Teaching After Hours: The Rise of International Online Teaching

from Forbes

After teaching all day long, most teachers want to go home and rest. But with meager teacher salaries, many teachers take on additional jobs to make ends meet. We normally think of teaching as something that’s done within four classroom walls, but technology has expanded the ways in which teachers can work. At the forefront of this expansion are virtual teaching companies that give teachers a chance to tutor students internationally, outside of their regular workday.

VIPKid is perhaps the most well-known of these companies, connecting thousands of American teachers with students in China. VIPKid was founded by Cindy Mi in 2013, when Mi saw that there was a tremendous demand for English language education in China, but not enough native English teachers. She envisioned an online, global classroom that could help meet this demand.

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27 Responses to Teaching After Hours: The Rise of International Online Teaching

  1. Nicholas Stefanelli September 13, 2018 at 7:11 pm #

    While I read Teaching after Hours: The Rise of International Online Teaching, two things came to mind. The first thing was that this is a great opportunity for teachers to make extra cash on the side because teacher’s salaries these days are not that much. On the other hand, they are working against their original jobs. This may result in making the market for teacher’s jobs even worse.
    The internet is a vast place with unlimited opportunities; it allows us to do things that were not fathomable in the 90’S. For a teacher to go and make more money by teaching Chine’s students they would have had to go during the summer and teach overseas in a classroom. Now in the 21-century and the use of the internet and advances in technologies that old plan to get extra cash is gone. Donna D. says, “VIPKID is an amazing opportunity for teachers who, like myself, had to take a hiatus for whatever reason, or even for those teachers that want a little extra income on the side”. This site allows teachers all over the world to connect and have jobs while not having to leave where they live. This now cuts out the expense of having to travel and allows teachers to make more money throughout the year instead of limiting them to only the summer months.
    While it is great that the internet has allowed us to expand our ways of working and making money it also is a dark and deep pit where old jobs fall into and fade away. If teachers are able to teach online and can connect with people all around the world, they will run into two problems. The first one is they now have made their competition pool the whole world instead of local teachers in there county and or state. The second issue they may run into down the road is that there is going to be a shortage of jobs as well. This is because the brick and mortar structure of a school can become irrelevant and people can now be taught online and the need for more teachers will decrease.
    In conclusion, this article shows the forefront of being able to use technology to our advantage. The lesson we should learn from this article is technology is great and is always advancing. We need to remember though as it is advancing certain aspects of our lives it also has the ability to make some aspect of our life disappear and become irrelevant.

  2. Wilnir Louis September 14, 2018 at 12:56 pm #

    This article almost directly correlates with the other article that I reacted to about people selling their services online on Fiverr. However, I believe that this is a better scenario for the use of technology in the present day.
    It is very known that teaching is an underpaying job. If you ask teachers what is the one bad thing about their job, it is the pay. However, VIPKid gives teachers an opportunity to earn extra money doing something they love. I personally do not see a negative with this, unlike Fiverr in the other article. VIPKid seems to verify everything to make sure that everything is legit. On the teacher’s side, they get to make extra money, they get to avoid lesson plan or a strict curriculum that the school or the state gives them, and it works on their schedule too. The one thing that I question about the service that I cannot seem to find in my research is if you need a teaching license to use this site and become a teacher. If you do need a license, then I think that is perfect. It avoids people who do not know how to teach from teaching or scammer from being on the website.
    I think that this could be a breakthrough for more professions to start making extra money. For example, what if it was possible for a doctor in the United States to save a life overseas in another country. Alternatively, on a less serious note, if a plumber could be able to fix a toilet in China. With the way that technology is advancing now in this century, being able to do your profession in the comfort of your house is something that will be in the near future for most professions. It is seen in some minor professions even now. Some radio stations do that currently. They do not even need to have the DJ in the studio anymore. They could just load up music on their laptops, prerecord some of the things that they need to say during their shift, and continue to sit back and take care of things around the house.
    Telecommuting is something that is going to be on the rise in the coming years. Technology is getting to a point now where people do not even have to go to a doctor’s office to get a diagnosis. CVS is starting a feature within their app where if someone has minor symptoms, they could contact a doctor and be able to figure out what medicine they need without even going out their door. Telecommuting is going to be something that is going to be big in my life when I fully grow up.

  3. Alexander Fialkowsky September 14, 2018 at 1:38 pm #

    Education has been an essential part of society for as long as humans have existed. The power of knowledge has helped us all progress in our own ways and in return we share the knowledge that we possess with others so that they may benefit from it as well. Educators make a living practicing this but, they are not compensated nearly enough for their work. Most teachers make approximately sixty thousand dollars a year in take home pay. The average amount taken out in taxes is roughly round ten to fifteen percent. As a side note, I would just like to mention that I believe it is completely unfair that people who work for the government are still in fact taxed by said government. The jobs that some people do benefit the government in many ways, such as construction workers, sanitation workers, educators, etc. Their civil service, in the eyes of the government, is still deemed as taxable. Nevertheless, the issue at hand is that most teachers have taken up second or even third jobs of teaching online classes to people across the globe. The article mentions the forerunner in this industry as VIPKid. This organization helps to connect educators in the US, The UK, and other English speaking countries to students who are eager to learn English in China, and surrounding areas. The growing demand for education is one that we must meet, because the benefit will be immense. For starters, a worldwide educating network would allow us to help people in ways we could never imagine while still being an ocean apart. English is quickly rising as a dominant language in the world. It already controls areas such as air travel (English is the international language of air travel), film, and advertisement. This opportunity for teachers will hopefully be able to give them the boost they need in order to live comfortably, even though they are sadly still working two jobs. In my opinion I think the idea of online education is brilliant. As someone who grew up with technology, I constantly find myself searching the web for more things to read or learn about, just for the sake of knowing. If I were able to log into a chat room and talk to someone in Rome about the history and architecture of the Vatican, I would sign up in a heartbeat. I understand there are already many platforms such as KhanAcademy and even Youtube with instructional and informative content, but to have the ability to chat live is a little more special to me.

