How to conduct an online chess class
That is the question that I get asked often when I talk with my friends who are coaches but not tech savvy. And the most surprising thing is that I did not find any solution when I ‘googled’ this topic! So here is (hopefully) a exhaustive discussion on the tools and methods that coaches may use to conduct online classes. Some are free while some are partially free depending on the level of the student.
Difficulty – 4/5
(which means you must either be tech-savvy or hire a friend/technical engineer to get the know-how. No one is born an expert. I learnt many
things by trial and error so there is no escape from this…)
I will be re-touching this article in due course as and when I get updated on anything specific. Most of the suggestions are from my personal experience and therefore I will be able to solve any pertinent questions you may have.
In this first article I will be discussing the most important technical requirements that are essential before starting an online class (also known as a ‘net session’).
Intro – Part 1 – How to conduct an online chess class – Checklist before beginning an online chess class.
1. Stable Internet connection either by Optical Fibre cable or fixed line broadband or 3G/4G dongles. (For coaches it must be fast)
2. Decent performance PC or Laptop (preferably newer ones).
4. Microphone (Coaches must have a professional one, while students can do with decent headphone+mic).
5. Decent quality Keyboard and mouse.
6. Decent sized single (for students) or Dual monitor setup (for coaches) to increase the productivity.
1. Skype + membership (free).
2. Teamviewer for both student and coach.
3. Membership in online chess sites like Chesscube (VIP for coaches is a must), Playchess (some issues to get sorted but great overall), Chess.com, ICC and FICS.
4. [For Coaches] Chess Programs like Fritz, Chessbase, Chess King, SCID and some more which are based on specific requirements.
5. [For Students] Firefox or chrome (updated),
Personal/expertise requirements – Coaches
2. Patience to deal with technical irritants (have a pain balm in hand or have a green tea)
3. Healthy body and a healthy mind.
4. All relevant topics (that will be discussed and asked) must be noted in advance.
5. Any database that needs to be accessed must be kept ready.
6. Be prepared for relevant chess homework assignments to students.
7. Having a good command of the language of instruction is essential.
8. Focus on one or two topics, and let the student absorb at his pace.
9. Don’t restrict your class by time controls. Instead focus on completing something tangible.
10. Never do it solely for money. That is a sure shot way to demoralize and move someone away from chess.
Personal Requirements – Students
Register for online classes only if you are free and completely focused.
Ask questions when you do not understand anything, else it will be a waste of time and money.
Make a note of the points covered in a session and if you have time review them before the session is over.
Always try to finish your homework in time. Homework must be done with proper attitude.
Part 2 will continue next week. As usual comments and suggestions are welcome!
Visit Goldenchess.in for dedicated online classes.