How To Teach Classes Online: What Tools To Use

When I first started my business I wondered how I could reach more people with my teachings, and maybe you’re wondering how to teach classes online too.

There are certainly many different ways to teach classes online, from pre-recorded audio and video, to PDF handouts or slides, but today we’re going to focus on the live video classroom.

How To Teach Classes Online Via Video

There are so many options when it comes to online education, and what method and tools you choose to use will depend on your context and goals.

For example, if you need to plan, deliver, and track the progress of your students then you might want to use a learning management system. What’s an LMS, you ask? It’s a type of software that can help you structure online courses, enroll students, and assess their learning along the way.

There’s something special about connecting with somebody live through the Internet via video. Watching pre-recorded videos is a great education and marketing tool in your business, but taking it to the next level by doing a live video streaming event is even more powerful.

It’s almost like being there in someone’s living room. You can answer questions live, people can see your enthusiasm, and they will be able to feel how you feel about your materials and what you’re sharing with them.

Teaching classes online through live video is great because you can show things that you can’t show on a phone call or a slides-only webinar.

In my raw foods business, I’ve used live streaming events to demonstrate how to make recipes. I showed people how to make almond milk, and some of my favorite dessert recipes.

I’ve also recommended live streaming events for some of my clients, who teach acupressure and other cool techniques that can be demonstrated visually.

You might also want to do an event where you can showcase more than one speaker live. You could be creating a live virtual conference, that anyone can attend from all over the world.

Let’s take a look at the different options for how to teach classes online. There is no shortage of different systems and tools to teach online classes, so these are just some of your options.

How To Teach Classes Online – Tools

3 Screenshots of an online class with video

There are a few different tools you’ll need in your tech tool belt to teach online classes.

The first is your presentation software, like Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote for creating slides.

The second is your video recording platform, which can happen live with students on the other side of the web, or in a recorded format that’s available to watch on-demand.

The third and arguably most important tool is your online class delivery platform. Perhaps you plan to offer your training and courses to corporations, or sell your courses directly to customers and students. You can do these things through a WordPress LMS plugin, where you’ll also be able to manage memberships and see student progress.

If you’re planning to take payments for your teachings, you’ll also need a payment provider and sometimes these come built into your LMS or membership software. Many times you’ll want to offer recurring subscription payments, so you can continue to earn income month over month as you enroll more students and customers.

You might also want a membership forum or other way for students to communicate with each other.

Comparing Our Video Options

There are many great options for hosting your videos and integrating them into your learning management system or membership website. These are all live video options:

  1. Zoom: Zoom is great for teaching small groups and having everyone interact with each other. You can also do large webinar-broadcast style sessions.
  2. Ustream: I’ve used ustream many times to teach live demonstrations and answer questions that people enter via chat. I like how you can also embed a ustream event into a web page.
  3. Livestream: Livestream is also great at video, and even Oprah uses it on her site to stream episodes from her network live over the internet.
  4. CrowdCast: CrowdCast is awesome if you want to have the same chat environment, but you also want to bring other presenters on live via video feeds. It’s a very well thought out platform.
  5. WebinarJam: If you want to do webinar-style presentations on video or showing slides, then WebinarJam allows you to do that easily. It’s also great for free training webinars that lead to paid courses.
  6. Skype: Similarly to Google Hangouts, if you’ve got a premium Skype account you can also do live video with a few of your friends or contacts via Skype.
  7. GotoWebinar: If you don’t want to be on camera, but you are wondering how to teach classes online that have lots of material to be presented via slides – this is my pick.
  8. Adobe Connect: Similar to GotoWebinar, Adobe Connect is a great alternative that also lets you merge video with slides, so you can have the best of both worlds here too.

There are also some great pre-recorded video hosting options, including:

  1. YouTube: You’re already familiar with this platform, and it can be a great place to upload teaching material. You can choose to keep your video unlisted if you don’t want them to be searchable through YouTube. People can still share these videos though, so keep that in mind.
  2. Vimeo: There are a number of different plans and pricing options for Vimeo, and it’s a great video hosting solution. It is dependable and you can control the sharing permissions more than you can on YouTube. There are also some built-in payment options if you need something quick to take payments for video training immediately.
  3. Amazon S3: This is a more technical solution to help people record videos and teach classes online, but it is the most affordable paid solution. It also gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of how you want to display and track your videos. You’ll usually need a video player to get these to play inside of an LMS or members area.

What Classes Do You Plan To Teach?

Now that you know how to teach classes online using live video, what classes are you planning to teach?

