What Internet Speed Do I Really Need to Teach English Online?
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If you’ve got all that it sounds like you’re ripe and ready to start teaching English as a Foreign Language online – or are you?
To set yourself up for success as an online teacher of English there are a number of things you need to have. Even though you might have a vague idea of the tools you need, we thought we’d look a little bit more in detail about what you need, just to make sure you start on your best foot.
Read more: What Are the Requirements for Teaching English Online?
First and foremost, obviously, is an internet connection. But it’s not as simple as that. Let’s look at the different aspects of your internet connection you need to answer the question: What internet speed do I need to teach English online?
Your internet connection needs to be stable and reliable. Most online companies will require you to have a minimum upload and download speed of 10Mbps. In order to prove this there are a number of websites that allow you to test your internet speed, so it’s simple enough to check your connection speed for yourself. Companies will often ask you to verify your internet speed.
Then we need to think about reliability and stability. While for most of the world this isn’t usually a problem, South Africans: we need to talk. Loadshedding and power outages are a part of our everyday life now and it doesn’t look like the problem is going to be solved anytime soon. Don’t let the inefficiency of Eskom put you off your dream, though – there are loads of online English teachers working from South Africa, not to mention the many digital nomads who come especially to South Africa to work remotely.
Read more: How Teaching English Can Help You Become a Digital Nomad
So, what can we do when the lights go out? Well, we can make sure that never happens.
You have options
There are a few options available to you:
- A power bank and dongle
- A UPS
- An inverter
A power bank is a simple and cost-effective solution to the problem of no power. You can buy a power bank at most cell phone shops or computer stores, or online. There are different sizes but the bigger the better when it comes to battery power. But, this will only allow you to power your phone or your laptop. You will also need a dongle so that you can get an internet connection at the same time.
However, power banks have a limited capacity and might not last the entire duration of a load-shedding blackout. And you have to remember to keep it charged for when you do need it. You also probably don’t want to give a lesson while you’re sitting in the dark! So a power bank is useful if you know you’ll be without power in daylight hours and if you only have a lesson or two.
A better option is a UPS. A UPS is an Uninterruptible Power Source. Many of us are familiar with generators but a UPS is a better option for a household because it provides instant power when the power supply goes out. In other words, you don’t need to wait for it to power up like a generator. As you can imagine, this would be a disaster in the middle of an online lesson!
UPS’s vary in size. Some can power just a computer, while others can power a computer, modem or router, TV, lights and a number of other appliances. You would only need a relatively small one for your needs. Your appliances are plugged into the UPS all the time so that it automatically becomes the source of power when load-shedding starts. A UPS can usually last for a few hours, which should be enough for your load-shedding needs.
An added benefit of having a UPS is protection to your devices. With load-shedding, the sudden loss of power and subsequent powering on of the electrical supply can cause a power surge. This can cause damage to your devices and appliances and has even been known to cause fires. Luckily, because so many South Africans have already invested in UPS’s, we are able to gauge which are the more popular and better options for us. Have a look at this article for more information.
An inverter is a similar option to a UPS. For general use, it is often preferred for households. However, if your home is a working environment it might not be suitable. While an inverter may last longer than some UPS’s, there is a delay in the power supply when the main power supply gets turned off. This is why inverters are not suitable for online English teachers.
Read more: Top Companies for South Africans to Teach English Online
Of course, what you also need is a device to make use of your internet. For teaching online a mobile phone or a laptop are suitable, depending on your teaching situation. If you are teaching English through a company such as Cambly or with a programme like Skype, then a mobile phone is fine because your lessons are conversational and you only need to be able to chat.
For any other online teaching, a laptop or desktop is recommended. While there is no specific model that you need, you need to be able to share documents, use an interactive whiteboard, play videos and games, video call and chat. With that in mind, you need a computer which is relatively up-to-date.
Along with your computer, it’s also recommended that you have a set of earphones or a headset. This is so that you can hear your students clearly but also so they can hear you clearly and without any distracting background noises.
A laptop stand is another good idea. Sitting at a computer for hours every day is not good for your back, and a laptop stand will ensure your laptop is at the right height for you. This will prevent you from getting backache, wrist injuries and eye strain. You could also consider a standing desk if you want to be super trendy.
A quiet space
The beauty of teaching English online is the flexibility. Yes, this means you can teach from basically anywhere, but you do need to bear in mind that you need a quiet space to teach in. Space away from barking doors, ringing doorbells, noisy traffic, chaotic children and TV. Your space must be light and decorated appropriately.
If you are teaching Business English or in a corporate or academic setting, your background should be clear and clean. Pictures on the wall are fine, but make sure there is nothing offensive or inappropriate in view. If you are teaching Young Learners, it is a good idea to have a backdrop. This could include pictures, the date, a name card, a map, emojis – anything that is bright and colourful and would appeal to a child.
So while there are a number of tools you need to teach English online, the most important one must be your internet connection. If you’re in an area that has a dodgy relationship with the internet, don’t fret because there are options available to you – and making plans is part of your job description! Wherever you are make sure you’re good to go to ensure that your online lessons can go off without a hitch.
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Name of course Description Online Level 5 TEFL Course 168-hour Online Level 5 TEFL & grammar course (Plus three free 30-hour Top-Up Online Courses) Online Level 3 TEFL Course 120-hour Online Level 3 TEFL & grammar course (Plus three free 30-hour Top-Up Online Courses) Top-Up Courses 30-hour Online Teaching Young Learners, Teaching Business English and Teaching Online & 1:1 Courses 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course 10 hours of webinar teaching practice course (Learn about classroom management and Q&A with a TEFL expert) Observed Teaching Practice Course 40-hour observed teaching practice course
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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We’ll only market other organisations’ products and services if you have said it is OK for us to do so.
You can ask us to stop sending you marketing information or withdraw your permission at any time.
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD retains personal information in line with our corporate retention requirements. Your data will be stored within the European Economic Area (“the EEA”) (The EEA consists of all EU member states, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). However, in some circumstances, part or all of your data may be stored or transferred outside of the European Economic Area (“the EEA”). You are deemed to accept and agree to this by using our site and submitting information to us. If we do store or transfer data outside the EEA, we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data is treated as safely and securely as it would be within the EEA and under the GDPR. Such steps may include, but not be limited to, the use of legally binding contractual terms between us and any third parties we engage with, and the use of the EU-approved Model Contractual Arrangements. If we intend at any time to transfer any of your data outside the EEA, we will always obtain your consent beforehand.
Right to access personal information
- Under the law, any individual has a right to ask for a copy of the personal information held about them. This means that you can ask for the information that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD holds about you. This is known as the right of ‘subject access’.
- When making a request you will need to give us:
- a request in writing (by post or by email)
- We may need to ask you to provide:
- proof of your identity
- proof of your home address
- any information that we reasonably need to locate the information you have requested (for example details of the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD offices or staff that you have had contact with and when)
We will not start looking for your information until we receive all of the above. In order to submit your request, or for help making a request, please contact us.
Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- 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.