Before you begin teaching with VIPKID, you’ll need to round up a few tools and resources to help your classes run smoothly. Below, you’ll find the six most important classroom and tech requirements for VIPKID teachers.
VIPKID Classroom & Tech Requirements
Without the classroom tools below, teaching with VIPKID would be very difficult. Be sure to add these tech requirements to your shopping list:
1. Tablet or Computer
One of the more obvious VIPKID tech requirements is a tablet or computer.
What isn’t obvious is the restrictions VIPKID has on certain devices. As of June 2019, VIPKID requires its teachers to work from a device that allows application downloads. For those avid Chromebook users, you’re out of luck.
Here are some of the devices I recommend for VIPKID teachers and keep in mind, your device must :
Personally, I alternate between two different devices based on where I am. As a full-time traveler, I like to teach from my iPad because it is easier to pack than a bulky computer.
The iPad I use is an iPad Pro 10.5 inch WiFi Only, which has worked really well for teaching. The camera is new and has great picture quality during my classes.
When I am not traveling, I like to teach using my laptop. The computer that has worked best for me has been an Apple 13″ Macbook Air. The speed and capability of these newer Macs help classes run smoothly. They also allow application downloads, which is vital for VIPKID teachers.
For more information about which device to choose, check out our post: The Best Computer for VIPKID 2020.
A Desktop With a Webcam
Teaching VIPKID classes with a desktop computer will work as long as your computer is able to update and download applications. Many teachers who use a desktop computer to teach also buy a webcam.
The best webcam for online teaching is the Logitech C920. It has an excellent widescreen camera with a high-quality picture. I recommend this webcam if you have a poor quality built-in camera.
Operating Tech System Requirements for VIPKID
VIPKID requires teachers to use devices with an operating system of Mac OS X 10.10 or Windows and above. If you’re unsure about the operating system of your device, you can find that information under your system and software settings.
A headset is another one of the VIPKID tech requirements and for good reason.
As soon as you become a teacher, you’ll realize how annoying it is when a student doesn’t wear headphones. The echo coming from their device can be deafening.
The best headset for VIPKID teachers is the Logitech Stereo Headset H151 with Microphone.
This headset uses a 3.5mm jack that can connect to any device. Before I purchased the Logitech H151 headset, I bought another headset that used a USB port. Unfortunately, this did not work well for my iPad. The Logitech headset is compatible with any device that has a headset jack.
3. A Proper Background
To keep your classroom looking professional and educational, a background is strongly suggested by VIPKID. In fact, I highly recommend that you use a background during the interview and mock class. Mock class mentors dock points from teachers who don’t have an educational background.
Luckily, finding a background can be cheap and simple. The background I have been using for my classroom since I started teaching is a World Map Wall Hanging by LIVETTY.
The best thing about this wall hanging is it can easily be put up or taken down whenever you want. I pack this tapestry for teaching when we are traveling; it packs small in my carry-on. I also use this when I am teaching with VIPKID in my car.. yes, I teach from my vehicle haha!
Other teachers hang educational pictures or name tags behind them as a background. A background can be made or bought for really cheap so I wouldn’t suggest spending a ton of money on creating something spectacular.
4. VIPKID Props
One of the VIPKID classroom requirements that I find kind of silly is the usage of props. VIPKID likes to have teachers express themselves using different objects, toys, and visuals.
Personally, I find that I am able to express myself using hand gestures and drawings on the screen. My students and their parents are highly satisfied with my teaching, therefore, I keep the props to a minimum. I typically use the things around me to supplement my teaching.
Although I don’t use a lot of props anymore, I suggest using them when you first begin teaching. Not only does VIPKID require this for the mock class, but these will help you before you get into your teaching groove.
Pro-tip: do NOT spend a lot of money on props. Like I mentioned before, props can be found around your house for free! Check out my recent post to see how you can set up the perfect VIPKID classroom.
5. Stable WiFi
Without WiFi, you’ve got nothin’. VIPKID tech requirements state that your WiFi connection should be stable, recommending that your speeds be as follows:
- Ping: Below 200
- Download: Above 20 Mbps
- Upload: Above 2 Mbps
These are the suggested speeds from VIPKID, however, veteran teachers know that these speeds can vary drastically.
Personally, I will teach with the following speeds:
- Ping: Below 200
- Download: Above 5 Mbps
- Upload: Above 1 Mbps
These speeds are not standard and I can’t promise any results, however, I have found success with connections hovering around these numbers.
Now, you might be wondering, “what the heck are these numbers you’re throwing at me? How do I know my internet connection speeds?” In order to find out the speed of your internet, use the website speedtest.net. It is the easiest tool to use, all you have to do is press “Go” and it will calculate your WiFi connection.
VIPKID teachers know how important it is to have a strong WiFi connection, so what happens if your WiFi isn’t stable enough to teach?
I always have a backup ready just in case something happens. I rarely have to use my backup, but when I do I am so thankful to have it. Since we use Google Fi as our cell phone service provider, we are able to use our phones as hotspot devices. It is fairly simple to connect my computer or tablet to my phone hotspot and teach using my cell data.
Google Fi is awesome for so many reasons. First, you only pay for the data you use. Google Fi charges $10 per gigabyte. After using 10 GB, data is free until the end of your monthly billing cycle.
Second, Google Fi is an international data plan where data costs the same no matter where you are in the world ($10/GB). I have successfully taught using my phone hotspot from places all over the world, including Montenegro, Bali, and Cambodia.
6. A Quiet Workspace
One of the more obvious VIPKID classroom requirements is a quiet workspace. I can’t tell you how many times a class was interrupted by my students’ noisy sisters and brothers; sometimes to the point where I can’t even hear my students speak!
Imagine if the opposite happened and the teacher was in a noisy workplace. I can tell you that parent feedback would be harsh.
Find a quiet space to work with a lot of light. Get creative with this requirement. Personally, I’ve taught in some pretty random places (bathrooms, closets, and even outdoors). As long as you have a background to block out any distractions, enough light that your student can see your face, and a positive attitude, you’re good to go.
The best (and the craziest) place I teach is in my car. During the summer, my husband and I live at a lake house in northern Minnesota. Since our cabin doesn’t get strong enough WiFi, I drive 10 minutes down the road to a grocery store where I teach from their parking lot.
Interestingly enough, you would never know I was teaching from a vehicle. The best part of teaching from my car is that I can be as loud as I want and no one interrupts me.
The Wrap-Up: VIPKID Classroom & Tech Requirements
In order for your VIPKID classes to run smoothly, you’ll want to be sure to fulfill all of the above classroom and tech requirements. Although some of these requirements are flexible (it’s not 100% necessary to teach with a background or props), coming to class prepared will help you complete all of your VIPKID lessons.
Want More On VIPKID?
After nearly two years of teaching with VIPKID, I’ve learned exactly what it takes to be a successful teacher on this platform. Check out the guide I’ve created for other VIPKID teachers; I’ll teach you exactly what it takes to be a highly-demanded teacher. All I need is your name and email address and I’ll deliver the guide directly to your inbox!
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