  4. Michael Zera September 14, 2018 at 2:36 pm #

    The internet has unlimited opportunities for anyone, and now, especially teachers, who would have ever thought a professor could teach an online course to Chinese students teaching them English. VIPKid is a new innovative learning site that teaches students in China English in an online global classroom creating a more efficient way for learning a language. This website is not a fraud, and teachers must verify their teaching license to get accepted into VIPKid and teach these students.
    Teachers can earn from $14 to $22 an hour teaching an online course to these students. Although this might not seem like a lot of money, as a second job for these teachers, this is a great way in making extra money without tiring one out like a normal teaching environment. The year is 2018 and there is a growing demand for education worldwide and us as individuals need to keep improving and growing the English language worldwide. There are already many online teaching courses such as CourseEra and Khan Academy. These sites have received outstanding reviews, and students who may not understand the material they learned in class, can go online and go into these websites and relearn the material. Online classes have already shown great potential and have worked and many students have written excellent reviews explaining how online courses are beneficial to their learning abilities.
    Technology is becoming a staple either inside or outside the classroom. Technology and the internet are expanding the level of information these students are receiving from online classes. VIPKid is one of several online classroom courses, and this is just the beginning as it can be assumed that online classes are going to become extremely common throughout the upcoming years.

  5. Paul Lee September 14, 2018 at 3:22 pm #

    As technology continues to improve and become innovative, man kind has been able to connect with each other and learn from each other every single day. I believe that by 2020, at least 50% of teachers or even more across America will use technology and applications such as VIPKid or DaDa to teach young aspiring Chinese students and create financial stability for themselves. From talking to a variety of teachers from my Junior High school and High School, I have learned that many of my teachers had to get a second job or two, to survive financially. Some of them talked about how it was difficult to pay off student loans and pay to eat at the same time. Many of my teachers had a lot on their plate from teaching a class to thinking about how is one going to make payments. I fully regard our teachers with respect and strongly believe that our teacher deserve to be financially stable. These teachers care and nurture the young minds, the next generation. These teachers should not worry about not being paid enough and should not have to buy school supplies with their own money. Many occasions, teachers have had to buy school supplies with their own money and would not be reimbursed for it by the school. Our teachers deserve more respect that is why I strongly support virtual teaching platforms that will create that financial stability for the teachers that do participate. For these Chinese companies to come up with a very smart and helpful way to connect eager learning Chinese Students with actual teachers from America, it is a win-win on both sides. Teacher are getting payed and becoming stable while teaching Chinese students proper English. I believe heavily that many more companies should follow what VIPKid and DaDa are doing right now, not only in China but all around the world. I would love to see different kinds of virtual teaching platform around the world from math to teaching physics. This creates more opportunity for the teacher to work for their financially stability, the stability that is not provided from the school system or the government. It also provides education for students around the world who would love to receive the best education and at the same time not leave home. Also these teachers can learn about Chinese culture from these students and many teachers have proclaimed loving to learn about Chinese culture and helping these students from not being able to speak a word of English to being proficient. Another thing that I found very appealing is that these teachers teach thee students the American culture which can be very helpful towards international students who want to study in America. Through all of this It gives these teachers a sense of pride and warmth, I believe that these teachers who join these virtual teaching websites or companies have a passion for teaching students. Through these virtual teaching platforms, I strongly believe that these teachers and international students can learn from one another and create a strong bond with each other. This kind of platform can revolutionize how middle school and high school teachers teach and make their money.

  6. Cassie Sibilski September 14, 2018 at 5:46 pm #

    While reading this article about online teaching and tutoring, I really thought that this is such a great thing, for many reasons. The fact that these online outlets for teaching exist only are able to help education opportunities worldwide. Then there is the added bonus that it can be a provider of new jobs for teachers and people that do not have one, or are only able to work from home for whatever reason, or to be able to stay home with young children. And yet it still can be used as a source of fantastic extra income for teachers who are already employed in a physical classroom setting. The whole thing with the time flexibility since teachers would be working with international students is perfect so each teacher can work around their own schedule. For teachers that are using these online platforms to make extra money, it is really beneficial that, for the most part, there’s no extra work involved online, like grading and lesson planning, besides just the actual teaching. This will allow teachers while teaching online to focus solely on the teaching aspect of the job rather than all the planning and paperwork that goes along with it. Keeping these online platforms free of all of the paperwork also allows more of their time that’s dedicated to their online classroom to be devoted to the actual teaching.
    Another thing that is important to think about when it comes to this opportunity for teachers to make extra money is that classroom teachers are not making money in the summer. For about ? of the year, teachers are not getting paid at all. This could present a problem financially for a unmarried teacher who is only living off of their own income, and possibly living paycheck to paycheck. These online teaching platforms provide compensation for teachers, not only during the school year, but when times like the summer months might be tough as well. I think it is important for these online platforms to exist as well as it provides an opportunity for students who can’t attend a physical school to get an education as well.

