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So you’ve decided that you want the freedom to teach online, from anywhere, great! But… what exactly do you need to get started?

There is so much equipment and different brands to sift through, what a potential headache!

Luckily, we’ve put together the essential list of what you need to get up and running, from hardware to software and everything in between.

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Best Laptop / Computer for Online Teaching

The very first thing we need is a computer. Desktop computers are great as you can usually get more power for less money. That being said, laptops are extremely convenient as (providing there is internet access) you could theoretically teach from anywhere!

Regardless of whether it’s a laptop or desktop, we need to make sure it ticks certain boxes. Let’s look at those minimum requirements:

Computer Requirements

  • Good internet connection (maintain a good connection mid-call)
  • Hard drive (20-50GB – store lesson plans & files)
  • Memory (2-4GB – load Skype and other programs)
  • CPU (2.5GHz Core 2 Duo – keep your system fast during lesson)

Now you know what to look for but are you still confused as to what you should actually get?

Read our in-depth guide to selecting a laptop for a teacher if you want to dig deeper.

However, if you want to save some time and mental energy then no worries, we’ve rounded up a list of the best computers for teaching below:

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop (Best Budget Computer / Laptop $300 – $350)

Don’t let this low price tag fool you, the Acer Aspire 5 is powerful and solid enough to give you the performance you need in your online lessons. Not only that, the widescreen will make it easy to arrange your windows mid-class, keeping you stress-free and in control.

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6 inches Full HD IPS Display, AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, Vega 3 Graphics, 4GB DDR4, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 in S Mode, A515-43-R19L, Silver Check the price on Amazon

Why We Recommend It

  • AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual Core Processor (Up to 3.5GHz)
  • 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED backlit IPS Display
  • 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Port, 2 USB 2.0 Ports & 1 HDMI Port with HDCP support
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 128 GB SSD Hard Drive

Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop (Best Mid-Range Computer / Laptop $500 – $550)

Not only is this laptop exceedingly powerful for its price, it also boasts a touch screen which can make lessons even more interactive if you decide to take your lessons into the real world. If you want flexibility and large memory without the large price tag then this is for you!

Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop, 14 Inch FHD Touchscreen Display, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Processor, 12GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB NVMe SSD, Windows 10, 81SS000DUS, Black, Pen Included Check the price on Amazon

Why We Recommend It

  • 1920 x 1080 Full HD touch screen Display
  • With the included active Pen, you can draw or take notes directly on the screen, anywhere you go
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life
  • 12GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD Hard Drive

Microsoft Surface Pro X (Best Premium Computer / Laptop $1000 – $1500)

This is the laptop for those who are on the go. It’s thin and light, versatile (can be used as a laptop or tablet) and it comes with LTE, meaning you don’t need to worry about getting disconnected from the Wi-Fi mid-lesson!

Microsoft Surface Pro X – 13' Touch-Screen – SQ1 - 16GB Memory - 256GB Solid State Drive – Wifi, 4G Lte – Matte Black, (Model: QFM-00001) Check the price on Amazon

Why We Recommend It

  • Wi-Fi + blazing-fast LTE Advanced Pro connectivity (always stay connected)
  • Sleek and slim (7.3mm thin & 1.7 pounds)
  • Qualcomm SQ1 processor (fast performance, Long battery life, and fast LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity)
  • 16GB Ram
  • 256GB SSD Hard Drive

Best Headset / Headphones for Online Teaching

When it comes to teaching online, you have two options when it comes to communicating: Use headphones and a separate microphone or… Use a dedicated headset with a microphone built in.

You probably know what sounds and feels right for headphones already, but what about headsets? How much do they cost? Which ones are right for teaching?

We’ve again done the research for you already, and rounded up the top 3 headsets used when teaching English online. So relax, pick the one that feels right for you and get teaching!

Logitech USB Headset H340 (Best Budget Headset / Headphones $20)

The Logitech H340 headset is one of the most requested headsets from online teaching companies, is among the top sellers on Amazon and is one of the cheapest budgets headsets you can get. What are you waiting for?

