What are the technical requirements to teach online lessons?

Enjoy the convenience of teaching online lessons

To provide the best experience possible to your students taking lessons online you will need the following tools:

  • A fast and reliable computer: This can be a desktop, laptop or tablet. We don’t recommend doing this with your smartphone. Skype recommends that your computer has at least a 1 Ghz processor and a minimum of 256 MB of Ram for Windows machines and for Mac, at least a 1 Ghz Intel processor (Core 2 duo) and a minimum of 1 GB of Ram. But remember, these are minimums. The faster your system is, the more reliable your connection will be.
  • Broadband/high-speed internet: At least 400 kbps (standard Cable or DSL connection should work just fine - no dial up). If you want the best video chat experience, plug your computer directly into the wall. Test your connection here (Note: 1 Mbps = 1000Kbps)

  • Video Chat Software: All TakeLessons teachers can teach their online students through TakeLessons Classroom. It's free, easy to use, and doesn't require you to download software. Learn more about TakeLessons Classroom here

  • Webcam: Preferably HD- your students will notice a big difference. If your computer or tablet was purchased within the last 5 years, your camera is more than good enough. If older than 5 years browse cameras here for as low as $10.

  • Microphone: Most laptops or tablets have great mics built in, but if you are teaching something like singing you may want to invest in a USB external microphone.

We also suggest the following, although they are not required. These add-ons will help enhance the lesson experience for both you and your student.

  • Headphones: Many teachers use their computer or tablet's built in speakers, but headphones can enhance the experience and allow you to clearly hear yourself with less interference. 
  • Multiple cameras: Multiple cameras can enhance a lesson by giving the student multiple views such as using an overhead-camera position in addition to a side-view or front-view camera.

  • Multi-Camera software: We recommend Many Cam as an option for using multiple cameras

For all teachers, we also recommend the ability to create digital copies of lesson materials that would normally be delivered in paper form (such as practice sheets, music, etc.). This includes having access to a scanner, document editing software, and any other digital tools needed to provide a great experience. When you teach your lessons through TakeLessons Classroom, you can share these digital materials right in Chat, and your students will be able to download or open them any time later. Learn more about the Student Lesson Journal here.

If your online student has not joined your lesson through TakeLessons Classroom

If the student has not joined the Classroom within the first 5-10 minutes of the class, it is our expectation that you give the student a call to see if they are having trouble connecting. You can find your student's contact information from the Roster page of your teacher account. 

We also ask that you discuss a backup platform before the first class, just in case you run into technical difficulties that are out of your control. Examples of backups would be Skype, Facetime, or Google Hangouts. 

Most issues your students may have in the Classroom can be easily solved with the following troubleshooting steps