There is a lot of misleading information out there on how to teach online and it is hard to find the truth, this article will help you.
You can teach online for free or for a part time or full time income with or without a teaching qualification. You can teach online live in person, using a third party or your own website, by answering questions or making training material.
Now that you know you can earn a living teaching online lets look into some of the ways you can do that in detail.
What are the ways to teach online?
Here are some of the ways you can deliver training online:
- Question and Answer Websites
- Online Tutoring Websites
- Salaried Teaching Jobs Online
- Creating Simple Training Content
- Create E-Learning Courses
- Delivering Live Online
What site can answer any question?
Question and Answer Websites are hugely popular and have been around for many years. You can donate your time or get paid to answer other peoples questions or ask questions that stimulate interest. You might ask how you can get paid for asking questions and that is quite simple.
These websites have two payment models and that is either a membership or they are monetized with ads and affiliate marketing. The membership websites pay you with each satisfied customer answer and the ad based sites give you a portion of the ad revenue depending on how many people view your answer.
Here is a list of some of the websites and what they do
Membership Based Site based out of the UK that will pay you to answer questions. You have to apply to answer questions and they check that you have at least 2 years relevant experience in that industry and will also check any qualifications you supply them with.
There is a waiting period of 5 to 10 days for people in the UK and a few weeks more for International applicants while they check your experience and qualifications before they let you on to answer questions.
This is one of the largest free sites to get any question answered. Once you have been a member for a while you can then sign up to make money by asking questions or answering them. The more interest you get in your questions and answers you get the more you get paid as a percentage of the ad revenue.
This site is another general questions and answer site like Quora where you can go and ask questions on any topic or answer someones questions. You can not make money here but it is a great website to use as a resource.
This site is used for technical answers around Information Technology. It can be quite brutal to people that don’t at least do a little research first before asking their questions.
You can not make money from being on the website but if you have a technical question this is the largest site of its kind in the world. It is the go to place for experts to share knowledge on anything Information Technology.
There are many more website you can explore by typing in “Q&A Websites” into Google as well that are free and paid.
How do I become an online tutor?
For an individual with spare time on their hands tutoring is one of the easiest jobs to get into online. You can make a part time to full time wage doing this as well. The largest areas for tutoring are school children for all Kindergarten to Grade 12 subjects (K-12), University Subjects and general teaching English online.
For tutoring school ages children you will need a bachelor or equivalent qualification in teaching or the tutoring subject area. For University a post graduate qualification is generally required. Teaching English online has the lowest entry level with some jobs only requiring that you are a native speaker.
The equipment you will need is generally only a laptop, headset and webcam. Most of the tutoring websites provide the training material so you just need to be available for the tutoring hours.
Here are some of the websites that are worth looking at.
This website allows you to teach Chinese and Korean children English. They do require a bachelor and a TESOL certificate is not mandatory but will put you up the list of applicants.
They are the biggest in the market and you can make around $18 USD to $22 USD per hour teaching individual or small groups of students.
This website is designed to teach students from grade 4 to 12 basic school subjects. You can tutor as long as you pass the application process that includes the following: Appication, Subject Exam, Mock Session and Background Check. Then you can just log on at any time in the world and tutor on the subjects you have passed the exams for.
University Tutor is meant for tutoring university level students and there are no real requirements to apply but you do need to put up a profile with your qualifications and you get to set your own hourly rate. You also get to keep 100% of what you earn which is rare for a tutoring site as they normally take a percentage of your hourly rates or set the rates.
iTalki is a website that allows you to teach and learn any language. You don’t have to be a qualified teacher and you can teach any language you already know as a Community Teacher. If you are a qualified teacher you can get paid more per hour.
They have a good design and look after the admin for you and just take a percentage commission. You can set your own rate and then start promoting yourself and start teaching languages.
There are many more tutoring websites and if this is how you would like to teach online it is worth researching on Google.
