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Advice for an online English teaching newbie?

 
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chikuwa



Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 8:43 am    Post subject: Advice for an online English teaching newbie? Reply with quote

Hello

I currently live in Japan and give internet English lessons for a widely-known teaching company. I am interested in giving private English lessons over a popular software application such as Skype, MSN, etc, and I was wondering what is the best way to start. How should pictures be sent over the internet? Should the file be emailed, can you configure webcam to show your desktop, can the pic transmitted through chat? How about listening task audio files? Is there a type of webcam that makes such things easiest? What company, in your opinion, makes the best textbook to teach from? I would greatly appreciate any advice. Thanks!
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Matty



Joined: 18 Oct 2006
Posts: 52
Location: _ Barcelona, Spain

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi chikuwa,

A lot of people use Skype because it's universally known and very easy to use.

If you open up a chat window when you're talking to a client, its very easy to send them images and files - you just drag and drop them onto the chat window. The upload times can vary enormously so I wouldn't rely on it. Perhaps emailing the client a zipped folder of the images, word documents, Flash apps, etc. beforehand would be a more reliable method and it would give the vlient a chance to look at them before making contact with you, maybe even prepare some questions for you to make it a more student-led lesson.

Also I'd be aware that the internet and especially VoIP (Skype, Messenger, etc.) telephony are very unreliable so be prepared to get cut off frequently and have a lot of problems with speed and quality of your connections. A back-up plan is essential! (i.e. normal telephone call).

There are a lot of desktop sharing programs out there and a lot of them are good and free. Be aware of the security risks though! Most company firewalls won't allow it.
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dvasas



Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Posts: 33
Location: Taipei, Taiwan

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 6:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Advice for an online English teaching newbie? Reply with quote

chikuwa wrote:
Hello

I currently live in Japan and give internet English lessons for a widely-known teaching company. I am interested in giving private English lessons over a popular software application such as Skype, MSN, etc, and I was wondering what is the best way to start. How should pictures be sent over the internet? Should the file be emailed, can you configure webcam to show your desktop, can the pic transmitted through chat? How about listening task audio files? Is there a type of webcam that makes such things easiest? What company, in your opinion, makes the best textbook to teach from? I would greatly appreciate any advice. Thanks!


try www.teacherjames.com
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Matty



Joined: 18 Oct 2006
Posts: 52
Location: _ Barcelona, Spain

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skype now offers 3rd party add-ons. These extend the basic functions of Skype to include things like a shared text and graphics pad, call recording, etc. Check out the Skype website for details or look on your Skype application for options.

A word of warning - there is software out there that allows you to 'share' your desktop with other people over the Internet. It would be a very bad idea indeed to do this with students. It's a very high security risk with regards to people being able to access data stored on your computer such as passwords and credit card information. There's even a program called 'Kane and Abel' that can retrieve encrypted password data from your computer through an Internet connection, so beware!

Stick to VoIP and chat programs. They're designed to be safe and easy to use and they can do just about anything you want them to these days.

Skype also offers a premium rate consulting service called Skype Prime - it's in Beta (testing at the moment, but basically you can charge people 0.50 a minute to talk to you. That's 30 per hour, which is a pretty reasonable rate for personal consultation.
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