Back in April 2008 I launched my first language teaching related website. After relocating to France and teaching English, German and French at home or in companies I felt, there must be a better way than driving around the French countryside from one appointment to the next.
As I was using Skype to stay in contact with family and friends back in Germany I asked myself why I should not use it for teaching languages. So I changed my flyers on the blackboards in the local supermarkets from I come to your home to learn online via Skype.
2) More control
For better or for worse, in a virtual classroom the teacher has more control over what students look at and sees how they interact with their peers, the chat and with the learning material.
You can argue about this point from an academic and a for profit view, as you can basically for most points on the list. I will argue from the second point, of course.
Today it is up to me to announce a new project of mine. On the 1st of June 2009 a couple of colleagues and I will open the E-Teachers Academy.
The Academy is a direct result of my experience in the past year teaching online and the talks I had with different CEOs, colleagues and students from around the globe. The main goal of the Academy will be to empower teachers for education 2.0.
So let me explain the idea.
Yesterday I attended a class of Vikrama Dhiman about the new Learning Request System from WiZiQ, so basically about how to find students on this platform.
Although the audio was not very good I think I understood the idea ;).
And did you notice: they changed the new logo back to the old color scheme. Well done!
Since my presentation on the eduConference of eduFire.com about “Turning Teachers into Rockstars” I have been thinking about this picture. The more I thought about it, the more I found out that this is indeed a very good picture of what an online teaching carreer might look like.
So I decided to make a “documentary” about this. It will consist of three parts and we will follow a teacher Rockstar and his music making brother on their way to the top.
First Episode: The Early Years
This is a comment provided by China_Mike which I think is too important “to just be a comment”. Therefore I made a blog post out of it.
In the future language tutors will need some guidelines about when and how to pursue on-line instruction. The decision to teach on-line isn’t an easy one. The decision to teach on-line probably means added work for the teacher in the short term and possibly added risks in hanging onto local students in the long term. However, as students move on-line, teachers who don’t follow this growing herd may miss out on some opportunities. Keep in mind that at present the on-line market is probably millions of times smaller than the off-line market.
Shall you convert your offline students to online students? What are the advantages? What are the disadvantages?
I came across this question in a community forum of an online teaching platform. The biggest problem of those platforms seems to be: How to get paying students. Interesting enough most of these platforms have no solution to this problem when asked by their teachers. Au contraire, they ask their teachers how they think to get students on the platform.
And the most discussed issue is: why don’t you simply convert your offline students into online students by bringing them to our platform?
So, here are my thoughts on this.