Online education jobs are performed by over 50,000 teachers in the US. That is a lot of people!
These particular jobs come with many advantages and a few challenges. However, if you have a degree or certificate in teaching and are unemployed, you could consider an online education job so you can work from home. You decide when and how you work. Even if you are employed you can teach online part time.
Before going into the benefits and challenges of online education jobs, it is a good idea to be familiar with the types of online education jobs available for westerners. Nowadays most people prefer learning online over going to a brick-and-mortar class.
Types of online education jobs
If you have a teaching degree, you are already qualified for several jobs that can be done from the comfort of your home. Stay at home jobs for teachers are more flexible and will also let you to make the most of your teaching skills. But be vary aware that online education jobs require you to be self-motivated and disciplined. If you are considering taking an online education job full-time, you need more than one job.
Can you imagine teaching English to hundreds of Chinese people online? The best thing about distance education jobs is that the better your reputation, the more the clients you will have and hence, the more the income.
Many homeschoolers and students find online courses more appealing than traditional classroom contexts. The most popular courses taught online include languages and advanced sciences which are either unavailable or unsuited to traditional classrooms. As an online teacher you will have to teach via Skype, bulletin boards, email and online seminars.
Some online education jobs will need you to set specific classroom times while others will involve uploading classroom lectures and interacting with students according to the schedule you set.
Former and current teachers are in demand from textbook publishers. The main task here for teachers is to collaborate with them in the compilation of textbooks for use in home schooling, schools and online teaching programs. You may have the option of writing your own textbook or creating exercises and sample test questions for existing books in draft. English teachers can also find work as freelance copy editors for both non-fiction and fiction publishers.
Students find it hectic and sometimes frustrating to have to travel across town to a tutoring center. Most of them prefer to access tutoring online. Therefore, as an online teacher, you can work with specific companies that hire teachers to tutor languages, math, sciences and more.
Standardized testing at all grade levels has forced companies and schools to hire online teachers to perform grading. This is why many companies currently employ test scorers to work online from home.
Who hires online teachers?
Most online education jobs come from:
- School districts (online education jobs k-12)
- Tutoring companies
- Test preparation and scoring
- Language education companies
- Private companies
- Adult education companies
- Academic book publishers
Requirements for online education jobs
There are so many ways to teach online and so the requirements are not always specific. However, you will need a Bachelor’s degree and teaching experience at the very minimum. Colleges require a Master’s degree for instructors and a PhD for professors. Online education jobs k-12 require a teaching certification (a Master’s degree). Depending on who is doing the hiring, this certification could be issued by a particular state, or not.
Benefits of online education jobs
Flexibility and convenience are the key factors here.
Unlike traditional classroom teaching, online teaching jobs give instructors and teachers more options for engaging in instructional activities. In addition, as long as you have access to the internet, you can teach from any location. For example you might teach while traveling to a conference or from home.
Better learning and engagement
Students’ leaning and engagement increases with the online learning experience. This is because every student is required to participate in discussion threads, work through problems and generate their own ideas and solutions. In fact, students who don’t participate in face-to-face courses in a traditional setting are more likely to interact with teachers and peers at online classes.
You will know your students better
An online learning environment provides a more comfortable venue for shy students to participate in discussions and course activities. This improves the number of participants and the likelihood of different perspectives being put forward and the richness of discussions. In addition, online courses tend to attract students who are self-motivated and more likely to pose questions, initiate conversations and collaborate with both their peers and the instructor.
Online teachers find that some regular tasks are easier to do online. For instance, online teaching tools automate processes, such as grading, and so they save the teacher some time.
Challenges of online teaching jobs
Just like any other jobs, online education jobs come with unique challenges. Some of these are:
- · Initiating and facilitating discussions
- · Building a community of learners
- · Knowledge and feeling comfortable with technology
- · Re-envisioning course activities, goals and assessments
Strategies to make you a better online teacher
Let technology help you
Regardless of the type of class you are teaching, the first week of online teaching will definitely have some hiccups with the technology. For example, the chat feature may not work or students will have trouble navigating the site. To polish your online teaching skills, try going through as many tutorials as possible beforehand.
Learning from home can be more difficult for some than learning in class as they appreciate people interaction. Expect lectures to be a little less lively than those delivered in person. Students will also be distracted by other features on the internet.
Building a community of learners
To overcome this challenge, you need to keep in touch with your students more frequently than when teaching in traditional classrooms. Understand that different types of dialogues achieve various goals. You should also designate areas online for practical questions, such as a forum or discussion thread, as it decreases frustration and gives your students the chance to help each other out.
Give extra feedback…then add more
Know when to send emails that you need instant replies on. Five minutes can seem like an eternity to wait especially if the matter at hand is urgent.
There’s no better, or rewarding, way of teaching online classes than knowing your students and interacting closely with them. You don’t have to be hired to earn some money from home, so take advantage of your teaching skills today and be your own boss.
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