For my friend Richa, the decision to work from home proved to be a good bet. A house wife, a doting mother and a qualified physics teacher; Richa left her teaching job when motherhood came calling. After a few years when her son started going to school, she found herself free during the morning hours and decided to put her knowledge and the flair for teaching to a good use. But this time instead of heading back to school as a full-time teacher, she tried her hand in online tutoring. She sent her application along with resume to one of the many websites which cater to online teaching and after the selection process, got on board. Today she is a highly respected teacher who has students not only in India but oversees too. Besides, she is earning much better than a traditional school teacher now and that too from the comfort of her home.
Welcome to the world of online teaching. Nowadays when everything is just a click away, how can virtual teaching be left behind. In simple terms e-tutoring or online teaching can be explained as a process in which a teacher teaches a student using internet and updated chat systems which are very convenient to work with, once you get a hang of it. In this atmosphere of a virtual classroom, a student benefit by getting personalized attention in solving his problems, clear the doubts and complete his homework instantly and for teachers, besides putting their knowledge to use, it has opened up new vistas of earning. So it’s a win-win situation for both the parties.
Since a teacher can preach to her students at her own convenience, this new-age teaching method is fast gaining momentum among the women looking for work-from-home option. Suppose you are mother who lives in New Delhi and is free for two hours during night; with online teaching option you can conveniently devote this time to teach a student who, may be is based in New York and find that time apt ( since it would be morning there) for himself too to learn his subject. Another advantage which works well with online teaching is that you can do it as a part-time or full-time job, for which your earnings will be directly proportionate to the time you are willing to commit. For example, according to an Indian online teaching platform if you are logged in for 2hrs/day you can earn almost 20,000 per month which can reach up to 80,000 if you work for 8hrs/day.
How does it work?
There are two types of online tutoring services: synchronous and asynchronous. In synchronous teaching method the student and the teacher are present online at the same time. They interact simultaneously while in asynchronous the student submits his queries and the tutor respond within a day or two of the posting of student’s problem.
The more popular one is synchronous since there is no waiting time in it and the teacher can solve the tutee’s problem instantly. Moreover, it’s more personalized as it allows face-to –face interaction between the student and the teacher. There are primarily three mode of communication between a teacher and student i.e. emails, chat or video which is supported by the technology based devices and various applications.
Not only does an online tutor caters to the requirement of school going kid (k-12 grade) who needs help in subjects like Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English, etc. but also to students seeking guidance in higher education, accounts ,finance, human resource and entrance exams of IIT,Law,UPSC, Banking ,TOEFEL etc.
To be a successful online tutor you have to have an in-depth knowledge of the subject, familiarity with the structure of course (since you may be teaching student from oversees), good communication skills and most importantly, the enthusiasm to teach.
How to get started?
While registering yourself on any online tutoring website, upload an attractive and complete profile of yourself with detail information on what can you offer. Other details such as the subject you want to teach, teaching time preferred, your contact, e-mail address, expected tuition fees etc. might be asked by the website to fill in. Most of the websites first gives training to their teachers to make them comfortable with the technology used while teaching a student.
There are two types of online tutoring platforms:
- Like tutorvista, where in a virtual classroom you teach the student on the desired subject.
- Like Udemy, where you can directly upload your videos on academic, lifestyle or professional topics. You just have to set the price of your video which is then purchased by the student as per his requirement.
But if you are a beginner, I suggest you start with registering yourself on an online tutorial website (as listed at the end of article) where you can have live interaction with your students. Once you get a hang of the e-tutoring business, don’t shy to venture into other options like starting your own online tutoring platform.
You can join any of the websites (listed below), free of cost as a part time or fulltime tutor; though, you have to go through an initial screening like giving an online teaching demo before a website hires you. Once you are on board, your account is activated and your potential students who are already registered on these websites will come to you for help. You will start receiving queries from students across the world, wherein you can set the date and time and are good to go.
The biggest advantage of online tutoring is it increases your scope of work. After a few rewarding sessions and gaining experience of teaching the tutees with their regular subject, you can also contribute your expertise in other areas like project assignments or teaching any foreign language. Imagine the continuous work you get as you will work not only locally but globally too (since students from foreign lands will also take your expert advice).
It goes without saying that you need computer, webcam and good internet connection for web-based tutoring. Some platforms do provide tutor training programs before you get started to make you conversant with the use of technology. So you need not be worried if you are first time tutor. To make tutor-tutee interaction streamlined you would require software tools like:
- Skype: This one is needed for hassle-free calling. The sound quality is excellent. You can show your screen with the student and transfer files conveniently with skype.
- Online whiteboard: It’s like a normal blackboard used in schools except that it’s used for online teaching where the teacher can write and draw on it which is available for the students to see while the teaching is in progress. Since the technology keeps improving every passing day, you have to keep yourself updated on the tools and apps required to make teaching better and fruitful for the students.
- Apart from providing personalized sessions, some tutors and e-tutoring websites also have their YouTube channel where they keep uploading videos on the relevant subjects. This is also a great idea as students can access the educational content anytime they need.
Here’s a list of some companies which you can check out:
Disclaimer: Since the list of the online teaching platform is exhaustive, I can’t include each and every name. It is not a sponsored post; the idea is to provide initial information if someone wants to venture into e-tutoring.