  7. Joseph Capouch September 14, 2018 at 6:00 pm #

    When I saw and first began reading “Teaching After Hours: The Rise of International Online Teaching”, there were multiple things that drew me to it, I found myself relating to aspects of the article, and overall it kept me interested throughout.
    The reason I was mostly interested this article to begin with was the fact that I have been a student my whole life, and always serious about education. During high school I took multiple classes online, because my school was quite small, meaning virtual school was the only way I could take certain AP classes. This allowed me to relate to the students mentioned in the article, although their situation blows mine out of the water. I was interacting with a teacher in the same state as me in subjects I already had a lot of background knowledge in, as opposed to these students learning a new language from a person on the other side of the planet. I found this fascinating, and certainly see it as something that will grow in the future, becoming more efficient and more common with the progression of technology.
    I also found myself relating to the teachers in this article. There are multiple people in my family who hold teaching positions, and all of them rely on additional outside income to support themselves. I respect the passion for educating that they have, as well as the teachers in this article seem to have. I am a big supporter of teachers, and I value what they do as a student, which is one reason why I am interested to see how companies like VIPKid and DaDa will allow teachers to be financially successful in the future.
    Lastly, I appreciated the way the author included all the benefits provided by the international online teaching. Through these companies teachers are earning extra income and improving their teaching skills, and students are learning and becoming more confident in language. Increased language skills among children brightens the future for international business throughout the next generation, something that will impact global economies. The success demonstrated here certainly should only improve future education, benefiting myself, and other students around the world.

  8. Amanda Nitting September 14, 2018 at 6:35 pm #

    Technology has enabled a very popular and expanding virtual business. Specifically with education, the article, “Teaching after Hours: The Rise of International Online Teaching,” discusses two main online international schooling sites called VIPKid and DaDa. These online teaching businesses have been making a huge impact on the educational world because people are able to connect and teach students from places such as China and advance their knowledge of English. Not only does this benefit the student with their new ability to understand subject areas that they were struggling with, but it is also in these teachers best interest. One of the very crucial upsides to having this capability is that teachers are able to make more money while also being exposed to different cultures.
    When I first started reading this article, I instantly thought of my sister due to the fact that she started online schooling in eighth grade until she graduated high school. She was on a popular online schooling program called Keystone. Just like VIPKid and DaDa, my sister had the ability to reach out to teachers from the program if she ever needed assistance with understanding the material. Although Keystone is different from VIPKid and DaDa there is a parallel among them in the fact that online learning is becoming more popular and common in society. Prior to my sister joining the online world, I was not really aware of how virtual education worked and the benefits of utilizing it. In my sister’s situation, she decided to transfer to online schooling due to her career path which made it easier for her to go to school but also maintain other obligations.
    In addition, this article puts a focus on teacher’s wanting to join this new trend due to the “meager teacher salaries” (Jones). Education is very essential to form a well-functioning society, so the advancement of this idea is enabling teachers to widen their horizons. Teaching is not a job that most pursue for the money, but rather because they want to have an impact and change young lives in some type of way. The fact that teachers are going above and beyond their job description and working when they are not required to says a lot about those teachers. Although extra money on the side is a good incentive, there still needs to be some type of motivation to want to help others expand their minds and capabilities.
    Overall, this article was very informative to read and this is one example that proves the benefits to technology. It is well known that the internet is a dangerous place, but this increase in international connections with learning is not only fascinating but extremely valuable. Both DaDa and VIPKid were originally founded by the Chinese and was created to help Chinese students with developing their English abilities. This discovery has underlying benefits that might not have been thought of initially when forming these platforms but there are good amounts of networking opportunities within this. Teachers are able to converse with these students from overseas which were never thought about in past years. It is unbelievable the impact a teacher can have on students and vice versa but now there is the added value of being able to do that with so many more people due to technology.

  9. Michael Martini September 14, 2018 at 7:04 pm #

    This title of this article caught my interest in a number of ways. I was not expecting at all what it was going to be about, but when I read it my mind was opened up. At first before reading the article I thought that online teaching would encourage the opposite effect of what the article claimed: that it would take away jobs for teachers. Instead of physically going to school, there would be automated professors that would teach the students.
    After reading the article, learning how online classes could actually benefit the teachers made more sense. Teachers having the opportunity to tutor their students outside of the classroom is in fact an excellent idea, but I do not see how it could be financially beneficial, as the article claims. Tutoring outside of hours should be included with the schooling, unless it is for an extended amount of time and at late hours.
    For example, tutoring a student during lunch or right after school for a short time would not require payment. However, if it was an ongoing thing that required an excessive amount of teaching time, then it is an excellent idea for teachers to make more money on the side. Since the teachers are already experienced with teaching, it would not be a hassle for them to do the same thing, just outside of class.

