Setting up an online school – Part 21 IM versus Vedamo – Part 2

Setting online school series continues with all you need to know for your online teaching business.  In this article I will compare support systems, ability to make money and how to use Vedamo to improve all your teachers and the efficiency of your operation.

A dedicated system is the best

A dedicated system such as Vedamo is designed for teachers, by teachers and is truly in a different dimension when it comes to creating your own business as opposed to trying to do it via an IM service. One obvious area is support systems, good luck trying to get Skype or Facebook to help you when you are having a problem teaching your class. But Vedamo steps into its own here. The support staff are there when you are teaching, ready to advise or even enter the class to sort out your problem. You can be chatting to them invisibly, without the class even knowing. You can also advise a student to contact the support during the class if you cannot sort out the problem. Sometimes the problem is easy to fix, you have forgotten how to do something and the support sort it out in a jiffy.

Other times it is more complicated but they will keep working on it and in my experience, and I was using Vedamo from the early stages, I rarely had to abandon a class and when I did, it was usually because of internet problems, not a Vedamo fault. It is a true strength of your aspiring business, that you have a partner who wants to help you succeed. Running a business can be a lonely experience and having someone to share the burden is a huge lift to the soul.

The support staff understand teaching

Because Vedamo is dedicated to creating a top class teaching platform, the support staff see and understand the problems aspiring users have and know how and what to advise. The know the mistakes teachers and students make and will remedy them quickly and allow you to concentrate on what you do best, teaching. It is not possible to expect an IM application, pitched at a global audience, to be able to offer such a tailored service.

What you get for your money

Another area to look at is making money from Vedamo versus IM. If you are a one person operation, then you need to pitch your hourly rate at enough to pay you a wage, pay for Vedamo, and pay for any expenses such as advertising, utilities, taxes and any other expenses. So, you can drop the cost of Vedamo, but as the basic package only costs $25 a month (at the time of writing, 12.Sept. 2018) which is more than enough at the start, you will save very little.

You need to look at what you will get, you will have your own branded classroom, interactive archives, unlimited sessions and up to 25 learners per session. It means from the start you can advertise yourself as a fully professional operation, confident that students will be impressed with the range of teaching tools on offer and ready to recommend other users.

If you only teach 25 classes in the month, with say an average of 5 students per class, then the cost per session is a mere 20 cents per student so it has an almost minimal impact on your pricing but a huge impact on your ability to attract and retain students. And if you have more classes and students it becomes even less, so small as to hardly register in your pricing.

If you are a bigger operation, even from the start, say you have transferred your students from your physical school, and you have say a small number of teachers, then the savings are even greater.

You have control

Another area to look at is how you run your school. If you use IM you have almost no control over what happens in the classroom. With Vedamo, you have a complete archive of every session so you can go over them and iron out any weaknesses and constantly improve the quality of what you offer. You can sit invisibly in your teachers classes and make sure standards are being maintained. You can have weekly or monthly sessions with your staff where you go through everything and decide how to improve. This is what I would recommend, to use the experience of the teachers to work together, create a strong team bond and all combine to bring each other up a notch. This is one thing that is difficult to do in a conventional school. Most of the time teachers are on their own in the classroom and basically have to teach themselves how to teach. And of course, none of this is possible with IM.

Consider the Learning Management System

The final area I will look at is the addition of the Learning Management System of Vedamo. This costs $43 at the time of writing and again, has minimal impact on your pricing. This brings a range of management tools such as bespoke tests, quizzes, notifications, guest speakers and many others to your fingertips. This will increase your efficiency and your professionalism and in so doing, will increase your potential to attract customers. And of course, these tools are way beyond the ability of IM applications.

To conclude, it is a no-brainer to sign up for Vedamo if you wish to make your online school a success. If you have started with IM, and have now found out about Vedamo, you will be so glad you made the switch. It is a bit like moving from a pony and trap to a shiny new Rolls Royce. Instead of struggling along with IM, you will be purring along in a supercharged, up to the minute classroom, where you and your students feel the learning is easy.

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Gus Worth is a highly experienced writer and educator having worked in universities for nearly 20 years and being first published at the age of six. Currently in the English department of the American University in Bulgaria, he also writes extensively for the web and in print for many companies. He has a particular love of online teaching and enjoys helping teachers take their first steps in the exciting world of the future where you can connect with, and help students develop, all over the planet.
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