Setting Up Your Online Classroom

How to set up your “online classroom” area in your home

By Carol J

  1. Location, location, location: Using your home office area is often a great location, provided it is a space that supports uninterrupted video recording and has a pleasant background.
    Carol’s preference: My home office area works well; it’s quiet and has enough electrical outlets to handle all of my gear.
  2. Choosing your video background: Find an area that has a pleasant and
    calm background. A clean desk, organized bookshelf and the like will help keep from distracting your students.
    Carol’s preference: I like my roll top desk and a couple of books in my background. The view from the camera is clean and doesn’t distract my viewers.
  3. Environmental noise: Take a listen to the regular environmental sounds that happen in your recording space. Is there a dog barking? Can you hear the kids playing outside? If possible, choose an area that has least amount of noise as environmental noises can affect the clarity of your videos and live streaming sessions.
    Carol’s preference: Family pets get an occupying treat when I’m recording. 
  4. Camera and placement: Many will choose to use a webcam from a laptop. If this is the case, make sure that the camera height is the same as your eye level. You will want to be looking straight into the camera when you are speaking – and students don’t want to be looking up your noise when watching your videos.  For those using a phone or mobile device, use a stand with a clip to secure your mobile device so you can use your hands in expressions when teaching.
    Carol’s preference: my laptop camera and my Logitech camera with 1080p have worked well for me.
  5. Mic and placement: The quality of your audio can make or break your
    session. If your laptop mic isn’t clear, get a cardioid mic.
    Carol’s preference: I love my Yeti Nano.
    Recording Tip: You will either need to use a headset with a mic, or have an external microphone as laptops can often get that nasty echo cycle going if two users are on a talking through their computer laptops.