getting set up for online classes

How to get set up for your online Spanish classes . . .

To start off with a free trial Spanish class you will need a computer, a headset with a microphone (recommended) and a video camera (see box below).

The first step is to take a free trial class in order to experience the online learning environment and ensure that it is a form of learning that will work for you. During the trial class your teacher will discuss with you your learning goals and specific needs so that we can create a lesson plan for you or steer you towards the ideal course.
We will also set up a schedule with you. Students may take one or two hours at a time, sometimes more depending on personal factors, and may study one or more times per week.

Shortly before class is due to begin your teacher will be online to connect with you. 
This is done either through an email sent to your inbox or by calling you directly through Skype.

Hardware and software . . .

Any computer running Windows, Mac operating systems, or any flavor of Linux will do.

The software we recommend for audio and video is Skype, simply because the audio quality is superior to all the other VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocols) that we have tried. It also contains a number of features that support the learning environment, such as a "chat" function for writing short text messages, a screen-sharing function, and file-sharing system.

Google Talk and Google Hangouts are other options that we have used with some students who already use these systems.

All additional functions that are needed are accessed directly through your web broswer - Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Internet Explorer, etc.

If you do not have Skype installed it is easy and free to download and install. Skype has a function to make a test call to their system that allows you to ensure that your equipment is functioning correctly prior to connecting with your teacher. It is a good idea to make a quick test call before class to avoid spending class time trying to figure out what is not working. Our teachers do the same to ensure that they are 100% ready for class.