Online Teacher Toolkit

The Economic Landscape – it’s not as bad as it seems

A simple scan of the job pages highlights a period of economic transition. Words like: downturn, Brexit, recession, inexperience, (lack of) training, (lack of) digital skills, (demand for) basic literacy and numeracy, vie for our attention. In my mind, with any transition, with any difficulty, indeed, within chaos, there is opportunity. You are right: things are not the way they were. Things are changing. The political and social landscape is changing. We must face facts: how we live and work is changing. But is this a bad thing? The dawn of the digital age means that you don’t have to be a victim of change, but you can be a beneficiary of change. And if your passion is teaching, coaching, educating, guiding, then online opportunity awaits.

Online Teaching Companies – why not sign up?

In the online teaching world, specifically for teaching languages, there are a thousand and one companies you may work for. From the old school, like Berlitz and EF, to the new school, like DadaABCVIPKID and ABC360, to name but a few. But which ones are the best? Who provides decent training? And great benefits? Who offers the best pay? All of these are very important questions. And the best form of research is through word of mouth. But I am not here to answers those questions. Sorry, guys! I am sure they are all have their upsides and downsides. But for the brave souls among you,  you may skip all that and avoid the unknown by setting your own rules, by branching out on your own, by being your own boss.

Online Teacher Toolkit – do it your way!

So this is where the idea of the online teacher toolkit came to mind. Of course, there are a plethora of digital tools out there, and the very existence of said tools is ever in flux. Thus, this list is not definitive, but is merely a great starting point for newbies and curios and even hard-worn super-experienced teachers who just want to cross-check what others teachers are doing. However, I would like to attempt to pull together a brace of digital tools that may form the foundation of a starter kit for online teaching. As my background is teaching English (in China), my suggestions are more pertinent to language teachers. However, I am sure many of these ideas would be useful for those in other online teaching fields.

So here it goes, this is what you need*:

  • Website/blog
  • Teaching Platform
  • Tools for speaking
  • Tools for writing
  • Tools for listening
  • Tools for reading
  • Tools for vocabulary
  • Tools for grammar
  • CoP
  • CPD

Managing Expectations

What, that’s it?

“I feel short-changed!”, I hear you cry.

Well, no, not exactly. That’s all for now. You see, I didn’t want to overbear you in the first post. So there is the outline. That’s what I’m going to cover. That’s what you can expect. And, like our favourite learning activity, the gaps will be filled over the following, well, let’s say, at least 10, blog posts. Actually, wait. That’s not entirely true. I must confess I have a tendency to blog about other things like my Masters readings, and I do like to interview people about teaching & technology and stick that on my blog. So please bear with me as I fill in the gaps – of the gaps  – with other online language teacher like stuff, too.

I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait.

Your future really is: in your hands.

🙂

*Oh, what I can do is add the blog post link, as and when it is written, to the relevant item on the list so that new (and maybe, old) readers may skip to the most relevant part. Coming soon!

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