Take a look at AccessAlly and get a free demo of the software, to see if it might be just what you’re looking for to help you teach online.


  1. Marinda on November 21, 2012 at 10:39 am

    This has given me a cool idea for my upcoming photography course, thanks for these resources Nathalie!

  2. Mark Modesti on November 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Fyi, can't watch your video on my mobile because the pop up for "website check" is in the way. Thanks anyway!

  3. Jane Frankland on November 21, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I really enjoyed this post Nathalie & it’s very timely. The question now is whether to teach live (through ustream or go2webinar) or not. One to ponder. Or do you think, from your experience, that one is better than the other?

  4. Lisa on November 22, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Hi Nathalie,

    This is great and comes at the perfect time that I am putting a course together. Like a Thanksgiving present to be grateful for!


  5. Akharoh Ibrahim on November 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Great lesson. I like livestream because you download the app on your computer and use from there. I also agree that Google Hangout.

  6. Nathalie Lussier on November 25, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Thanks so much for the comments everyone! :)

  7. Ethan Wilson on November 26, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Hmm..what could I teach.

  8. Darlene on November 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Vockle doesn’t seem to exist?

    • Nathalie Lussier on December 2, 2012 at 9:33 am

      Hey Darlene! Sorry the link should be

  9. Lauryn Doll on January 2, 2013 at 3:12 am

    I’m working on a Candy Buffet Business site, so I might use this to create a few presentations for women and creatives interested in creating Candy Buffets.

  10. Mark Brooks on February 17, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Really helpful Natalie. Thanks!

  11. Elba Mueller on June 18, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    I want to teach meditation online. How can I charge? I want to accept paypal or credit cards.

  12. Aliasgar Babat on September 30, 2013 at 8:57 am

    I used to be a huge Ustream fan, but their ads started driving me nuts. Skype and GoToWebinar were my runners-up, but now I use RHUB for its security, and it lets me brand mtgs with my own business name.

  13. Nguyen Jack on November 7, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    I am going to teach English online. How might I start? Please help me!

  14. Tony on November 9, 2015 at 3:07 am

    Hey Natalie this is very helpful. Thank you. I am wondering if there is any app that assist with how live Streamers can pay with any of these apps as well, in order to have access to the classes they desire? For example, I teach dance classes and students pre pay or pay as they drop in to try the class….is there anyway to have students pay online through the apps above before you connect them to the classes being streamed?

  15. Tammy on May 11, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    I am assuming this is an old post and that your current preferred live teaching tool is webinar ally? I am planning to use webinar ally with LearnDash (I am adding and integrating it in the next few days and then on to webinar ally). I can place live videos anywhere on my wp pages, correct…I am using Divi by Elegant Themes?
    Thank you for all your hard work,

    • Nathalie Lussier on May 11, 2016 at 11:35 pm

      Yes, that’s correct Tammy on all fronts! :)

  16. Kathy on January 24, 2017 at 11:30 am

    What do you think of Zoom? And how do you handle payments for your programs?

    • Nathalie Lussier on January 26, 2017 at 10:42 am

      I really like Zoom! We use AccessAlly to handle our payments and hosting of our online courses.

  17. Tatanya on February 18, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Nathalie my question is do any of these programs/services actually sync video with audio? It is hard to teach dance when the sound and actions don’t match

    • Nathalie Lussier on February 20, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      You’ll want to do that using video editing software like Camtasia, Screenflow, or any pro video editing tools!

  18. Helena on March 16, 2020 at 6:38 am

    Hello Nathalie!
    i would like to teach dancing online but i get stucked with the music. How can I have music, speak and that the sound will be good?
    Thank you

    • Nathalie Lussier on March 16, 2020 at 10:40 pm

      Hi Helena! That’s a great question. I think there might be some licensing things to watch out for when it comes to using music, especially if you’re charging for your classes.

      You could also look for music that is created by other artists who are licensing their work for your type of dance classes.

      Beyond the licensing stuff, I would say you’ll want to get a microphone and also see if it’s possible to play the music in the background and still hear your voice through the microphone clearly enough.

      Good luck!

  19. Jean on March 19, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    What do you think about Facebook live as an option?

    • Nathalie Lussier on March 19, 2020 at 7:22 pm

      Hi Jean!

      Yes Facebook Live is another great option, and it gives you the ability to have people chat with you live as you’re teaching.

      There are things to be careful with, like who has access to your materials. One way to get around that is to host your Facebook Live inside of a Facebook group, unless you want it to be publicly available.