Updated: May 4
So the whole country's business education has been interrupted by a Covid lockdown and I am preparing for the possibility that we may have to teach from home after the Easter break. ***I don’t know if this will be the situation but just in case I have become prepared*** I am not an expert in this field, but I am sharing what I have found out in the last couple of weeks: Here are some tips and items that you might find useful if you too are planning to jazz up your lessons from home:
1) Buy a really good microphone. I bought this one online and it was about £50. I can attach it to my desk and it moves into a variety of positions and then when I don’t need it I just push it away. It’s USB and plug and play, so no fussy set up.
Buy a pen and tablet for the computer, these vary in price but a basic one is fine and when used with Paint which is free software, you will now be able to make videos or live stream your lesson and write calculations or draw diagrams. Ideal for supply and demand diagrams and break-even which can take ages to produce on Word.
Set up a webcam or adapt your DSLR camera and tripod into a webcam. If you have a webcam it might come with the right software to make the webcam talk to the computer. If you are on a laptop with a camera this is all already built in and you can skip this step.
I have a camera and tripod so use Sparkocam software to make the camera talk to the computer, even after I attached it using USB it still needs some software to make it work. There is a free trial version where you get a watermark, or you can pay about £50 to keep the software and remove the watermark. As an investment I thought this was worthwhile as we might be teaching like this for a while, and with the added bonus I can use it for Zoom meetings
4) To set up your screen to produce PowerPoints or other documents that have your face on the screen in a small rectangle at the top of the page, (like gamers on YouTube). For this you will need Bandicam software which is free and lets you add your webcam / camera feed as an overlay. This will also record your screen and will use your microphone. If you are using the camera / microphone combo turn off the audio on your camera (in menu setting).
5) Zoom – download free software, (if using camera and tripod turn on your camera and have Sparkocam running in the background to make that work). You could invite your group to a zoom meeting they can join on their phone. Depends on how big your group is!