I’ve just been thinking about my journey with online teaching this year…..
My approach was to change ONE THING every week, to slowly improve the quality of my videos.
I just enjoyed making this list of how I incrementally improved the quality of what we’re doing over the last 6 months!!
Sharing this list here in case it’s helpful to anyone. Some things involve buying equipment. Some things are free/low cost.
I (and my partner and co-teacher Adrian) are mainly teaching group classes on Zoom, then recording that output and editing for YouTube.
- MICROPHONE – Day 1. Got a Rode Wireless Go + headset
- ACUITY – integrate all the Zoom stuff into my Acuity booking system. Lifesaver.
- ANY KIND OF LIGHTS – Borrow all the random lights in the house to get the shot lit adequately (spotlights, lamps, desk lamps, whatever)
- EDITING with iMOVIE – gets me started with doing YouTube content. I love editing….
- SUBSCRIPTIONS – convert all my yoga people who were willing to go online into monthly payers
- BIG TELLY – Borrow a massive TV from a friend so I could see students better
- GET CONNECTED TO SEVERAL NETWORKS – for backup I have my home broadband, and two different mobile networks I can use.
- START LOCAL RECORDING OFF ZOOM – means less downloading. And the quality is better.
- TWO COMPUTERS – Start connecting two computers to Zoom – one to just be on my spotlight and to record locally – one to feed the ‘gallery’ of all the students onto the big TV. I usually have each Zoom connection on a different broadband or mobile network
- WEBCAM – get a Logitech 930e plug in webcam which is a big improvement on my old laptop’s webcam, plus I can put it on a tripod
- MURAL – commission my neighbour Harri to paint the wall behind me.
- YOGA TEACHER TRAINING MODULE – I run it online, via Zoom. It works.
- EDITING WITH PREMIERE PRO – borrow Adrian’s computer and Adobe login and start using better editing software. It’s faster and less flaky.
- VIRTUAL VAULT – create a secret library of recorded classes for subscribers. Low tech setup: unlisted videos + a single password protected webpage.
- LAVALIER EXPERIMENT – Break headset cable and go to using a plug in Lavalier mic
- WEBCAM – figure out we can turn off the autofocus and also slightly tweak the exposure and colour constrast to get a prettier shot
- TRIPOD – Get hold of a decent tripod, so we can change the shot between seated poses and standing poses
- LAVALIER FAIL – Break Lavalier mic cable and just use the Wireless Go. Very little difference in quality. I also get better at using Wireless Go (cuts out if my body is in the way of the transmission, and it’s better anchored to non floppy clothing)
- INSURANCE/DISCLAIMER – finally get around to sorting out my insurance to cover me for YouTube. Start adding a disclaimer to videos.
- LIGHTBULBS – as I have a lot of light coming in the windows, I switched all my room lightbulbs to cool blue light to match
- EXTRA SPEAKER – we do 6 weeks of Outdoor yoga. With a speaker. And also broadcasting onto Zoom at the same time. All the technology, all at once.
- HEADSET – Finally get my Rode headset back. I now use it super carefully, but I mildly prefer it to the Wireless Go box.
- RING LIGHT – get hold of a ring light, stop using three extra plug in random desk/bedroom lights.
- PARALLEL SESSIONS – in-person classes start again, with masks, 2m distancing etc. Figure out the setup for a simple Zoom connection at the same time. No lights, camera low down, no big preview on a telly. I use: laptop, external webcam on a mini tripod, Wireless Go. My coteacher Adrian uses: iPhone on a mini tripod, AirPods.
- YOGA TEACHER TRAINING MODULE – we move to a local hall to do it, so we can be at a 2m distance. I take most of the studio equipment with me (lights, telly, mobile dongles). We run the with half the group in-person in the big hall, half the group on Zoom.
- Publish a public yoga video a week, a subscriber-only video a week, and do an email/blog post a week
- Get a few more virtual only yoga subscribers
- Rewrite my 2020 Yoga Teacher training structure for a 2021 YTT designed for blended delivery (rather than making it up as we go along)
NOT DONE YET BUT WANT TO
- Record 4k during live classes as it will be better for YouTube
- Use the 60 videos I’ve done so far to create email-based sequences and challenges
- Make the Virtual Vault more secure and trackable with individual logins
Happy to do interviews on this for podcasts or YouTube!!