  10. Michelle Vekshteyn September 14, 2018 at 7:15 pm #

    I think that it is wonderful for teachers to have such an opportunity to teach even more on their own time. Since a lot of teachers do end up getting a second job to help with their income, doing so from the comfort of your own home is great. A lot of times teaching is stereotyped with only being able to be done in a classroom, but with technology advancing there are so many other opportunities. This article kind of reminded me of the article about the “gig economy”, since just like Uber drivers, these teachers can pick when they want to work on these online teaching websites. When Cindy Mi started the VIPKid Company in 2013, everyone must have been so amazed that such a platform could exist. Now that it is 2018, and we have so many technological advancements I can only imagine how much more can be done virtually teaching children overseas. With virtual reality and artificial intelligence, there are probably so many better ways for these educators to teach.
    I think that these online tutoring websites are a win-win situation for both the teachers and the students. Since China and other participating countries overseas have a pretty big time difference, teachers could teach after their normal work day or before, and it will be either day or night for the student overseas. Teachers are also making extra money, and not even having to do that much extra work since they get handed all of the lesson plans when they sign up for it. I really like how they say that, “it’s not just about making extra money. For the Browns, the real benefit is seeing their students thrive. “I’ve seen kids go from being scared to speak English to being totally confident,” she says. Beyond increased language skills, Mikell has enjoyed building relationships with kids overseas.” To me this is the most important part of this article. Anyone can teach something to someone, but building a relationship makes that experience so much more worthwhile.
    It is so amazing that there are so many people using VIPKid and DaDa (as well as other competing websites). The article says that, “VIPKid has more than 500,000 students in China and 63 other countries and 60,000 North American teachers, while Dada currently has more than 100,000 students and 10,000 teachers”. To me those statistics seem pretty high and successful, and it is clear that this will keep on growing. In a way this is more opportunities for everyone involved, and is easy and flexible to control.

  11. Tyler Peteraf September 14, 2018 at 8:13 pm #

    Depending on who your talking to, some people would say that teaching the future generations of the world is one of the most important jobs in society today. However, teaching is pretty universally known as not being the greatest paying job which makes it difficult for teachers to work at the best of their capabilities. As the article states, many teachers actually need to get a secondary job, or teach at multiple places in order to get by. As we move into an era where technology is truly going to be the vocal point of society, it would make complete sense for teaching to do the same. Teachers are now able to go to their primary job and then teach from the comfort of their home through the use of the internet. Furthermore, this creates financial stability for the teachers they would not have if they would just stay with one job.
    While the teachers are able to help the students that they are teaching, the students are also able to benefit the teachers. If an American teacher is teaching a Chinese student English, the Chinese student could very well on the other hand help the teacher learn English. The teacher would also be able to benefit from being subject to different cultures that they would not if the just taught in their country. By technology influencing the way that teaching is gone about in the future, the occupation of teaching will become more diverse for the better.

  12. Petar Micevski September 14, 2018 at 8:30 pm #

    Education continues to be one of the undervalued majors in today’s world due to its reputation of having a very small payout. Thankfully, technology is here yet again to better our ways. Because of the advancements in technology, we are able to specify the needs of the employees, giving them the ability to schedule and organize themselves in order to push efficiency in the company. They are also allowed outreach abilities due to the link the internet has over the world. It is through this type of efficiency and connectivity that we are able to create companies such as VIPKid and DaDa. But what makes these companies so important? Well, these companies are only the first stepping stone to what modern technology really could allow us to do. Because of the advancements and creations of these companies, they prove to us that technology can alter the way we think as humans, education being the prime example. Some people usually choose not to go the education route due to its lack of funds when graduating from college. I personally have been caught in this situation as well. However, because of these companies, the people who were chasing the money suddenly have some extra money to chase in the education industry. This will not only draw in more people willing to teach but also diversify the education playing field, bringing in fresh ideas and concepts that have not been thought up before. One example of this would be virtual days in my high school. A virtual day only appeared when our school got a snow day and we couldn’t make it to school. It began at 8am when each student had to sign in to the class for the day. Every students’ teachers were tasked with giving the students homework throughout the day and having it submitted by the end of the school day. For special occasions or classes such as physical education and music class, students had to prove that they did some sort of activity pertaining to the class and upload a video of it to the professor’s page. If there were any questions while the virtual day was active, communication channels were open for any students willing to ask. While this does seem effective in practice, we forget that even technology has its limits. Because every student was on their laptops at the same time, our servers and communication lines were quickly shut down. Regardless, students were mostly satisfied with the ability to stay at home and do their work before the deadline. Somehow, we ended up making the local news due to our different approach to schooling systems.
    Simply said, education is important. It is through technology that we can prove how effective education really is. The most interesting thing about it is that technology in education has a recursive effect. By learning about how to improve education via technology, we find new ways to teach. In doing so, we use those manners of teaching to better our technology and education as a whole.

  13. Henry Steck September 14, 2018 at 8:48 pm #

    I thought this article touched on many of the same points that the “The Online Gig Economy’s ‘Race to the Bottom” article from The Atlantic. Here is another instance of talented individuals finding markets for the skills they possess and that are in demand. Teachers understandably are totally for an additional flow of income and the flexibility of working from home.

    The websites mentioned in this article are absolutely disruptive, as they are taking a journey spanning thousands of miles and shortening it to hopping on a computer and hitting enter. I know students that have gone to teach English in Asia, and the process is (or I guess was) very complicated. They rave about the cultural experience but warn about the complexities that arise form living somewhere very different. I think the shock of living somewhere very foreign is a big positive though, and this is one of the things that makes me a little apprehensive about these websites. Yes, the sites shorten the journey, but is this really the point? Is teaching over a webcam really teaching in China?

