Technology has slowly crept its way into almost every classroom, compelling teachers to gain IT skills and enhance their way of teaching, effectively engaging and empowering their students. More and more educational technology tools are being developed, helping teachers provide their students with as many learning benefits as possible.
However, when it comes to teaching languages online, technology is something that cannot really be avoided. If you’re an online English teacher with no IT skills whatsoever, you miss out on a lot of opportunities to improve your teaching and make it more effective. So, what are the most important IT skills that every online English teacher should have a firm grasp on? Read on to find out.
Presentations Design and Software Use
Presentation software enables you to turn your online classroom into an interactive one, which is very important for engaging your students and helping them maximize their knowledge retention. Creating engaging presentations with a compelling design that captures attention will help your students retain your English course material more efficiently and effectively.
This very intuitive presentation software is designed for people who are not designers, so you can very easily create beautiful presentations and deliver interactive experiences that will captivate and engage your learners. There are templates you can customize and you can even analyze your presentations to make sure that you continually improve them.
PowerPoint is a well-known presentation software with which you can create presentations that truly stand out and present everything like a real pro. It’s really the most basic tool that every online English teacher should have in their toolbox, so be sure to get a hang of it if you haven’t used it yet.
Students nowadays increasingly read eBooks, as they find it more convenient to download one and read it on a tablet than to go out and buy a book or order it online and wait for days before they can get their hands on it.
This is why you should provide your language students with eBooks that you will personally design. Learn how to make an eBook and how to make it engaging and easy to digest. Make sure that your every eBook is always packed with relevant information that will greatly contribute to your students’ learning and you’ll definitely hit the bullseye.
Social Media Experience
You need to improve your social media game if you teach online. Social media are excellent for regularly communicating with your online students and building strong relationships with them. Connecting with them on social media will enable you to increase their learning engagement and knowledge retention.
For instance, you can create a group on Facebook where you will discuss all matters regarding learning English, give assignments and share documents and any piece of content that will help your students learn the language easier.
Most importantly, you can use social media to share links to your eBooks and online courses and attract a lot more language students. You can also join various online discussion groups where you can share ideas and experiences with other online English language teachers.
Spreadsheets are great for organizing your teaching, as you can record everything that you’ve done with your students, compile grades data and plan your future classes.
You can also use them for providing your students with learning material, as they’re perfect for making lists and tables. You can even use them for assessing your students’ knowledge, as they can fill in the appropriate cells and complete all their assignments faster and easier.
Basic email skills are absolutely a must-have in the world of online teaching. You can communicate with your online learners on social media, but emails are much safer and simply better for seamless teacher-student communication. Moreover, it’s easier to attach files (especially large ones) that you need to send to your students.
It really goes without saying that every online English teacher must have video conferencing skills. If you’re helping someone learn a new language online, you must be able to talk to them in real time. It’s as simple as that.
Video conferencing enhances online education, so learn how to use it and take your online language teaching to the next level. Not only will it make your classes more interactive, but it will also make them truly effective.
Online Research Skills
Last but not least, you need to have great online research skills so that you can consistently search for new ideas for improving your online English teaching, as well as find new resources, programs, apps, multimedia and various other learning materials to provide your students with. You can find pretty much anything you want online, so be sure to hone your web searching skills.
What about you? Do have these essential IT skills? Which technology skills do you think every online English teacher should have? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear your opinion!
You’ve been reading a guest post by Dusan Vukadinovic
Dusan Vukadinovic is an IT enthusiast with a good knowledge of savvy tech learning. He currently works as a brand evangelist for DesignContest.