Logitech USB Headset H340, Stereo, USB Headset for Windows and Mac - Black Check the price on Amazon

Why We Recommend It

  • Mac or Windows computer
  • Plug-and-play USB connection
  • Clear digital sound
  • Rotating boom microphone: Reduces background noise for clear chats
  • Comfortable design: Lightweight adjustable headband and foam ear cups

NUBWO N12 Headset (Best Mid-Range Headset / Headphones $25)

If you are happy to spend a little more, then for an extra $5 you can get all of the features of the H340 but in a much more comfortable package. Comfort is going to be an extremely important consideration when you will be wearing a headset for many hours of the day. Ignore this advice at your peril!

NUBWO N12 Gaming Headset & Xbox one Headset & PS4 Headset,3.5mm Surround Stereo Gaming Headphones with Mic Soft Memory Earmuffs for PC,Laptop, PS3, Video Game with Flexible Microphone Volume Control Check the price on Amazon

Why We Recommend It

  • Windows PC, Mac OS PC, iOS Device and Android compatible
  • 1.2 inch thick ear pad reduces hearing damage and is very comfortable
  • Volume control and key microphone mute let you easily control the volume
  • Noise Canceling Mic to reduce ambient noise
  • Connectivity Technology: Wired

(Best Premium Headsets / Headphones $50)

These are the headphones for those who like their freedom. Wireless, bluetooth connection gives you the freedom to move around and without an extended mic protruding from the headset, there will be nothing in the way of you and your students!

Why We Recommend It

  • The sound is crisp and strong at any volume
  • Extended frequency range, with deep, accurate bass response
  • Lightweight comfortable around-ear fit with 90° swiveling ear-cups
  • On-Board Mic
  • 30 hours playtime at Bluetooth mode

Best Webcams for Online Teaching

Most modern laptops / tablets now include a built in webcam which saves you a lot of hassle in this area, phew!

But… what if you are using a desktop computer which doesn’t have one? What if your employer requests a separate, external webcam (I’ve had it happen before), or maybe you just want to provide extra quality videos to your students. What then?

Again, we’ve rounded up the best external webcams so you can be covered in any situation.

Encore ENUCM-013 (Best Budget Webcam $10)

Ok, so you need a solid external webcam fast but you don’t want to spend a lot? This is the webcam for you. This is around the same quality you would find built into a laptop, so great if you can’t use that but if you need an upgrade then we have just the thing in the mid-range model!

Encore ENUCM-013 Express Digital CAM III, ( Built-In Microphone ), Upgrade Version !!!,Black Check the price on Amazon

Why We Recommend It

  • USB webcam, 1.3M Pixel CMOS, 7.5M Pixel interpolated
  • Built-in microphone
  • Magnetic stand included
  • Windows XP, Windows Vista, window 7 Compatible
  • USB cable length: 120 cm

LarmTek 1080P (Best Mid-Range Webcam $40)

Spending just a little more will upgrade you to the land of 1080 video, this is what will set you aside as a professional teacher. Enjoy the privacy shutter if that is a concern for you and last but not least, the audio also has an upgrade with this model, giving you noise reduction to keep your audio quality extra high with no distractions!

LarmTek 1080p Full Hd Webcam,Computer Laptop Pc Mac Desktop Camera for Conference and Video Call,Pro Stream Webcam with Plug and Play Video Calling,Built-in Mic Check the price on Amazon

Why We Recommend It

  • USB Webcam 1080P
  • Widescreen Laptop Camera – 75° Viewing angle for wide vision
  • Built-in dual noise reducing analog microphones
  • Webcam Privacy Shutter
  • Multi-functional hook design

Vitade Webcam 1080P (Best Premium Webcam $70)

1080 wasn’t enough for you? Ok, well this camera gives you everything the mid-range model offers video wise but also includes low-light correction and autofocus for an even better picture. Not only that, the webcam can be adjusted by 360°, and they’ve even thrown in a tripod!

HD Webcam 1080P with Microphone & Cover Slide, Vitade 928A Pro USB Computer Web Camera Video Cam for Streaming Gaming Conferencing Mac Windows PC Laptop Desktop Check the price on Amazon

Why We Recommend It

  • HD 1080P webcam with 80° wide angle lens
  • Built-in privacy shutter
  • Automatic low-light correction and autofocus
  • Webcam plate can rotate 360°
  • Includes tripod

Best Software for Online Teaching

Ok, now you’re set up with all of the hardware needed to teach but what do we need software wise?