What are the best online teaching jobs?
This style of teaching is normally just a traditional teaching job that has been moved to online delivery. You get paid a salary or wage and you are an employee of the company with all the expectations and responsibilities of a traditional job.
You can earn a normal wage but don’t get the freedom of setting your own work hours or running your own business like some of the other options. The good thing about these types of jobs is the job security and regular pay check that the other styles of teaching online don’t provide.
As well as checking your own local country jobs websites sites here are some other sites that are worth checking for these types of jobs.
This is a great website for looking for traditional type online teaching jobs. There are jobs on there that don’t require a bachelor but mainly the website focuses on these type roles. If you are wondering what qualifications are required for an online teaching job then reviewing the jobs on the job board here is a great way to understand what employers are looking for.
This website lists all types of teaching jobs online including ones at Universities. They list jobs for anyone with a high school diploma and up so is a great place to keep checking for jobs even if you are a university student looking for a job while you are studying.
They have a large list of jobs including non teaching online jobs as well. Well worth bookmarking and keeping an eye on.
Most people forget that the Facebook groups are a great location to find jobs for teaching online. Once you are at the link above you can put in a group search for “Teaching Online” and you will get multiple groups that have 10+ posts a day with people looking for people to teach online. Some of these jobs will be hourly rate jobs but you will also find full time roles as well.
How do you create training content?
If you want to teach online but don’t want to create a training course there are many ways you can do this from blogs to movies on streaming platforms to third party hosted content.
The difference between these and online training courses is that these materials are stand alone and are not part of a larger learning path with prerequisites and learning outcomes.
They are just introducing simple concepts and topics with either text and image or audio or video content. You will need to create this content and then host it on a website. Most of these options can be monetized with ads or affiliate marketing if you are looking for an income from them.
Here are some of the ways you can deliver the content once it is created.
You can create and host your video content on Youtube or any of the streaming content providers like Vimeo and Twitch. They all allow for you to created playlists of your content as well as live stream content as well. To create your video content you can start with something as simple as a smart phone or screen casting software packages and a microphone.
WordPress is the largest blogging website tool where you could create a free blog and post your content or create your own website and host your simple training content there as blog posts or web pages. WordPress has many tutorials and pre-built themes to get you started. To create your graphical content you will need a 2D graphics package that are advanced versions of tools like Microsoft Paint.
Create a podcast or audio content and host on one of the worlds largest streaming audio providers used by dj’s through to music teachers and pod casters. This is the go to website with 175 million unique visitors per day that instantly will give you a market for your audio training content as well as all the tools and information to get started.
You can start creating the audio content with something as simple as a mobile phone and microphone application through to a proper recording microphone and laptop and then onto a full sound studio. There are free and paid applications on your computer that allow you to edit your audio once created.
There are many more alternates which we will look at in later articles.
How do you create an eLearning course?
The difference between simple training content and E-Learning courses is that there is a learning path and generally accessible training outcomes. Each course is designed to teach a student a more complex topic in small steps with a mix of the simple content types combined with more interactive tasks like quizzes, animations, games and more.
The E-Learning created depends on the audience and can be quite simple procedural steps or branch into multiple training outcomes. You can create your training material manually or use one of the many software tools that will help you do this. Check our resources page above for a few examples of these tools.
Here are some of the websites you can use to deliver your E-Learning once created.
Udemy is the largest video training website in the world at the moment and once you sign up as a teacher they will provide some video training for you and advice on how to get started. They do regular sales so your content may be sold at a discount and they take a higher commission if they sell if for you so be very wary of this when you create a course with them.
When you create an E-Learning course with Skill Share you get paid as a royalty for each new member that you get to sign up and royalties for the amount of minutes your content gets viewed by students. This is a different model to Udemy where it is a commission per student enrollment in your specific course.
