Watch our video to learn about how to tutor online and read the guide below.
How to Tutor Online
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 with them.
A decent computer – Online tuition can be heavy on your machine’s CPU and RAM, especially if you are screen sharing with your client. Tablets are in general not powerful enough to tutor online with the exception of high spec ones such as Microsoft surfaces with i5+ processors and 8gb+ RAM. Forget mobiles! Large screens are also highly recommended for the best results as you get more area to work with. Most of our tutors use MacBook Pros or equivalent high-spec desktops. Old, budget laptops and low powered tablets with bloated operating systems simply won’t cut it and will result in a poor tutorials and bad reviews. You must invest in your tools.
Technical capability - A good degree of computer literacy is important. You should know how to reset a router and how to guide your student if they are having technical problems. Online tutors are part tech support in addition to a teacher. Usually restarting your computers, browsers and routers will fix all common problems. Hotkeys such as cmd/ctrl + z and alt+tab are an integral part of teaching smoothly as a good online tutor should be able to flick through multiple resources on your computer such as past papers, an online whiteboard and other applications.
Good microphone and ideally an audio headset - Do not underestimate how seriously poor audio quality (in-built laptop mics whilst you type on your keyboard) will undermine your tutorial. Get a headset with built in mic. Audio matters most, more so than video.
A way to write - You wouldn't teach without a pen/marker, nor should you tutor online without one. There are a few options but graphics tablets are the least expensive. More information here.
Quiet ambient environment - Background noise when tutoring can be very distracting for both the tutor and client. Teaching in public spaces is generally a bad idea as the noise cancelling properties of Zoom will make it hard for the student to hear you and will affect their focus.
Additional collaborative technology - as necessary, e.g. an online whiteboard, collaborative coding environments, google docs etc.