and students can access educational resources, such as lessons and assignments, from anywhere in the world.
Can everything be taught online?
Traditional subjects, such as English (and other languages), Math and Physics are some of the most common subjects to be taught online. However, it is even possible to master more unconventional subjects online, such as Music and Graphic Design, with the right teacher and remote tutoring tools.
Having said that, there are certain subjects which cannot be taught online – or at least not properly and to their full extent. For example, while you can study Healthcare online, you cannot practice it unless you have done practical rework which requires contact with patients.
Physical skills, such as Dance or Physical Education, also require some face-to-face guidance, while creative subjects, like Drama or Pottery, call for a teacher’s physical presence to evaluate a student’s performance.
7 Questions that bother every potential online teacher
In the current climate, it is only natural that teachers are asking a lot of questions. Read on for answers to the pressing matters that are on every potential online teacher’s mind.
Remote learning is becoming very popular, due to its low cost and the flexibility that it allows. With more and more students turning to online learning courses today, here we explore whether it is a better way to learn.
Remote Tutoring vs. Traditional Lessons: Academic Results
Research comparing the effectiveness of remote tutoring to that of traditional lessons is mixed and still limited. One study found that while students preferred learning online, their test performance was not significantly different from their peers’ in a traditional classroom. Some scholars argue that learning technology can increase engagement and produce in-depth discussions, but others suggest that students in online classes often feel disconnected from the experience and daunted by technology if they don’t have enough technical knowledge.
Traditional Learning: Advantages & Disadvantages
Traditional learning has advantages and disadvantages for both teachers and students.
When teaching traditionally, an educator relies on an established curriculum and does not have to spend a long time creating customized courses for students, which allows them to focus on the teaching job at hand. The immediate interaction that they get to have with their students means they are able to quickly clarify doubts.
On the downside, teaching can often be interrupted in traditional classrooms due to the behavior of students and an educator may subconsciously show favoritism to certain pupils.
Students benefit from the interactivity of a traditional classroom and the presence of their classmates and teachers satisfies their need for reassurance. The organized and strict schedule of a classroom also helps students to establish good routines.
On the other hand, learning in a traditional context involves commuting, which is time-consuming, and is ultimately more costly.
Remote Learning: Advantages & Disadvantages
Online teaching can help to speed up the work of educators, with software that allows them to quickly create tests or track the submission of digital assignments. Since it is estimated that in 2019 33% of students took at least one course online, working online helps teachers stay ahead of the curve in their industry.
However, it can be isolating to work online without any colleagues and it can be challenging to motivate students from a distance.
Remote learning gives students flexibility and a sense of control. They choose when and what to learn themselves, allowing them to focus on areas where they are weakest. Studying online is also a modern phenomenon that appeals to young people who are on their laptops, tablets or smartphones for a large part of the day.
On the flip side, e-learning is self-paced, which means that students have to rely on themselves for discipline. The lack of face-of-face interaction with a teacher and other students can also be isolating and lack the dynamic energy of learning in a traditional classroom.
Today teachers can use a variety of marketing tools to increase their online presence in order to find remote students who are open-minded about educational experiences and the learning process.
Finding Online Students
To find online students, listing your online tutoring services on classified ads and marketplace platforms is a good start but it is not enough. It is very important to promote yourself effectively online in order to attract and recruit potential students.
Social media are a useful tool for marketing, so online teachers should aim to maximize their page’s visibility by posting useful and interesting content regularly.
It is worth starting a blog where educators can post about topics related to their teaching subjects, as that helps to establish oneself as an expert in their field. SEO-optimization for one’s blog is also of major importance, as it helps pages appear on the top of search engine results.
Finally, joining an established online tutor platform is a guaranteed way to find students to tutor.
Can students of all ages be taught online?
While students of all ages can be taught online, every age group is different when it comes to learning and the challenges that it presents for a teacher. The learning needs and abilities of energetic preschoolers differ widely from those of adult students.
It is important for teachers to be able to relate to their students, no matter which age group they are teaching and be able to deal with each one’s challenges:
- Preschool children can often have problems paying attention for long periods of time and following instructions the first time around.
- School children are at the age where their learning weaknesses and issues like dyslexia become evident and they need a lot of support for effective learning.
