VIPKid technology is important to have a good classroom experience. As of writing this, they officially require:
- A Desktop, Laptop, or Surface,
- running OS
- At least 4GB RAM
- Intel Core i3 above CPU
- HD External camera or HD integrated camera
- A headset with a microphone, stable output and input
- Wired DSL Internet Connection
- the PC app (and iPad app if you wish!)
Ahh! All these tech requirements?
Now that I told you the official requirements, I’m here to tell you to CHILL. OUT. I have taught using an iPad and really crap wifi. I have taught in a snow storm and a flood. If I can do it, you can too. I say start teaching today – if you find you’re having tech problems then invest in figuring out where they come from. Read Ahh! Tech! and stop panicking.
Can I teach on my tablet?
Currently, VIPKid has an iPad app available for download. But beware, you cannot input feedback for class easily in the app, which means you will need another browser to input feedback for each class. One other downside I found while using the iPad app was that I could not check the speed of my internet connection. Within the browser and PC app classrooms, you can check your own internet ping to the VIPKid server. Another con to using the iPad is that when VIPKid introduces a new course it is often unavailable for the iPad app.
What if I have problems in the middle class?
This is where the firemen come in handy. Firemen are people hired by VIPKid based in China who are there to help us with all things tech. While you should check all of your own technology before class (especially your first!), it is handy to have the firemen around. They can see how the internet connection between you and VIPKid and the student is. They can trouble shoot with the student if suddenly we can’t hear them. They work hard and do a great job.
Can I troubleshoot in my own classroom?
Yes! Please do! Often we can “refresh” the classroom with the refresh button, or “switch lines” to create a more stable internet connection. Sometimes closing and reopening the app helps too! If you need to restart your router I’d suggest doing it FAST and in between classes.
In the fancy new classrooms of 2019, you can see how fast your computer is pinging the VIPKid servers once class has started. It is in the top right corner of your camera image.
In the old classrooms (you may be swapped to one by a firemen for whatever reason), you can right click on the blue frame surrounding the classroom, and choose the second item in the menu. It will show a graph of the ping in front of the classroom. Close it and continue class or refresh as needed.