skype

If you are a newbie online student, you should read this article and you will know how to get ready for your (first) lesson and avoid unforeseen circumstances will not spoil it.

  1. Installing Skype and getting familiar with

Installing Skype and creating an account is very easy and intuitive. Here is the link to download and install it.

It is a very standard installation. However, there might be some features a bit tricky.

I suggest to go through all of them BEFORE your class. When I say before, I do not mean 5 minutes earlier, but at least 1 day in advance.

Here you can find  list all of them.

For your online class, the most important, and common, features are: One-to-one video calls, Instant messaging, Send files, Screen sharing, Send Contacts.

2. Asking your teacher his/her Skype account AT LEAST 1 HOUR BEFORE the lesson starts.When you send the adding request to your teacher, please add the message “I am your student ( the language you teach) ” .

3. Webcam sometimes might not be working properly due to location and internet speed.

If the webcam is on and off within the first 5 minutes of the class, please advise your teacher to switch its off and yours too. It is important to not waste your time. And your teacher knows it.You can try to switch it on again later. You may want to test your internet speed first here.

4. Checking to see if your webcam and volume are working properly.

In Skype for Windows Desktop, click Tools > Options > Video Settings. If you can see yourself in the video window, you’re all set.

You will want to make sure your volume level is adequate before you make your first call. Select Tools→Options→General→Audio Settings.

There are three settings for adjusting your volume (as mentioned by the Skype website):

  • In the Microphone section, you can set your volume with the volume slider, or you can select Automatically adjust microphone settings.
  • In the Speakers section, you can adjust the volume slider or you can select Automatically adjust speaker settings.
  • In the Ringing section, you can select the Ring PC Speaker check box so that you don’t have to hear another call ringing in your headphones while you are trying to have a conversation with someone.

If you don’t still hear properly, take into account to use a good (but cheap) headphones.

5. Save all!

You are in the middle of your class, your teacher writes some new words for you, which you struggled to spell, and now they are all perfectly written for you in the chat box. At the end of the class, you come back to have a look at them….but they disappeared. You forgot to save your Skype chronology history. It is just an example, but you cannot image how many times happens to my students. Just in case, please set it.

6. Send Files & Emails

Work with our teachers out within the first 5 minutes of your class which is the best way to contact and send files to you. Some people checks their email twice per day, other ones less often. It is you and only you knowing which is the best way to keep in touch between classes. Of course, it is also an important tool to receive and send homework.

7. Time zones

Teaching and Learning online is great, but please bear in mind your teacher often lives very far from your town, or even in an another country. It is good to know where your teacher is located, and vice-versa. Furthermore, I always suggest to say to your teacher if and when your Daylight Saving time is, avoiding missing your classes.

8. Be prepare

In your first class, above all, be aware of your goals and level, paying attention your teacher opinion. Your teacher does not judge you, he/she is only there to help you achieve even your most ambitious goal. And don’t fell upset if you think to be an advanced learner but, you are an intermediate one, according to your teacher. Trust him/her and you can work together in harmony and in the most time efficient way.

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