    One interesting point the article made was that teachers on VIPKID are “in it” for more than the money. Apparently, they can feel the same satisfaction when students thrive that they would in the classroom. This I found hard to believe, or at least experiencing happiness on the same level. I have to imagine that meeting a student in person and teaching in the classroom generates a higher level of happiness when they succeed. I don’t think I would have even close to the same connection with my professors as mentors if we were meeting over skype.

    One nuanced topic at the center of the article (mentioned several times indirectly) is teacher pay. From what I have heard from education majors, even at top schools teachers just don’t make enough. The fact that teachers are looking for side hustles like VIPKID to make ends meet is an indicator. I remember in high school our teachers went on strike. Teaching is such an important role, and while I do not have a solution for the problem, I really think teachers should be payed more. We trust them to raise our children, don’t we?

  14. Asad Ullah September 14, 2018 at 8:59 pm #

    The internet now a days has made life easier for everyone. If you know how to use the internet you shouldn’t have many problems in life. While reading this article, many things came to my attention as I related to it in many ways. First of all the number one way that I related to this passage was on how I was a student myself. Also after reading this article, I learned many things that I hadn’t known in the past. With technology being in full effect, there isn’t no excuse to anyone saying they can’t learn. There are so many online companies out there that offer one on one teaching and learning abilities. With technology, life has been so much easy in many ways. You can learn a brand new language one on one online with a tutor. There are tutors available for everything. People from other worlds can be getting tutoring from a tutor in the USA. That’s how impactful technology is now a days. Teachers are going above and beyond and putting in many hours to make sure this is done correctly. On a giving bases teachers first fulfill their full time teaching jobs on top of tutoring later on in the day. Companies are hiring professional teachers to make sure this is done correctly. One way I can relate to this from my life was when I was getting tutored for the ACT. My tutor was online and I would get tutored from her 3 times a week. It was very beneficial and the one on one session online really helped me on the ACT. I think a lot of people need to give this kind of teaching a try. A lot of people are still stuck on the fact that only in person teaching helps. Overall this article is very beneficial to read. It gave me more insight on the aspects of teaching. I never knew about VIP KID till reading this. I was pretty shocked and surprised when I saw how many students and teachers they had. Everyone should take advantage of this and all the opportunities presented.

  15. Jaden Tate September 18, 2018 at 8:02 pm #

    In Teaching After Hours by Lily Jones, she speaks about how online teaching is the new side job that allows for quick and easy money for teachers. Both the VIPKID and DaDa are both online teaching sites that enable teachers as well as people from the United States to connect with a student from another country. Both online teaching companies utilize this to teach people from another country the English language. To those who made the companies, it was ingenious and to be able to connect with people from other countries via computer is impressive.
    Since teachers have such “meager” salaries, it makes it easy for them to make money on the side doing a job that they already like to do. One part of the company that works out for all people is the fact that there is no set time that they have to be working. When the teachers have time to jump online and teach the foreign students a language that comes so natural to one it makes making money so easy. Also, with this program it allows the teacher to also learn “so much about the Chinese culture” or whatever culture they would be teaching too. The fact that the teachers already get “ready-made curricula” makes it extremely easy for them to just hop online and teach.
    Usually, I am not one for online teaching. In America, I believe that online teaching and things such as homeschooling allows you to miss out on necessary life skills. Skills such as social skills, communication and being able to see the different personalities throughout the world. From experience, the students that I have met that had been homeschooled in their later years end up being socially awkward. Teaching online should not be allowed in the United States. Yes, some parents believe that it may be helping their child, but at the end of the day, it is only hurting them. The only type of online teaching that should be done is the one shown in this article. It gives you a better way of learning a foreign language. Learning a foreign language online or in class is tough because you are either being taught out of a book, taught from a nonforeign speaker, or just not taught in a way that you struggle learning with. By gaining a language from a native speaker, it allows for you to learn the way that people from the heritage actually speak. Yes, it may not be the formal but not many people speak the formal language, they speak in the “slang” version.

  16. Tirzah K. September 19, 2018 at 10:34 pm #

    I read the article “Teaching after hours: The Rise of International online teaching” by Lilly Jones and I found it extremely interesting. In the internet age, we can do anything from shopping for clothes and cars, to reading books and newspapers, to playing a game with someone on the other side of the world right in our own living room. So, it just seems logical to teach internationally. We have great success in the US with adults returning to higher education via online classes and many have received their Bachelor’s degrees. Some have even continued on to successfully obtain their Masters and even Doctorate degrees. According to the Babson Survey Research group, schools & employers are recognizing that online courses can be just as effective as classroom courses. With that being said, I feel that teaching internationally is a positive experience for all involved. Both the teachers and the students enjoy the benefits of learning from home without the costs of travelling internationally. There is also a benefit of time saved. The teachers can choose to teach before their day job or teach after. They may also choose to teach on weekends and holidays. Through their communication, they are also able to learn a little of each other’s cultures. A teacher can take a virtual trip to Paris or see the Great Wall of China through the eyes of their students that live there. This can sharpen the teacher’s educational skills as well as add multicultural experience. There are some added benefits such as tax-free salaries and a guarantee of employment in a thriving profession.