- College and university students demand a higher level of expertise from teachers.
- Adult learners have many responsibilities outside the classroom, meaning they sometimes do not prioritize their courses.
Teaching Individual Students vs. Groups of Learners
Just like teaching different age groups is a teacher’s choice, depending on their skills and challenges they are prepared to face, so is whether they teach individual students or groups. Nevertheless, a good teacher should be prepared for any type of teaching situation.
One-to-one lessons give teachers an opportunity to become very closely involved with learners and give them all their attention, which speeds up learning. However, group teaching means that games and other fun and interesting activities can be incorporated into lessons and creates an atmosphere of energetic enthusiasm in the classroom, whether digital or not.
Online teaching requires exceptional organizational skills. Following a well-planned timetable will help educators achieve their full teaching potential online.
Organizing Your Timetable
Teachers looking to tutor remotely should try to maintain a very organized schedule. Setting regular times for classes, assignments and office hours, as well as maintaining deadlines are all good practices. Always make sure to set aside some time for unexpected issues that may arise, like a student needing extra help.
Teaching Beyond Normal Working Hours
Remote tutoring means that teachers get a chance to teach students outside of regular 9-5 hours, as well as internationally, across different time zones. This allows teachers to maximize their income potential, while flexibly choosing their own working hours.
Teaching Different Time Zones
Teaching different time zones can be challenging, but not unmanageable. When scheduling live classes, take into account your student’s local time, as classes should be conducted during times when a person’s productivity is maximized (i.e. not too early in the morning or too late in the night).
Download a world clock on your computer in order to keep track of local times for your students in different countries across the globe.
Making Different Time Zones Work
Online tutors must find ways to stay connected with their international students. Using tools such as Google Hangouts, FaceTime and Skype can help do that by using them for video calls and regular live class meetings. Team chat apps, such as Slack, could also be used by teachers and their students.
At Eurekly, teachers can set the hours that they are available to teach and the site’s built-in scheduling system allows them to easily coordinate times with potential students, across different time zones.
4. Digital classroom
A great classroom invites exploration and creates solid routines for students. It is up to online tutors to ensure their digital classroom offers an appropriate space for education.
Organizing Your Remote Workplace
To conduct your online lessons efficiently, establish a regular, comfortable work zone. Having a clear desk (as well as a clear desktop on your computer!) helps to create an organized environment that will allow you to be the best teacher you can possibly be.
For live classes, it is good to have a good quality headset at hand. A dry erase board, where you can write things with differently colored markers for your students will also help you create visual and memorable lessons.
Using Audio and Video Tools
While using audio tools is a great option for teachers, because their small file size makes them easy to download, studies have shown that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
With an increase in access to electronic devices, students can watch lectures on their phones or laptops anywhere, which saves teachers hours of repetitive individual teaching. There are plenty of video tools online which could be useful for educators. Hippo Video, for example, is an all-in-one online video classroom tool to which both teachers and students can now add text or videos.
At Eurekly, it is really easy for teachers to access a virtual classroom where they connect with students via live video chat. Eurekly allows for fast and simple video creation, which allows tutors to upload introduction videos for their services and other resources very easily!
Teaching Without A Blackboard
Online tutoring jobs mean teaching without the traditional blackboard that has been around for centuries. Moodle whiteboards are a great option for teachers transitioning to online teaching.
Moodle is a Learning Management System (LMS) that supports various types of interaction between teachers and students and creates an interactive learning experience reminiscent of the traditional blackboard.
5. Tasks for Online Lessons
Tasks for online lessons do not have to be limited to video lectures and quizzes. Depending on the subject taught, there are many different types of activities that are appropriate for online classes, such as:
- Five Clicks Away: This is a reading activity that involves asking language students to go on a news or entertainment website. Students start reading it and are allowed only five clicks. At the end of five clicks, they discuss what page they reached.
- Interactive learning games: BookWidgets is a tool that allows teachers to make crossword puzzles, bingo games, jigsaw puzzles and memory games for a fun learning experience.
- Movie discussion: Ask students to watch movies that use concepts or events discussed in class and talk about them during lessons.
- Social media: Teachers can ask students to share their insights on a topic on Twitter or another platform, via course-related hashtags.
