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In-Depth Jobs


Issue no 23, 03-09 September 2022

Take your Teaching Career to

The Next level

Establish your own online brand

 

Prateek Singh

 

While learning materials like research papers, practice modules, data repositories etc, were already available in abundance on the World Wide Web, they were mostly seen as a supplement to physical instructions and learning. However, the COVID lockdown triggered a revolution in class-room settings, inducing a sea change not only in the students' approach to learning, but also in the way teaching is done During the lockdown, digital space became the only medium of entertainment, awareness, information, and most importantly, education and learning. 'Work from Home' became a new normal and almost everything went online. The sudden switch from physical classes to online instructions was fraught with new difficulties, but teachers and students overcame those challenges to keep the light of education burning. In this article I am sharing my experience as an online educator how one can start his/her journey in online education; what are the various aspects of online teaching; and what is the income or revenue model of an online educator. Digital learning has grown in popularity over the past few years, and there's still a seemingly never-ending high demand for teachers. Online teaching allows you to establish yourself as a brand because online education transcends not only the physical but also geographical boundaries. You need not limit yourself to the boundaries of a classroom, educational institution or a particular mode of instruction. Online education is not only a great way to teach thousands of students across the globe and gain popularity and fame for your teaching talent but it is also a source of good and stable income.

 

Pre-requisites for Starting Online Teaching

When it comes to style of teaching/presentation, the online mode is much more flexible and versatile. One can have a digital board or an interactive panel, Pen Tab, a simple computer or a laptop screen, mobile phone screen, only audio based solutions, video solutions, interactive online quizzes, quizzes on social networking apps and much more. Those accustomed with the conventional class-room teaching may find the idea of online teaching a bit overwhelming given the fact that it requires operating gadgets and softwares. But I assure you that the technical difficulties can be overcome with little assistance. Gadgets and softwares used for online instructions are simple, userfriendly and seamless. Online teaching can be as fun and interactive as offline classes. You just need to learn a few things and you are good to go. Here are a few skills that one should possess to become an online teacher:

1.       You should have basic knowledge of MS Office, especially PowerPoint. One must know how to make PowerPoint presentations. They need not be very professional and attractive but rather they should be expressive and easily understandable. With time, you will definitely be making very good presentations as it is all about practice

2.       One should be confident speaking and explaining things on camera. Remember that there are no actual students in your class and you have to teach by looking into the camera considering it to be your only student.

3.       Update yourself with new skills such as compiling a quiz on Telegram (it is very interactive and super easy to make), using GoogleMeet or Zoom, using OBS (a software which helps you record videos and also to help you go live on YouTube).

4.       One should know the basics of video editing; it is a very handy skill and can help you enhance the quality of your videos.

 

Hardware and Software Requirements for Online Teaching

Since online teaching is different from taking a class physically, you have to build a setup for yourself where you can shoot videos and upload them later after editing or you can go live directly and interact with the students. In either case, you should have a proper set of hardware and software requirements to be able to do that. One advice that I would like to give here is that in online teaching no setup is a perfect setup or the best of all setups. Some teachers prefer using a laptop and a Pen Tab, some prefer using digital interactive panels, some use their mobile phones and pen and a paper while some use a blackboard or a whiteboard to teach and none of the setups discussed above are hindering the learning process, because, in the end the only thing that matters is how well the teacher is able to express ideas, explain topics and clear the doubts of students and how engaging the classes are. Also, as a teacher keeps teaching online, he/she eventually decides by experimenting and experiencing which setup suits best for him/her. Here I am enlisting the various types of setup that one can have along with the essential hardware and software requirements. Also make sure that you are not investing a lot of money in the beginning; rather, keep updating your setup as you keep growing. Also, make sure that you have a quiet and echo free room with proper lighting.

 

1.      Basic Whiteboard

Class: For this you just need a normal whiteboard/ greenboard, a mic for recording audio, a tripod, camera or mobile phone with good quality camera for shooting, a video editing software

2.      Pentab Setup: You'll need a laptop, camera/mobile phone for recording, a mic for recording audio, OBS for recording, video editing software

3.      Digital Board/Flat Interactive Panel: This is the costliest of all setups and the most widely used one. It requires a flat interactive panel, professional cameras, high end computer/ laptop, professional mic, video editing software and OBS for recording. There are a lot of other setups too which you will discover as you plunge into the sea of online education.

 

Income of Online Educators: I have fairly explained how one can start teaching online by equipping themselves with the required skills and set up. But how can you earn using these setup and skills? There are two ways to do so. You can either build your own brand and start earning by selling your courses or you can work on already existing online education platforms/ companies. A lot of these companies often release vacancies for the job of online educator but most of the times they give priority to teachers who are already a brand in the field of online education. So how one can create his/her own brand in online teaching? With the advent of YouTube, it has become very easy to set up an online classes channel of your own. However, remember that YouTube is just a video sharing platform and you earn on YouTube through AdSense which depends on the amount of views your video garners. Relying solely on income from YouTube will not prove to be very rewarding as it is negligible in terms of quantity and sustainability. So you will have to use YouTube as a platform for creating your own brand and developing a fruitful business through it by introducing to your audience various courses which you can run successfully through WhatsApp, Telegram or through your own website or mobile application. For more effective marketing of your brand, you can promote your content on all popular online platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Vdube. In order to create a brand you will have to be present on every other online platform where your potential audience could be. Once you find your audience, give them quality content on your channel, give them the taste of your teaching and then try and convince them to join your paid courses. Once a student is enrolled into your course, he/she should be your topmost priority and you should work hard on the students so that they can reap the desired results and excel in the exams and in life. Once that happens, your online teaching career will definitely be progressing rapidly. Coming to the second way of earning; once you feel that now your content is being liked by the students and that you have also developed confidence in your teaching but you do not want to start up anything on your own, you can work for other big online education companies and get decent monetary benefits for your work on a monthly basis. It is a teaching job just like any other job and you will be receiving your salary. But if you really want to explore the potential in you then I would suggest that you should avoid working for some other firm as it would not allow you much growth, freedom and flexibility in your approach. Recently, some very new platforms for online teaching have come up and teachers are trying to keep up with such new-age technologies. Improvement with innovation is inevitable and an online educator has to unavoidably catch up with the trend. An online teacher has to keep track of the advancements made in this field and regularly keep on improving and discovering new ways of teaching. Lastly, the vastness of online education cannot be summed up in a few words as it is an ever evolving journey for students as well as teachers. Overall in a nutshell, it is a great way to teach and reach thousands of students and earn money, fame and love for your teaching talent along with the satisfaction of affecting many students whom you might never meet in person but will be an agent of change in their lives.

 

(The author is an online educator specializing in coaching for CUET and other entrance and competitive exams). Email: prateeksinghtalks@gmail.com

 

Views expressed are personal.