This is where you can use one of the paid LMS solutions providers that will setup a site for you and you will pay to host your content with a monthly fee or per student as well as any possible setup and maintenance fees. These are systems like Blackboard, Canvas LMS or one of the many others you can choose from.
If you click on the title it will take you to blackboard.
You can your own domain name and hosting and install a Content Management System(CMS) or Learning Management System (LMS) and then put your courses on it. A LMS being a specific type of CMS that is used specifically for education. A CMS being a website designed to be easily changed by someone with limited technical knowledge by editing everything much like you do when you use Microsoft Word.
You can use Drupal, Joomla or WordPress as CMS websites and add an E-Learning plugin or a full LMS like Moodle. If you click on the title it will take you to Moodle.
While I understand some of this can be a little more confusing we will expand and simplify this topic in later articles.
How do I deliver live online training?
Teaching students live and being able to interact with them is the concept of Live Virtual Classrooms. They can be a simple web Conference or a combination of technologies that allows for full computers and remote support by the trainer to the students.
The term Virtual Classroom is often misused and is assigned to a LMS website as a virtual learning space and no real live interactivity is happening. This is done for marketing reasons and while it is not really wrong, it is not really right either.
An LMS is more a Learning Portal for students to self manage and rarely do they have scheduled live classes. There are a lot of hybrid solutions out there and the area can be quite grey sometimes but in this post we will only be talking about Live Scheduled Classes.
So what are some of the ways you can run a live online classroom or virtual classroom?
Web Conferences are the simplest way to run a live online classroom where you can present your training in a lecture style presentation and push content out to many people at once. There is often a chat window for students to chat and ask questions.
There is web cam streaming available but this is limited normally to up to 9 people due to bandwidth and is not commonly used for training. Bandwidth being the speed of your internet connection. Some teachers will stream their own webcam so that the students can see them. While you may still need a website to promote your training you can then charge per training session per student that attends if you with to make money from your training.
There are heaps of suppliers of Web Conferences and some of the popular ones are:
Click on the name above to go to their websites and I would recommend Zoom at the moment as it has a free account and is getting some great reviews over something like Cisco Webex that while it works needs a bit of modernizing.
Live Virtual Classrooms
A true live virtual classroom requires the combination of a few technologies. When teaching a class especially if it requires software installed is better done where the teacher creates the training environment to ensure they are all the same.
This is commonly done online with Virtual Machines which are full running versions of an operating system like Windows that can be accessed remotely. The teacher then installs classroom management software to view and remotely support students during the class while teaching is taking place just like in a real classroom.
The teacher presents the content and their screen to the students via Web Conference which allows students to talk to each other and ask questions of the teacher.
The online computers (Virtual Machines) are all linked together in a computer network allowing them to all interact with each other and share files and for their software to talk to each other.
This network allows for the remote control or remote support software to work as well. A combination of power point presentations and live screen casting as well as virtual training manuals is often used during these classes.
Virtual Training Manuals are eBook, Web pages (HTML5) or PDF versions of the training manuals that are protected and shared with the students. This allows the Teacher to assign tasks while doing one on one tutoring or support for a trouble student.
I have linked this title to SkyTap that provides one part of the solution which is the virtual machines with class view and remote support tool. You will still need to organize a web conference and your own training material. You can also make your own customer Live Virtual Classroom as well.
This style of training you can charge the most for and is the most effective and engaging form of online teaching you can do. It is a little more technical but worth it with the potential outcomes.
Summary of Technologies Used for Virtual Classrooms
- Online Virtual Machines – For the teacher and students to work on a controlled environment
- Classroom Management Software – For online class management and viewing
- Web Conferences – To broadcast the Teachers screen to students
- Teacher Remote Support Software – For the Teacher to supply student support
- Student Remote Desktop Software (Preferably HTML5 Clients) – for students to connect to class
Live Online Classrooms is explained further in another article so don’t be too concerned if some of these words and concepts are alien to you. We cover it in more detail in a later blog post.