    Of course, you have to be able to take the good with the bad. Teaching students overseas means that your students may speak very little English and you may spend half of your lesson communicating back and forth with their translator. Though the profession is thriving, the pay may be minimal so you may have to put in many hours to earn a decent paycheck. Technical issues are possible. Servers can stall, weather can interrupt wi-fi and it’s possible that the teacher or their student are unable to see or hear on their end due to the outage. Another con can be the difference in time zones. It’s possible that you may need to teach in the middle of the night. Also, you are only paid for classes taught so if your international student cancels, then you can potentially lose pay. The cons equal the pros but I still feel it’s a great opportunity for American teachers. Even with the cons, teachers can travel the world virtually without the monetary expense and most importantly, they can make lasting connections with people across the globe.

  17. Michael Robins September 21, 2018 at 5:38 pm #

    It is amazing how fast technology is evolving. In Lily Jones’ article “Teaching After Hours: The Rise Of International Online Teaching”, many positive aspects of online teaching, especially international, are discussed. Although there are many pros to international online teaching, it can be said that there are also cons. Jones mentions how online teaching can be beneficial for teachers and students. When speaking of two parents that teach online to China, Jones writes “As parents of two young children, they’ve turned to VIPKid for extra income and a connection with students in China.” This is a prime example of teachers finding a way to earn extra income. It certainly is convenient for teachers who already have busy schedules as well. For the students, it is a chance to learn in a new way and also learn when an opportunity does not present itself. Something that was not mentioned in the article is the convenience not only for the teachers, but for the students due to the new technology. Students around the world do not have to go to a physical classroom and have their day revolve around certain class times. In some cases, as presented in the article, there are set meeting times. Online learning gives the ability to stretch around the world and interact with people from different countries. This is huge as far as understanding various cultures and ways of life. I believe this aspect is one of the most important features of online learning. For teachers and students, it gives an opportunity to learn about where they are communicating to. Perhaps the most important feature is the ability to meet demand for teaching. Jones alludes to this in the article. The world has never seen anything like the power of modern technology. It can connect two people from across the world in a matter of seconds and is only something that will keep improving.
    There can also be cons for teachers and students in the world of online teaching. One major con is the lack of authenticity. This may not matter as much for teachers; however it can be very noticeable for students. I can say from experience that being in a classroom and having face to face classes feels more authentic and can actually help the learning experience. This does not mean that online learning is not effective. It just means that in most cases it is not quite as effective as a face to face experience. For teachers, another con is having to learn to teach a class in an online format. For some, navigating through modern technology can be a challenge. For others, it is a second nature. The time, and potentially money, it takes to learn and gather equipment for online classes can be difficult. In the long term it can pay off however. Going back to the authenticity topic, a similar con to this is a decrease in social interaction between classmates and maybe even teachers. From past experience in online classes, I can say that some teachers were not as active in the classes. This was not good for building a trust with the teachers and also hindered learning. In general, there are many pros and cons to online international teaching. It can do a lot of good for teachers and students but also take away certain aspects from face to face classes. It will be interesting to see how online teaching develops in the coming years.

  18. Dimitri Drosos September 21, 2018 at 7:55 pm #

    These online teaching programs are the kind of innovation that I think truly connects the world. What is very eye-popping is how much these programs have grown. The fact that VIPKid has over 500,000 students from 64 different countries is astonishing. With 60,000 teachers, all from North America, many of these children will have a good one-on-one with their teacher during a session. Let’s not forget about DaDa, either. They also have 100,000 students and 10,000 teachers. I do not know how big one of these classes is, but if one assumes that the student-teacher ratio is 10:1, then the level of interaction should be very high. Considering that both programs started in 2013, they have a come a long way. In fact, according to Cheng Yu, the author of the article “VIPKid launches English learning program with Disneyland”, VIPKid will create another English learning program with the theme park Disneyland.
    I really like how both sides can benefit. Of course, the children will learn English, one of the most popular languages in the world. Also, these teachers that already have jobs in public schools find a way to earn some extra income, because it . However, the best part is that the teachers also learn something. Mikell Brown, a teacher for VIPKid, said in the article that she has learned very much about Chinese culture as her students have learned about American Culture. This has to be the most enriching part of these online programs.
    I do not think I have heard about either of these programs, or of their competitors, but what they are and what they provide for children all around the world is nothing short of amazing. The way they are moving will have a great impact in the future. I think more of these programs will come, although what they provide is up to them. Still, it is inspiring for those who want to change the world, or bring closer together. I definitely like what they do now. It is rewarding for teacher and student alike.

  19. Abhimanyu Sood September 21, 2018 at 8:50 pm #

    Reading this article brought back some nostalgia back from my elementary school days, where using a computer and getting to go on the internet during computer class was the highlight of my day. Online education has become increasingly popular in the U.S. higher education within the last two decades, and most people think that this method of instruction will be critical for the future of higher education. The accessibility of the internet and flexibility of online courses have made online education a key part of higher education. In addition, financial issues facing many higher education institutions and students’ demands using online education. Given the opportunities that online education provides for faculty, students, and institutions, the amount of attention it has received is not surprising. But despite this growing industry, there are many downsides that come two mind. First of all with teachers teaching during the day at traditional learnings institutions and then going home after just to teach online they are playing for both teams, essentially losing in both situations. By teaching online they are driving down the need for traditional teachers and decreasing the market for teachers to get hire, not to mention that they are probably dedicating their time during the day for their lesson plans at night taking away from the education of their students. Also interaction with students in person is more natural and wholesome versus an online interaction is more straightforward. There is now way for a person to translate them into the online course. In a face to face class it’s easy to be flexible and to show up and try something a little different. In online courses, everything is pretty well set up before it begins and it limits spontaneous changes or experimental activities. In conclusion while technology is advancing every day and being brought into our lives in all aspects, we must define a line where it can benefit us versus where it would pose as a disadvantage. Not to mention make a decision where it would be better to stick with traditional teaching methods or adapt to the modern culture.

