Benefits of Teaching Online
How to Start
This may be something you've thought about for a while or something you're just now considering. Regardless, the big question is "What do you really want to accomplish?" Various teachers could teach online with different goals in mind. Here are a few possibilities.
As an example, my long-term goal is to establish something similar to an online academy where I offer piano, recorder, and native American flute courses with videos, audio files, printable components, and a messaging forum where they could video their assignments and submit to me for feedback. Students could also schedule regular live, virtual sessions with me or just occasionally when they need help. I'm not there yet but on my way. And, possibly, I could contract with other instrumental teachers to join me.
What tools would help you achieve your teaching goals?
There are several directions to take in achieving the goals you have. They can range from a simple video conferencing tool to a learning management system where you can create self-paced online courses.
The good news is that I don't think one has to be a "techie" nowadays to accomplish these goals. The tools are more intuitive and automated than ever before. Here are some essentials and "nice to have" items you will want to consider.
The Essentials for Online Teaching
Video Conferencing Tools
Though it's essential, I left it to the last because, well, it's the big one. You can have the best equipment but if you don't have a good software tool to connect - no one cares.
Not sure why but I love researching technology tools in the learning and educational areas. I also enjoy experimenting with various learning management systems software to the point of near confusion. We'll call it "quirky." Video conferencing apps/services, of course, do different things and have various pricing, including free. My current favorite is www.appear.in. It offers better audio/video quality than most and is - so far - free. The following are others I've tried in order of my opinions (1 being most liked by me). I've also included a few characteristics of each.
Late-breaking addition: I just tried the video-conferencing tool (Jam Session) in the Drooble.com site and I was VERY impressed. Though I was having microphone issues, the audio and video quality for my testing partner (in Austria) was incredible! I will be testing this one again. FYI, Drooble.com is like a Facebook for musicians, a very interesting site and they have some teaching features already integrated into their Jam Session tool.
Tips and Tricks
Things to remember when teaching live online:
I hope this information helps. Please let me know how your experiences go with online teaching.
Terry Smith teaches piano and voice privately in the Phoenix, AZ area and online anywhere using an innovative approach called "PLAY NOW!"