The guidance received from teachers is essential for most students to succeed at school; however, since students are currently confined to their homes as a result of the nationwide COVID-19 response lockdown, alternative learning strategies now have to be employed to ensure that the knowledge gained thus far is not eroded.

Since study groups, in-home private lessons, and trips to the library are not possible, the internet has become the most easily accessible learning resource for those who need some accompaniment with their studies.

Thankfully, quality, online private tuition is readily available, and in this article we will investigate the differences between traditional and online lessons, the cost of online courses, and the equipment needed for successful online learning.

Why Consider Online Learning During Lockdown?

Learning needs to continue, despite schools and universities being closed, and students need to use the learning resources at their disposal to ensure that they stay on track with their school programmes.

While you are deprived of your teacher, enlisting the help of an online tutor means that you will you will still have someone available to provide you with guidance.

It’s safe, simple and convenient. Wherever you are, you can connect with a teacher suited to your needs in just a few clicks.

There are, naturally, differences between online lessons and traditional, face-to-face lessons, and the two most important ones are set out below.

Firstly, private online classes are individual lessons, as opposed to the group instruction received at school. This allows for tailor-made educational support, since the student has the teacher’s undivided attention, instead of having to compete with all the other students in class.

Since the sessions are one-on-one, your tutor can easily customise lessons to suit your learning needs and focus on your areas of difficulty.

books, lamp and laptop on desk
Make sure you have all the reference materials, such as textbooks, needed for your lessons nearby. | Source: Unsplash

Secondly, you have more flexibility with online lessons, and can schedule your classes at times that are most convenient for you. On platforms like Superprof, you also have the benefit of choosing your teacher. So whether you want the help of a native French speaker to improve your French pronunciation, you need a gifted Maths teacher to help you grasp quadratic equations, or you wish to connect with a writing coach who can help you improve your academic essay writing skills, the choice is up to you.

What Materials Are Needed For Online Lessons?

Both tutors and students needs the following basic tools and equipment to ensure that online lessons can take place and run smoothly:

  • A laptop, desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  • A fast and reliable internet connection, which will minimise any interference between you and your teacher.
  • An online discussion platform. Many apps and webcam programs can be downloaded free of charge, and we will provide you with some information on the most popular options below.
  • A webcam. Newer connected devices usually come with built-in webcams, but if you are using a desktop computer, you may need to buy a separate webcam.
  • Optional: Your device should have a built-in microphone, but if you find that the quality is not good, you may want to buy a headset with a microphone attachment.

Tip: Install all the latest software updates for your device, as this will give you access to the most up-to-date features.

Popular Webcam Programs

While, for many, face-to-face interaction is the ultimate way to experience lessons, being able to see your tutor on your screen is the next best thing.

An online discussion platform is therefore essential for communicating with your teacher, and the following can all be downloaded free of charge:


Skype is one of the most popular online communication programmes, and can be used computers, smartphones or tablets.

girl using smartphone and laptop
There are many webcam an online discussion programs that can be used for online lessons. | Source: Unsplash

The drag-and-drop option helps you to send your homework and assignments to your tutor in Skype, and the screen sharing feature allows you to share your real-time workings so that you can get instant feedback and advice.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts offers audio, messaging, and video session with your tutor, and is compatible with both computers and mobile devices.

Hangouts is especially great for group sessions! You and your friends can meet up with the same tutor in a virtual classroom.


Zoom allows for video conferencing and the sharing of content, and can be used on all smart devices


HouseParty is a social networking service that allows you to connect from both your smartphone and computer for video calls.

Preparing For Your Online Classes

To set up your online lessons, you simply need to follow these three steps:

  1. Download your chosen application (once-off).
  2. Get your online tutor’s username.
  3. Connect with your tutor at the scheduled time for your class.

It's as simple as that!

Excellent planning is essential for success, so we encourage you to have all the necessary resources and reference materials needed during your online lesson close at hand.  For example, your textbooks, homework questions, notebooks or paper for taking notes, etc.

We’re aware that staying focused for extended periods is not easy, especially, when distance learning is involved, so here are our top tips to help you make the most of online learning.

Can Superprof Help With Private Lessons Online?

There are over 1 000 subjects to choose from on Superprof, so it is a good place to start searching for your online tutor.

notebook and laptop on desk
Online lessons are convenient and can be set up in just a few clicks. | Source: Unsplash

During confinement, we ensure that the geographical proximity of tutors and students is taken into account, so that face-to-face lessons can easily be implemented after the confinement period ends. So, for example, if you need Maths lessons in Durban, you simply type "Maths" in the subject search field on the Superprof website and "Durban" in the location field and you’ll be presented with a list of all tutors available.

You can then consult each profile and choose the most suitable Maths teacher online. Simply send them a message via the platform to find out if they are available to help you. You’ll get a response within 72 hours.

95% of the registered tutors on Superprof offer their first session for free, so that you can get to know each before you commit to a series of lessons together. Each tutor sets out their hourly rate in their advert, so that you are aware of all costs upfront. Superprof does not take any commission from the tutor’s fees.

Whether you need maths lessons online, an online English teacher or Chemistry teacher, you’re likely to find a match.

Supplement Your Online Learning With Apps and Websites

There are many applications and websites that allow you to have fun while learning. So, why not turn the distraction of your smartphone into a tool to optimise your learning experience?

You can learn new concepts and memorise course content with the help of some clever learning apps, quizzes, and online games.

The following sites may be useful to you:

  • Worksheet Cloud
  • MathsBuddy
  • Khan Academy
  • Coursera
  • MIT OpenCourseware

The following applications are worth checking out:

  • Babbel
  • Quizlet
  • Khan Academy
  • World Geography

Using these online learning aids to complement your tutoring sessions will ensure that you don’t lose any ground and that you are ready when you eventually have to write your exams.

Consolidating your knowledge with the help of a private tutor will help you stay on track by ensuring that you dedicate sufficient time to your learning programme.

Now that you know more about taking online lessons, all you need to do is find your perfect online tutor and you’ll be set for success.

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A South African in France who loves to travel and discover new cultures, is passionate about photography, and who is happiest near the ocean.