How to get started with Online Tuition via Skype

by Anna Michaelidou

Have you ever thought about Tutoring from the comfort of your own home? Online tutoring is an ever-growing field as more and more people are finding the ease of being taught in the comfort of their own homes more viable. Online tuition connects students with private tutors via the internet and the lessons are carried out in real time.This guide is aimed at tutors hoping to set themselves up as an online tutor; widening their student scope and making themselves more available.

Installing Skype

The first (and most fundamental) thing is to have a computer that is linked to the internet with a good broadband connection. It is also important to invest in a microphone headset as the sound quality will be better than a built-in webcam and microphone that many computers come with today. The microphone headset will usually cost around £10 to £15.

The next thing to do is make sure you have Skype on your computer. Skype is basically internet based communication software by Microsoft that specialises in providing free video chat and free voice calls for users from all over the world. Skype users will only require Skype credit (where you will need to pay) when calling landline or mobile numbers. Setting up a Skype account is an easy task and many tutors will already have a Skype account ready. But for those that don't here is a quick and easy guide for setting up a Skype account:

First you'll need to download and install the latest version of Skype. It's a very easy process and it is completely free. Just follow these nine simple steps:

  1. Type in the address line of your internet browser.
  2. Click the download button on the home page and Skype will begin to download. (If the download doesn't start automatically you can start it manually by clicking Start Download Again).
  3. If you are prompted to save or open the program always choose save the file to your hard drive. Do not open or run the program during the download process!
  4. . Choose an easy to remember location (such as Windows Desktop) and click OK.
  5. When your download is complete double-click the Skype Setup program (or click Run if you have the option).
  6. When the installer program launches it will ask you to choose a language; select it from a drop-down menu.
  7. Read and accept the End User License Agreement to proceed. You may be asked to install certain other browser add-ons but if you don't want them just uncheck the box and click Next.
  8. Click the Options button. This page gives you the option to launch Skype as soon as the installation is complete. The box is already checked (just uncheck the box if you don't want it to launch right away).
  9. Click I agree - Install. Skype will ask you to set up an account by entering a Name, a Skype Name and Password. The next screen asks for your e-mail, country and city. Once you complete this Skype will automatically launch.

And that's the installation process done! You are now well on your way to start the online tutoring process! Before that, let's take a look at how to get started with Skype.

Getting Started With Skype

Getting started with SkypeOnce the installation process has been completed a screen will pop up to help you get started exploring Skype. You'll be able to:

  1. See what you can do with Skype.
    Here you'll find information about both the free and paid features of Skype.
  2. Check that your sound functions.
    Test your speakers, microphone and Webcam to make sure they are all working properly.
  3. Find friends and import contacts
    You'll be able to search for people and check whether your email contacts are on Skype.

After you have explored and got to know a bit more about the program you'll want to set up your Skype name and password. Your Skype name is what other people on Skype see when they contact you i.e. GeographyTutorEmma133.

Setting up your Skype name and password:

  1. Click the Don't have a Skype Name?
    (The Create a New Account page opens).
  2. In the Enter Skype Name box, enter the name you have decided to use.
    Skype names must start with a letter, be between 6 and 32 characters long, include letters and numbers and have no spaces. They should always be in lower-case.
  3. Choose a Password and enter it in the Password box.
    A Skype Password must be between 6 and 20 characters and must contain at least one number and one letter. All Skype passwords are case sensitive so make sure you pick a password that is easy for you to remember!
  4. Select the check box to accept the Skype End User License Agreement and Privacy Statement.
  5. Click Next to continue to another Create Your Account Screen and enter your email address.
    This is optional but recommended.
  6. Enter your country, region and city.
    Again optional but useful for when others search for you.

Now that you have your Skype set up you are ready to start your online tutoring. It's a good idea to set up your Skype profile by providing some information that will help other users find you more easily. To do this just open your Skype Profile screen and choose Skype -Profile - Edit and fill out any relevant information you feel necessary. It would be a good idea to fill in the AboutMe section just to give students an overview of who you are and what you offer in terms of tutoring.

Making A Skype Call

Now let's take a quick look at how to initiate a Skype call so that you are ready to contact your student for their first online lesson.

  1. Double-click the student's Skype Name.
    This will open your contact's profile window.
  2. On the screen there will be a video and a telephone icon.
    Double-clicking the video icon you will initiate a video call with your student. By double-clicking the telephone icon you will initiate a call without video.
    3. When you student answers the call, just talk!
    And that's it! It really is that simple.

Screen Sharing On Skype

Skype also allows you to screen share which will be an essential part of your online tuition. Screen sharing basically lets you share your computer screen with anyone on Skype so you will be able to show presentations or information to your student easily.

How to share your screen:
1. Start a video call.
2. After the call has started, click the button in the call bar and select Share screens.
3. A dialog box will appear. Just click Start to share your entire screen.
4. You can change your screen sharing options anytime by clicking this icon in the floating call window.
5. You can stop sharing anytime by clicking the Stop sharing button in the floating call window.

Now that you are setup with Skype and ready you'll need to get yourself some students. If you are new to tutoring, there are some great resources out there to help you out.

First Tutors is a totally free service for tutors and at no point throughout the process will you have to pay a penny. It is a very simple and easy process and in no time you will be setup as a tutor ready to start taking enquiries from tutees to begin your journey as an online tutor. Remember to treat your students well, plan your lessons and keep your students updated with any reading or video homework they may need to do before the lesson so as to not waste their time and yours. Strive to constantly look for ways to improve your teaching and if you ever have any questions or need any information our friendly customer service team are always available to give you a helping hand; online tuition has never been easier.

Post By: Anna Michaelidou
Anna has been a private tutor of both English Literature and English Language for fifteen years having taught all levels from nursery school right through to university level. She is a writer, content marketing executive and a busy mother of four lovely children.

Tags: Guide Skype
Categories: Online Tuition