  • Skype (the go-to for online video calls)
  • Zoom (great tools built-in)
  • Google Hangouts (no installation required)

To see how these compare and find other powerful software to boost your online classes, check out the teaching English online with Skype guide.

Best Office Chairs for Online Teaching

You’re all set for technology now but what about your office?

Maybe you already have a comfortable set-up which you can use, if so then this is the area you can save a bit of money.

However, bear in mind that you will be sat in your office chair for (hopefully) many hours of the day. It needs to be comfortable and appropriate for your teaching style.

Once again we’ve rounded up the best for each price range, saving you the hassle!

Ergonomic Office Chair with Lumbar Support (Best Budget Office Chair $35)

A sturdy budget chair that offers you a mesh back. This guarantees you keep your cool when you’re sat in it for many hours!

Ergonomic Office Chair with Lumbar Support Mesh Chair with Wheels Rolling Swivel Back Support Adjustable Executive Desk Chair, Modern PC Computer Desk Chair for Home Office Women Men by XXFBag - Black Check the price on Amazon

Why We Recommend It

  • Reliable and sturdy
  • Mesh seat
  • Easy to assemble
  • 360° swivel
  • Adjustable height

Komene Ergonomic Office Chair (Best Mid-Range Office Chair $300)

One thing you have to be careful of when sat in a chair for a long period of time is your back and neck. This is where a chair like this really helps you out. It provides exceptional support for your back and neck meaning that an investment in this chair now will result in not paying out to a chiropractor 6 months from now!

Komene Ergonomic Office Chair, High Back Desk Chairs with Adjustable Headrest backrest, 3D Flip-up Arms, Swivel Executive Chairs for Home and Conference Room (Grey) Check the price on Amazon

Why We Recommend It

  • Reduces the chances of back and neck pain
  • Puts less pressure on the buttocks and hips
  • Recline up to 135°
  • Mesh seat
  • Adjustable height

Ergohuman High Back Swivel Chair (Best Premium Office Chair $560)

When money is no object and only the most comfortable of seats will do then people look to the Ergohuman chairs. These seats grace the spots across many recording studios, high-end offices and creative spaces. If you’ve not tried one then now is the time to treat yourself to the very highest experience that sitting can offer!

Ergohuman High Back Swivel Chair with Headrest, Black Mesh & Chrome Base Check the price on Amazon

Why We Recommend It

  • Fully adjustable vinyl arms
  • Mesh seat
  • Adjustable height, lumbar support, seat depth, back angle
  • 12-year warranty
  • Adjustable height
  • made of 97% recyclable components

Best Props and Decoration for Online Teaching

Once you have the essentials out of the way, don’t be afraid to spruce up your teaching space. These things while cheap, offer a huge boost in presentation which your students will certainly appreciate.

Selfie Light Ring (around $10)

The best $10 I’ve ever spent. This is essentially a USB-powered light. You clip it onto your laptop and it creates front-lighting which does two things: It makes you look clearer, which creates a professional image. Secondly, the light is very flattering which create a very attractive picture. Enjoy!

Outee 2 Pack Selfie Ring Light for iPhone, Cell Phone Ring Light Stuff for TIK Tok/Live Stream/Makeup/YouTube Video, Video Light for Potography Makeup Camera Shooting Check the price on Amazon

PAPERAGE Dry Erase Board (around $5)

I never start a lesson without my small whiteboard nearby. It doesn’t get used in every class but it’s so useful at explaining something when words just can’t do it. It’s also a great way to play games such as pictionary or hangman.

Dry Erase Board 11 by 14 in - Magnetic Whiteboard with 4 Markers and 2 Magnets- White Frame- for School, Home, Office, Remote Learning- Easy to Hang on Walls or Magnetic Surface… Check the price on Amazon

Posters (around $15)

Nothing says classroom more than having a few choice posters. This shows that you are dedicated to your craft and can be a talking point for some quiet students. Just don’t go overboard and get too many!

8 Parts of Speech Poster - English, Language Arts, Writing Poster - for Middle School and High School Classrooms - English Teacher Supplies - Laminated, 17 x 22 inches Check the price on Amazon


Now you have everything you need to teach online!

Hopefully, you should already have some of these things on hand which leaves you with only a few things to pick up. After that it’s a case of gaining experience and establishing yourself as an online guru!

The next step is to check out this guide on creating your first lesson plan.

Good luck and happy teaching!

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