Tips for Setting up an Online Classroom
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If you think teaching English as a Foreign Language online is sitting on your couch in your yoga pants all day chatting on Skype, you’re not far wrong. Just kidding! Although there are definitely opportunities for teaching conversational English over Skype or another app which would mean you cold possibly get away with working in your pants, it’s much more likely that setting up an online classroom is something you will have to do. Don’t let this put you off. It’s not hard to create a space that’s conducive to effective teaching and learning, and you don’t need a lot of space or money.
Here’s how you can do it.
Find a quiet corner in your house which has a table or desk and a wall behind it. If you have a separate office space or a spare room that’s brilliant, but if you don’t it can be a corner of your living room or TV room. The important thing is that it needs to be somewhere that can be quiet during your lessons. If you live alone or with a partner this shouldn’t be a problem, but if you have kids or fur-kids you will need to make a plan. Also make sure your space is light and bright.
Good equipment is vital to your success as an online teacher. First of all, your computer should be up-to-date. You will probably need to raise your computer so that it’s at eye level, so you may need a laptop stand. Your internet connection needs to be quick and reliable. If your connection is not stable, make sure you have a back-up option available to you. Your headset, if you need one, should be comfortable and functional. The table or desk must have enough space for your computer and a few props (we’ll talk about those later), and your chair should be comfortable – you’ll be sitting in it for a long time each day.
The wall behind your table is very important. You want the background of your classroom to be striking but not overwhelming. Teaching in front of a window is not recommended because of the light and because of the distractions it can present. This is why we recommend a wall. If you are teaching Young Learners it should definitely be a colourful background, and it can be include pictures of letters, numbers, the weather or the date. Print these out and laminate them if you can so that you don’t have to worry about wear and tear. Some companies ask that you put up a certain background on your wall so if that’s the case you don’t need to worry about it. For older learners, you could have a whiteboard (if you prefer to use that rather than the computer), a map or a nice picture. Whatever is behind you, keep in mind the frame that your students will see. Do a test before your first class so that you will know exactly what the students will see during the lesson.
Props can make your lessons so much better. They’re essential if you’re teaching Young Learners but they’re also important if you’re teaching adults. Even older students can get a bit bored if they’re just chatting to your face for an hour. Ideas for props for kids are puppets, a toy which can act as a mascot or a “teacher’s pet”, a reward’s system and any realia related to the lessons. For older students, you could use photos or pictures and realia.
The virtual classroom
These days a lot of companies will have their own virtual classroom that you will have access to. If this is the case then you don’t need to worry too much about your virtual space. But, if you can, introduce images, video clips and memes into your lessons to make them more visually appealing than a white screen. Thankfully the internet has a ton of resources so all you have to do is find the appropriate extras for your lesson.
The last thing you need to think about is you. While your students may not be able to see that you are wearing shorts and slip slops, they can see you from the waist up. Don’t wear clothes that have bright patterns or are distracting in any way. A plain shirt or t-shirt is the best way, with minimal or plain jewellery and light make up.And that’s it! You’re now ready to connect with your students and teach them English online from the comfort of your home! If you already have a home set-up, we’d love to see it – send us pics!
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.
Very helpful. Thank you so much.
I am from South Africa and interested in teaching online. Please send me information.
Good day please assist with a link on lesson plans and the curriculum for TEFL.
I completed 120 hour TEFL certificate through International Open Learning Academy.
I would like to focus on children between 4 and 7 years of age.
Thank you so much.
I am currently busy with my Level 5 course. Is there an opportunity whereby I can start doing online teaching while busy with the course. I hope to finish the course in a months time.
Thank you so much for the information.
Really appreciate it.
This was helpful. I’m based in South Africa and would love to teach online