  20. Nora Trapp September 23, 2018 at 9:14 pm #

    Throughout this article Jones continuously refers to the various benefits and outcomes of virtual teaching. One feature that shined above all others was the capability of virtual teaching to cross borders in order to express cultures. As a German student that grew up attending an international school in Indonesia I was naturally surrounded by various different cultures and nationalities. As a matter of fact, my high school was made up of a community (including staff, students, alumni, etc.) from over 100 countries. Today, I can without a doubt say that the experiences I have had through attending an international school has made me the person I am today. With that being said, I believe the ability to share knowledge across borders is an unquantifiable act. As mentioned in the article, American teachers are sharing their own culture with Chinese students who may have only been taught English from Chinese teachers who have never really left the country. I believe that the best learning comes from educators that have experienced their own lessons. For example, in Germany students are taught English from teachers that have never used the English language in a real world context – I have experienced this first hand. Because of this, every German student is taught the same repetitive way and the same principles without ever being introduced to the history and passion of the language. Language is culture. If a language is taught by simply going through the basic principles, then no student will ever appreciate the true power and influence of knowledge. As we continue to move toward a more technologically advanced society, I believe that the ability we have been given to be able to spread knowledge across nations at such an ease is truly a gift.

  21. John Heintz September 28, 2018 at 9:34 pm #

    In the blog by Professor Shannon, “Teaching After Hours: The Rise of International Online Teaching, an explanation is given to why many teachers today are beginning online courses in addition to their normal work in the traditional classroom. The educators of today are very beneficial to the youth of the nation but are not compensated as such due to their inadequate salaries. Due to the substandard paychecks’ teachers receive they have begun to expand their profession outside of the classroom using online teaching platforms. This promoted the start of the company, VIPKid, which allows for English language education globally but specifically in China. I personally have never heard of the service despite the blog referring to it as one of the most well-known companies. With respect to that, the value of a service such as this one is unmatchable because it allows for the people of China to learn the English language while still gaining an education. Especially for countries abroad, it is very beneficial to know and understand English as it is used in almost all parts of the world. Similarly, the educator teaching the courses earns more income that they can use for their everyday expenses. In addition, from the teacher’s perspective, they are able to gain a sense of the culture and the way people act in China because the online classes are not teacher to student but also vice versa.

  22. Silky B. October 5, 2018 at 12:45 am #

    This article has me experiencing varying opinions. It is great that the process of learning the English language has been facilitated by these online teaching programs. However, it troubles me that teacher wages are not high enough that they must result to these measures to support themselves. While there are probably teachers that do it because they just really enjoy teaching, the fact is that teacher salaries are subpar. Teaching is the most valuable and rewarding profession there is. Yet, it is the most underpaid. To make matters worse, teachers more times than not have to buy their own supplies for them and for their students out of their pay rate. People fail to realize that teachers are responsible for shaping the next generation. One teacher can impact a student for the rest of their lives. The conversation about teacher salaries is not discussed enough, which is why there has been no substantial change to date. That is also why the profession is slowly losing momentum with the lack of aspiring teachers.
    On the bright side, these foreign students get to experience an enriching learning experience. Using these online programs like VIPkid and Dada are beneficial to the parents of the children learning English. It is less time consuming and more practical. It also is good that teachers have another form of income. It is beneficial to both parties which softens the blow of teachers not being paid enough to begin with. I feel it is a conversation that needs to keep being brought up until the teachers receive the compensation for their contribution to the next generation.

  23. Amari J October 9, 2018 at 8:57 pm #

    While reading the article “Teaching After Hours” I couldn’t help but think of how beneficial this is to both parties. The article in short was about how American teacher teach Chinese students the language and culture of America on a non-graded and non-curriculum bases. The program is specifically to build confidence and relationships that are beneficial to both parties. Although it is widely known, it is a shame that teachers salaries are so low that they have to get side jobs. Being that they are educating the next generation of brilliant minds you would think their salaries would increase every once in a while. This new technology is a great way for teachers in America to spread their knowledge and never forget their teaching passion. What stood out to me about VIPKid is that the teachers are not given a curriculum and the students are not given a grade, it is strictly free flowing learning environment. Although, structure is needed in some classes it would be amazing if America could implement learning systems emulating these in our classrooms. Free flow learning may ease the stress of some students and may be a better way for them to learn rather than dealing with the pressures to get stuff done, hand stuff in, and get a grade. These type of environments may promote easier learning and better grasp of a subject. I believe that there should also be other companies to start programs like this in other areas of the world. It should be a learning tool for anyone around the world to implement, not only Chinese students and American teachers. I myself have always wanted to learn spanish. I would love to enroll in a program such as VIPKid or DaDa to better learn that language and understand spanish culture. To get a teacher such as Mikell and Nick Brown could be amazing for all students around the globe to create healthy stress free learning environments. Teachers like the Browns have a passion for teaching. Through creating more diverse virtual platforms such as these can not only revolutionize the job of teaching but also create strong bonds and relationships that can last a lifetime.

