In order to make the most of online tuition it is important that you have the right tools to do so. Here we will cover the hardware that we would suggest you have in your possession and have divided items into essential and supplementary items.
In order to receive online tuition from an online tutor it is essential that you are able to access the world wide web. Almost all of the software and tutoring platforms that we have covered in the software section will operate through the internet. In addition to needing in internet connection it is also important that your access to the internet is of a sufficient quality. For the most basic online tuition software you would need a minimum of one megabit download and upload speeds.
In order to communicate with an online tutor through an online platform you will need a device. The device will need to be able to access the internet and be capable of both downloading and uploading content to these online platforms. Although students would be capable of doing this with mobile phones and tablet devices, we recommend that students use laptops or desktops as they provide easier methods of communicating.
The device that you use for online tuition must have a microphone embedded within it or connected as a third-party device so that the student can speak to the tutor. Most devices have inbuilt microphones these days with the exception of desktop computers. For desktop computers you may need to purchase a microphone in order to have this capability. Devices that act as microphones and video cameras all in one will be the best option for individuals using desktops.
Although most devices have speakers and microphones embedded within them, these are often not the best hardware solutions for online tuition. Embedded microphones are often not close enough to the tutor to provide excellent sound quality and embedded speakers are often poor quality and do not allow confidential tutoring if there are other people nearby. For optimal online tuition we recommend purchasing a headset with an attached microphone for better communication capabilities.
Online tuition is best when it is highly interactive. In order for the student to be able to be engaged with the lesson it is important that they can engage with whatever software platform the tutor is using in an easy manner. One of the best ways in which to do this is to have an external mouse connected to your laptop to improve levels of interaction.
Drawing with a computer mouse can be difficult and so tablets can be a great way for students and tutors to communicate more effectively. Most tablets can be configured to act as drawing pads with desktops of laptops which can, in turn, significantly improve the quality of online tuition.
With the exception of desktop computers, most devices come with embedded video cameras already. Although video cameras are not essential for online tuition, they do help to build rapport between the student and tutor and to improve communication. We strongly recommend that all students performing online tuition have video capabilities either through external attachments or embedded within the device that they are using to make the online tuition as effective as possible.