- Brainstorming: Brainstorming as a learning tool is as useful for online learning as it is for offline learning. Have students list people, places and other things related to the subject taught.
Student Control Works
Teachers can assign their online student control works, but they must keep in mind that doing homework in an online environment carries with it the risk of cheating. Teachers should keep homework to a minimum and make it meaningful so that students are not overwhelmed.
Online homework systems allow students to download assignment information quickly and return homework to the teacher easily, often for automatic instant scoring and feedback which can speed up the learning process.
Appropriate Home Assignments
There are many different types of home assignments an online tutor can give their students. Some of the most popular ones are:
- Online discussions: Students are required to do research on a topic and attend the next class prepared for a discussion on it.
- Tests and quizzes: Nowadays, it is very easy for teachers to design short tests and quizzes that students can do as homework.
- Essays: Writing essays is the most popular form of a homework assignment, offline and online.
Collecting, Checking & Correcting Home Assignments
When using e-mail to collect assignments, it is recommended for teachers to use school assigned accounts instead of personal ones. Shared drives can also be used for students to submit homework and teachers to give one-on-one feedback, while anti-plagiarism programs can also prove exceptionally useful.
6. Psychological matters
With the rise of e-learning, it is becoming critical to also study it as a psychological phenomenon, examining online teachers’ and students’ learning motivations, processes and mechanisms.
Student Perception of Teachers: Online vs. Offline
While limited research has been conducted regarding student perceptions of their online teachers to this day, it has been reported that online students could struggle to perceive their educators as “real people” if remote tutoring communication isn’t effective.
Teacher Perception of Students: Online vs. Offline
When it comes to teachers’ perceptions of online students, it has been argued that remote tutoring could be an advantage as teachers’ perceptions are shaped by their background knowledge and experiences with students. The relative online anonymity and distance of online lessons is a positive thing when it comes to not forming preconceptions and thinking stereotypically.
How to Dress for Online Lessons
Online teachers should treat their live lessons as if they were in a traditional learning setting. Wearing clean, tailored and appropriate clothing is key, while jewelry should be kept minimal and not be distracting.
Vibrant or intense colors may be unappealing to viewers on the other end of the screen. While you don’t have to wear button-down shirts and full business attire, dress professionally. Make-up should be clean, minimal and appropriate.
Improve Your Image!
To ensure you make the best first impression, follow these tips:
- Check your appearance on camera: Before the start of each lesson, turn on your computer’s camera to ensure your appearance is in order.
- Smile: Smiling will make you look more approachable to your students.
- Be yourself: Communicate authentically, because students value genuineness.
7. Financial matters
Online teaching can be very profitable. The opportunities to teach online are only limited by one’s schedule and the number of students they manage to take on.
Remote tutoring can be lucrative, especially for qualified and experienced teachers who can charge the highest hourly rates for their lessons. It is reasonable to expect to make $25 an hour teaching online.
Remote Teaching Jobs vs. Traditional Teaching Jobs Pay
While it has been found that a lot of online teachers end up making the same salary they would if working in a traditional classroom, as a remote tutor you are saving on clothing, transportation and other everyday costs relating to traditional teaching.
Teacher Payment on Online Tutoring Platforms
Online tutoring platforms are implementing various methods of payment for their teachers. Udemy allows teachers to make money by selling tutorial videos, while Transtutors pays tutors $3 for answering students’ questions. Eurekly boasts the safest and most convenient payment system, as teachers get paid straight after lessons and are able to withdraw funds immediately.
Free Trial Lessons
Offering free trial lessons is not obligatory, but it could be a good idea for attracting new students. Keep trial lessons short, for twenty minutes is plenty of time to showcase your teaching skills to serious prospects.
Is working from home our future?
With workplaces shutting down due to the coronavirus pandemic, more and more people are now working from home. We are now living in a time of rapid changes and it looks like our work patterns may transform for good.
According to reports, once workers discover remote work, they keep teleworking for the rest of their careers. While remote work is going to become increasingly prevalent in the coming years, the education industry is ahead of the game, making use of technological innovations to create effective learning experiences for students of all ages.
Join Eurekly as an online tutor to reap the benefits of the ever-growing online education community!