Skip main navigation

What equipment do you need?

An outline of equipment needed.
Lindsay, let’s talk about what you need to get started. Yep, so you need a laptop or a computer with a webcam and you need a good headset, like this, with, obviously, earphones and the microphone. The microphone’s important, I think? It is, yes, so your learners can hear you clearly. And hopefully they have one so you can hear them clearly. Fine. And of course, you need a good, stable internet connection. OK. And then you need a Platform You do, yes. So the platform is the program that you use to be able to see and hear your learner and for them to be able to see and hear you. Like Skype or something like that. Exactly, yes.
And if you work for a company, then they’re probably going to provide the platform for you. But if you’re self-employed, then you’re going to need to find one yourself. If you’re going to teach online, the first thing you need to think about is what platform. Because the crucial elements of any online lesson are the teacher, the student, and a way to see them and hear them. Those are the basics. So you need some video conferencing software. So what other tools and resources could we use? Well, I have a very un-techie white board. For teachers, they can– while you’re teaching, you can write on the board or you can stick pictures on the board.
A lot of people talk about having lots and lots of props. I, honestly, relay on a really small white board, and my face, and my hands for almost everything. The one I go back to– almost every lesson is a virtual white board. It works just like a real white board. And some of the better ones you can share, so you’re both looking at the same time and you contribute to the white board, as well as I can write something then I can get the learner, then, to also write on it. In similar way, you can also put texts onto the virtual white boards and get them to pick things out of it.
And so that’s the two I’d probably go to more often than any other. You can use props around your house. You can have things behind you, like a map or pictures of relevant sports. Also another un-techie resource is puppets, especially for teaching kids. Very simple to make and they– puppets introduce extra characters into the classroom, into your virtual classroom and kids respond very well to that. OK, lovely, yeah. You could also bring in real objects, couldn’t you? So if you’re teaching clothes and you bring in some items of clothing, you hold them up. You’re teaching food or kitchen equipment or anything like that, then you can show a few things from your home if you’re teaching from home.
It’s very easy to do that. Absolutely.

Once you’ve decided to teach online, you need to make sure that you have the right equipment to get started. You’re going to watch a video where Lindsay, Marie Therese and some of our teachers outline the equipment and tools that you need to get started.


Watch the video. Which of these are mentioned?

Equipment or tools Equipment or tools
Laptop or a computer with a camera   Virtual whiteboard  
Headset with microphone   Flashcards  
Stable internet connection   Pictures  
Platform for teaching live   Puppets  
Whiteboard   Board pens  
Handouts   Realia (objects)  
Please note down your answers on a piece of paper

Check your answers

Go to the next step where we’ll look further at online teaching platforms.

This article is from the free online

Teaching English Online

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now