Written by Aidan Tyler-Scott
A fundamental aspect of teaching English online is a good tech setup for your online classes. Besides having a good laptop and WiFi connection, you should invest in a quality camera, a good microphone, and lighting. Tech can be pretty expensive when you look at the top-of-the-range products, but there are many affordable options to choose from that won’t break your bank.
If your laptop comes with a good camera, that’s fantastic for your budget! If your laptop doesn’t come with one, there are plenty of webcams under R300.00 available online. If you have good lighting, an HD camera isn’t necessary. The most affordable webcam on the market is one available at Checkers for around R89.00. If you are just starting with online classes, this little webcam is perfect.
Your microphone is probably the most important piece of equipment to invest in because your students need to be able to hear every word you say, crisp and clear. One of the best microphone brands is Volkano, and they are well-priced too. A basic standing wired microphone goes for around R199.00 to R399.00. If your laptop has a good enough built-in mic, an extra microphone is unnecessary.
Like a microphone, your headset is essential to understand what your students are saying. Some teachers prefer earphones, but we recommend using a headset for flawless conversation flow. There are many brands that sell headsets, and choosing one is based on your preference and budget. However, Volkano also has affordable headsets from around R250.00 that will work perfectly for your lessons.
Good lighting makes your lessons professional, and a ring light is ideal for lessening shadows and diffusing light evenly across your face. Natural light is sometimes enough for your students to see you, but it may cause shadows and uneven lighting as you teach. So, a ring-light is an excellent investment for your tech setup. Most entry-level ring lights are sold for around R200.00 to R250.00.
Your Tech Setup
In total, a professional teaching tech setup will cost you at most R1000.00. When starting with your lessons, this is a good amount to invest in a basic setup. Once you have been teaching for a while, it may be a good idea to check out better tech equipment to make your online classes the best they could be!