Taking lessons online opens up worlds of opportunity. You can take lessons from teachers all around the globe, discover new and amazing skills, and connect with fellow students outside your geographical area.
However, whether you’re taking one-on-one lessons or group classes, getting ready for that first online learning experience can feel a little intimidating. How do you get your sound settings to work? What’s the best way to configure your Internet?
Whether you’re taking music or juggling, language or cooking, here are a few simple steps you can take to make sure your online lesson experience is smooth, fun, and rewarding.
1. Gather What You Need
Set up your computer and charger, a glass of water, notebook and pencil, and Zoom or Google Meet link ahead of time. Of course, make sure you have any required materials or instruments for your chosen subject; whether that’s a guitar, paints, dancing shoes, or something else. Having everything you need within arm’s reach means you can make the most of your lesson time.
2. Maximize Your Internet
It may be the 21st century, but Internet connection isn’t fool-proof. Connecting your computer to your router directly using an ethernet cable can speed up your Internet considerably. Otherwise, move as close to your router as possible to get the clearest signal. Before taking your lesson, run a quick test to make sure your connection is running smoothly.
3. Test Your Sound
Close browser windows and turn off notifications that may have distracting sounds or cause echos. Then, test your sound input and output ahead of time. This is easy to do by opening an instant meeting in Zoom or Google Meet, or by doing a quick test call with a friend.
4. Use Front Light
If there are windows or lamps behind you during your lesson, you’ll likely be in silhouette, which will make it harder for your teacher to see you. Instead, light yourself from the front using either a lamp or natural light. This will ensure your teacher can see what you’re doing, which will help them provide you more personalized feedback.
5. Eliminate Distractions
Home learning is the height of convenience, but it also means there’s more opportunity for your attention to wander. Ask your family or roommates to keep noise minimal if possible, put your pets outside or in another room, close chat windows and other Internet tabs, and turn off notifications. Lastly, put your phone on airplane mode so your lesson isn’t disrupted.
6. Set Aside Physical Space
Ask yourself what kind of space you’ll need for your class. If you’re taking salsa dance, you’ll likely need a small amount of open floor to move around. If you’re taking a drawing lesson, you’ll probably want some table space to work. Taking a few minutes to clear some physical space will ensure you have all the room you need to learn.
7. Show Up Early
There’s no commute when you’re taking lessons online, but because of this, it’s easy to leave showing up to the last minute. You might find yourself searching desperately for your lesson link or scrambling to find your computer charger. Instead, get set up beforehand and arrive at your lesson five minutes ahead. This means you’ll be ready to begin when your teacher arrives, and you can make the most of every moment.
8. Don’t Panic if Something Goes Wrong
From professors to college students to corporate executives, just about everyone has experienced an unexpected technical glitch during a Zoom or Google Meet call. If your Internet has some hiccups or you get disconnected, just take a deep breath and log back in. You’re not the first, and you won’t be the last person to experience tech trouble.
Most Importantly, Dive in and Try Taking Lessons Online Firsthand!
It’s great to prepare for your online learning ahead of time, but remember that the most important part of taking lessons online is to try it yourself. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, that’s the best way to learn.
Wondering what classes to take online this fall? Browse these subjects and choose a lesson that sparks your interest.