3) Professionalism Using Skype seems to mix business with personal use, hence using a virtual classroom lifts the professional image.
Alright, reason number three to prefer a virtual classroom over Skype. First of all, yes of course you should not mix private chat with business. It’s like having only one phone number at your home and everytime a potential customer calls that number all he/she gets is your deaf grand mother who lives in your house and answers the phone for you while you are sitting in front of your PC in the basement.
In this case the solution would be easy. You call your telecom provider and order a new telephone line with an extra number. And guess what, with Skype or any other VoIP client it is even easier: just open a second, free account for your business or private life. So that’s that.
As I said in a previous post most of your potential clients will already have Skype installed on their computer. Hence I think it makes a far more unprofessional impression when you say that you cannot use Skype for the lesson and you have to go into the virtual classroom.
We also know that still virtual classrooms are not working perfectly. As Christopher Grant explained in our recent review:ed talk this is also due to the weak telecom infrastructure but adding bandwidth intensive virtual classrooms which also need Flash plugins and all that jazz simply higher the “chance” of not working correctly.
Now imagine it is your first lesson with a student who never learned online before. You start the virtual classroom and – nothing. The student cannot connect for whatsoever reason. First impression counts and who can guarantee that it will work the next time.
Of course Skype can have the same problems but again, as people are using it on a regular basis they are familiar with those problems and hence it won’t alienate them immediately. A not working / too complex virtual classroom will for sure.