Physical Classroom or Online? Online!
The above map shows my location for students if I switch back to direct face-to-face classes; however, I have decided that the future of IELTS Preparation is online – in fact, the idea of physically face-to-face teaching now seems VERY old fashioned. Think about the nature of preparation for IELTS. You students are:
- adults, with the ability to concentrate,
- able to use computers (with Zoom, Google Meet, or MS Teams),
- interested in your learning, and trying hard to achieve a specific goal.
The online teaching itself is:
- actually face-to-face [that is, we can all see each others faces],
- great for very specific feedback [e.g. I put your writing on the screen to help explain my correction],
- particularly suited to my style of teaching – that is, with incredibly advanced PowerPoint programs, which can be run on a shared screen.
Regarding that ‘face-to-face’ comment, programs such as Zoom, Google Meet, or MS Teams are very advanced, with many sophisticated features, and it does indeed sometimes seem as if the students and I are all simply sitting together in a room, talking to each other.
However, it is Point 3 which is most significant. Think about it. You can physically sit in my classroom watching MY screen, or you can sit in your own comfortable location, watching YOUR screen – but it’s the SAME content [Powerpoint program] on the screen.
Do not judge online teaching by your previous experience. If you have had other ‘online’ teaching experience with other teachers, do not compare them to mine! Have a free observation with me, and you will see the difference.
Finally, online teaching offers all the obvious advantages of:
- no travel, and thus saving you time and money,
- greater convenience,
- fewer distractions.
So, why would any IELTS student now want a physical classroom? What does a physical classroom actually have that makes it better? I honestly cannot think of anything, provided that you have:
- a secure internet connection,
- a quiet area in which to do the class,
- the camera/microphone technology.
I can, however, for 1-1 teaching or small groups, offer a physical classroom, but (provided that you can meet the above 1, 2, 3 conditions) I believe online is now the way to go.
See you in my (online) class.