  24. Alexa Shello October 11, 2018 at 2:24 pm #

    The rise of online tutoring for students across the globe has risen. In America, there are hundreds of programs that help American students learn better reading and writing skills, math, science and history. It’s no secret that American teachers are underpaid, underappreciated, and many look for other opportunities to increase their income outside of school. Many tutor students on the side, get summer jobs in their off season, or find other means of income when possible. I was raised in household of teachers, my father was a physical education teacher and coach until he eventually became an athletic director, my sister currently teaches the 4th grade in Philadelphia, and my brother is a music teacher. I see all of the time, effort, personal money, and stress that is put on them to be there for their students, and the compensation does not compare. The opportunity for these teachers to tutor international students provides a great opportunity to the students and the teachers. The flexible schedule, extra pay, and the opportunity to see another student grow in your native language, seems like it mutually benefits both parties. Not many American teachers want to move across the globe to teach students a new language, even though there is high demand. And, not many teachers that do move to China to teach English stay for more than a few years before returning back to the states or going somewhere else. The ability for a teacher to work online with Chinese students and for many years allows the teacher to discover what methods work best for the students and create lessons that are proven to work, without much trial. Although the companies like VIPKId and DaDa often offer lesson plans and other resources to help the teachers, it also allows them free range to teach the students as they see fit, without following a strict curriculum or lesson plan. Both the student and the teacher benefit through teaching online, and it is good for our global society for there to be more interconnection between countries and languages.

  25. RyanL November 4, 2018 at 7:32 am #

    In her article, Lily Jones discusses the opportunistic benefits arising from the increasing popularity of international online teaching between students and teachers through the assistance of virtual education companies such as VIPKid and Dada. Upon finishing my reading, the points that she presented in her writing resonated with me on a personal level. To elaborate fully, I have always entertained the idea of pursuing a career in potentially teaching one day in disciplines relating to business/accounting within an academic institution. Throughout my time at my current university, each of the professors I had the pleasure of working with was engaging and knowledgeable in his/her respective field, and have guided my professional development in regards to acquiring skill sets necessary for broadening my career outlooks. Perhaps, through the use of a virtual education platform, I will be able to replicate the same with our society’s future leaders globally. I am also assured that this movement is a great way for individuals who are truly passionate about teaching to gain valuable experiences in a new environment and to garner adequate exposure to different cultures/diversity.

    Lily Jones also brings attention to how technology has been able to expand the working capabilities of instructors in the internet space, which has become an additional method of generating income outside the classroom. The timing for American teachers works conveniently scheduling-wise if they intend on teaching students virtually in countries such as China. For teachers and other individuals that are working in regions with high tax rates/ costly living expenses or supporting multiple family members, I can see how investing a couple hours for online teaching before or after a normal day’s of work can make a substantial difference in regards to alleviating previous financial burden or debt obligations.

  26. Selena November 5, 2018 at 12:49 pm #

    Technology is truly evolutionizing the opportunities of the internet. The unfortunate truth that teachers wages are modest, technology is allowing teachers to make money on the side through virtual teaching. This is expanding beyond the classroom and beneficial for teachers to do what they love and what they are trained for. Websites like VIPKid and DaDa connect English teachers to Chinese students. This was created by a deficit of native English teachers in China and a substantial pool of Chinese students. This is astonishing innovation. Technology provides the simple fix for the demand for native English teachers and extra income for teachers.
    This experience is convenient for both parties. The student receives exceptional education from a native English speaker and English teachers have flexibility around their normal work day. The student and teacher simply go online, the curriculum is already created and there is no grading papers. I do a lot of volunteer work at The English School. Here, we teach English as a second language to low-income adults. I have noticed that transportation is sometimes an issue for students, so they lose the opportunity to learn a new language because they cannot get somewhere. The benefit of teaching English online minimizes the need for transportation.
    There is also a benefit to building relationships with your student. I have experienced this in my volunteer work. An individual becomes more culturally conscious, which some people lack. Once you are able to understand where someone comes from and their cultural norms, you are more empathetic towards others. Your students see you less of a teacher, but more of a mentor. You help them with understanding American norms as well. It is more than just teaching and technology is allowing people to do more of it.

  27. Erica Glover November 8, 2018 at 6:56 pm #

    After reading the article “ Teaching After Hours: The Rise of International Online Teaching” I came to realize how much the rise to online tutoring has grown globally. The article goes on to discuss how American teachers teach Chinese students the language and culture of America on a non-graded and non-curriculum bases. Teaching is such a rewarding and valuable profession and its disappointing and degrading that teachers don’t get paid enough to the point they have to do online teaching as well. I can thank all of my high school teachers for helping me and preparing me for college; teachers can impact a students life and they are responsible for shaping students into what their future holds. It truly is a shame that teachers salaries are so low and I think this new way of online teaching and the use of technology is a great way for teachers in the U.S to spread their knowledge to other countries and continue their passion for teaching while making extra money. While reading the article what struck my attention was the free flow learning. I personally think a classroom needs a structured set up learning plan, to stay on tract but, the idea of free flow learning did entice me. Some students that struggle in school and get stressed over certain curriculum may benefit from free flow learning. They will have less pressure no deadlines and no grades but still be learning in the process. I think that is nice to have the option, I also think it is awesome that online teaching gives the students in other countries the opportunities to experience an enriching learning experience from American teachers.

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