Do you remember when you had to rewrite sentences over and over again whenever you got into some trouble with a teacher or a student? How about when you had to write a 15-page report entirely by hand and hand it into the teacher 2 days later? Things have changed quite a lot since then. Now, we have Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and even just the whole computer is really changing how education is shaping the future minds of the world.
Online learning is becoming a great tool in the field of education and it has many different promises for the future. I have been teaching online for over half a decade and I have seen some pretty extraordinary things when it comes to this sort of learning. I remember when I first started my tutoring online. I was 13 years old and I was just looking for a little job or a hobby that I could do as I was a 4.0 student. So, I went on a great online learning platform called WiZiQ and I was very nervous about it.
History was my best subject, so I thought, "Hey, why can't I teach that to some people?" I remember that my first class was on the earliest Americans which was a subject that I knew very well. I had about 8 people signed up for that class and all 8 showed up (which is a bit of a miracle in the online world). I was completely afraid of doing it, but I went through it and delivered my lesson. I actually got people listening to what I was saying and even had them asking questions. After the class was over, I had gotten some pretty good feedback from them saying, "I really learned a lot in this class. Mr. Blair explained everything in a very neat and organized fashion." I knew that I had found something that I would want to do for quite a while.
Online education is very different from the traditional classroom. First of all, you may have about 30 students sign up to a class that you have put up, but probably only about 10 or 11 actually show up, if that. Also, a student can go at anytime if they do not like a lesson which is very different from the actual classroom where if you get up and walk away, you will probably get a detention. The virtual classroom for the online world is a very impressive marketing tool for your classes because it has about everything that you need to teach your lesson and more!
After about a year on the site, I had taught over 130 classes which I thought was very good for a 13-year old. But, I wasn't really making that much money at it, so I decided to look for another company that I could work with. I then came across EduFire which is both an online learning platform and a social network. This was a very good site right from the get-go because of all of the great service and help that I had gotten from the community. I decided to start out there with my first class that I had taught on WiZiQ, the earliest Americans. For this, 18 people signed up for the class which was about double of what I had at WiZiQ.
With EduFire, their virtual classroom is the Adobe Connect Pro Virtual Classroom which is a fantastic product. I had taught that class the same way that I had before and was amazed by the great feedback that I got from it saying how much they loved my lesson.
With this type of market, you have to start out with some free classes and then move your way up to the paid classes. But, I got a little bit carried away with the free classes which is something that I both praise and regret to this day. I didn't make a dime for the first 6 months that I was on the site, but I became one of the best teachers on the website and I was only 14 at the time! I then got into the paid classes and made some very good money for myself while doing it.
If you are interested in online learning as a future career, then you have really come to a great market that is full of fabulous people and lessons. But, you have to remember that you will not get paid with your first lesson. A very hard step for most people is that they just want to dive right into the paid classes and get hundreds of students. You cannot do that as no students will come and learn from you. Instead, you have to build up your experience and get your name out there before you can do such a thing.
I have taught over 500 classes online and it has really helped me both with my computer skills and with learning about other cultures and meeting new people. Online education is a very rewarding experience, but you have to be prepared to get ready for it and not to dive in straight away! I hope that this has been a good first step into your future career as an online tutor and I wish you the best of luck on your way.
Happy teaching/learning! :)