Since a lot of parents struggle to find a tutor in their local area, many are finding webcam tutors.
Did you know that you can offer webcam tutorials on Superprof?
All you have to do is say on your profile that you offer webcam tutorials and students from around the country will see it.
Without leaving your home, you can supplement your income as a tutor or provide tuition as a way to earn some money while studying for your undergraduate degree.
In this article, you’ll find out how to become a remote academic support tutor!
Getting Started: What Equipment do you Need to Teach Online?
If you’re going to give lessons online, it’s important to invest in the right equipment. Communication is key!
Lots of tutors will tell you that you can learn a lot about those being tutored by the way they behave.
For example, if your student tells you they’ve understood, you may notice that they don’t actually look that convinced!
It can be much easier in a classroom when you're face to face with your students. To notice these kinds of things online, you’ll need to be able to clearly see and hear them.
Furthermore, communication issues can quickly turn your lessons into an absolute nightmare with you constantly repeating everything you have to say.
This is both a waste of your time and your student’s time.
If you want to start teaching webcam tutorials, here are three important tips:
- Buy a quality webcam. For around £50 you can get a webcam that’s good enough for your student to see you clearly.
- Use your own camera. With the right cable, you can connect a lot of decent digital cameras to your computer and use them as a webcam. Look for quality brands like Nikon or Canon.
- Invest in a headset. While a headset might seem a bit outdated, they’re very popular among tutors. Why? Because built-in microphones aren’t often very good. For around £30, you can get a decent headset.
With the right equipment, you can provide effective and clear tutorials.
What Tutoring Websites Can You Use to Give Lessons?
If you’re wanting to tutor online, you have to choose the right computer programs. While you'll have to invest in your physical equipment, there are plenty of free tutoring programs and tools available.
Both primary school and secondary school students will expect your online tutoring services to include some of the best programs for students. There are no magic tutoring programs.
In fact, your choice will depend on the program that works best with your teaching methods. You should define your students’ learning objectives:
- Do you need to send them documents and files?
- Do you need space to draw things (like in geometry tutorials, for example)?
- Do you need a chat client so you can copy and paste texts, for example?
Of course, this will vary from subject to subject. For a language class, you need to choose programmes that offer great audio quality.
The main programs available are:
- Skype. This is the market leader. Lots of tutors use this program to organise videoconferences and online tutorials, which can’t be done with a lot of other platforms.
- Google Talk. You can find this in Gmail and use your web browser or download it onto your computer. It offers video and audio chat functions.
- Programs integrated into private tutoring sites.
- Online video libraries.
- Tutoring platforms such as Superprof.
- Other programs: Dropbox or Google Drive. These programmes allow you to share files and exercises online with your student.
According to a 2013 survey carried out by the Pew Research Center, 62% of internet users have already made online videos.
Why not make some of your own video tutorials?
Test Your Student’s Connection Before Working with Them
Good equipment is all well and good but it’s not enough. You need to make sure that your student’s connection is good enough to support video chat.
Both sides need to have a decent connection for webcam tutorials to work and checking your connection is very simple. There are online tools available for checking the speed of your connection. Around 40Mb/s should do the trick.
Avoid working from cafés and restaurants because their connections are rarely fast enough to support chat. It’s recommended that you get a fibre optic connection!
The same is true for students! In order for the learner to succeed, they need to be able to hear you.
Once you’ve got your connection sorted, you’re ready to teach subjects like:
- Maths (including calculus, trigonometry, algebra, etc.)
- English (writing tutors, literature, or writing an essay, for example)
- Physics, Chemistry, Biology
You can help primary school and secondary school students with exam preparation (SATs, GCSEs, A-Levels, etc.) or help struggling students to catch up with the curriculum with one to one tuition!
Don’t hesitate to mention the programs and equipment you use on your online tutor profile.
This can help the best tutors stand out from the crowd.
How to Create Lessons Plan Tailored to Your Student’s Level
Even if you’re qualified in a given subject, that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily a good private tutor.
If you want to find tutor jobs and offer quality and interactive online webcam tutorials, you need to listen to what your students are struggling with!
You might need to teach them basic concepts or help with homework, test prep, writing an essay, or the admission process for a university.
In order to do this, here are a few tips to help you with planning lessons:
- Put together a study schedule that works with your student’s timetable (evenings, weekends, etc.)
- Be punctual and make sure your sessions start on time.
- Offer structured online tutorials.
- Give online worksheets and materials to support what they learned in class.
- Act as your students' educational advisor.
- Help them prepare for their exams by going over past papers (GCSEs, A Levels, etc.).
- To avoid resits, make sure to study regularly.
- Listen carefully to your student and adapt your course content.
- Motivate your students and make sure they’re keeping with their studies.
- Assess your students each month.
- Organise intensive revision sessions during the school holidays, etc.
Unlike what you might first think, teaching students remotely isn’t that different to one on one tutoring in person! Whether your student’s studying arts or sciences, you need to carefully check their work.
Even if you’re not physically there, you need to mark your student’s work, check their spelling, grammar, etc., and make sure that an examiner wouldn’t have any reason to lower their mark.
Ask them to scan copies of their mock exams and share them via a Cloud storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive.
By focusing on their weaknesses, you’ll save time during your tutorials and be able to focus on the skills they need to improve.
Finally, teach them how to effectively take notes that they can use to revise from.
If you’re dubious about the benefits of webcam tutorials, just listen to what Superprof Anis had to say about them:
“In 2015 I taught 8 students by Skype (online) and their maths tutorials went really well. The students lived all over Europe […] In 6 months of tutorials, the students had managed to improve by one or two grades.”
With the right teaching methods, you can help students of all different levels!
The Advantages of Giving Online Tutorials
In recent years, the market for online lessons has exploded.
There are advantages to both the tutor and the student.
As an academic support tutor, the benefits include:
- Saving time by not having to travel
- Saving money on public transport or petrol
- Flexible hours and being able to offer tutorials when you’re abroad or on holiday
- Working with several students at once via video conferencing
- More potential students (you can reach students from all over the country and the world)
- Not as stressful for the student
- Easily share files
- Improve how you communicate
Webcam tutorials are a great way to test yourself as a teacher before you dive into the deep end.
It doesn't matter whether you're an English tutor, chemistry tutor, or offering homework help; using new technology can build your confidence and gently ease you into the 21st century.
More and more academic establishments are looking for teachers with IT skills. If you become a state teacher later on in your career, you’ll need to know how to use modern technology.
So why not by tutoring online in your favourite subject?
If you're a qualified educator and have the availability and expertise, why not consider becoming a tutor either as an online instructor or by offering one to one private tutorials online?