Online tutoring is simple, convenient and fun when approached correctly. A few basic things will help your lessons go smoothly on Spires. Watch the video and read the article below to find out more:
In order to learn effectively online through Spires, you should have the following:
A stable internet connection - The importance of this cannot be understated. Internet download speeds should be a minimum of 20 Mbps and upload speeds 5 Mbps. Your ping should be less than 30ms (test here). We have a separate article about internet connections and how to troubleshoot issues.
A decent computer – Online tutoring needs to happen on a computer, or a sufficiently large tablet, not mobile phones. Tutors will need you to view resources and possibly share screens with you, they may also use an online whiteboard. This will not work on a small screen like a phone. Also, online tutoring is resource intensive (particularly on CPU and RAM) which can be taxing for budget laptops and tablets. Generally the more powerful your computer the better, we recommend macbook pros, desktop PCs and high end tablets such as Microsoft surfaces. At least an i5 processors (or more) and 8gb+ RAM.
A Pair of headphones - Do not underestimate how seriously poor audio quality (in-built laptop microphones whilst you type on your keyboard) will undermine your tutorials. Using headphones will really help improve your audio quality. At a minimum use a pair of headphones to stop your microphone and speakers creating a feedback loop. Getting an audio headset with built in microphone is even better.
Quiet ambient environment - Background noise when tutoring can be very distracting for both the tutor and student. Taking classes in public spaces is generally a bad idea as it will make it hard for the tutor to hear you and will affect your focus.
A way to write - There are a few options but graphics tablets are the least expensive. Huions or wacoms are a good choice. Some people have access to ipad pros and microsoft surfaces which are ideal.
Many tutors will use an online whiteboard which allows people to work together on the same piece of work, and allows students to download their notes and much more. Most tutors use BitPaper, you can read more about it here.