Get our list of tips, tricks, and ideas for how to get started with using video for distance learning. We will help you navigate this new platform for instruction with this extensive list of ways to teach successfully online! No stress included!
Does the idea of making videos or streaming with your class make you nervous? With many teachers making the transition to distance learning, we are finding ourselves needing to show up online for our students and that can be overwhelming. Well, we are here to help with these tips for getting started with video for distance learning.
This article works well with these Simply Kinder resources:
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GIVE YOURSELF SOME GRACE
I want to start by giving yourself some grace. It’s going to be uncomfortable and hard, but it will get easier.
CENTER YOURSELF AND TAKE A DEEP BREATH BEFORE YOU START
Make sure you plan your day so that way you give yourself some time before to just take a deep breath. We always give ourselves 10-15 minutes to just calm and center before we do any videos. It’s not like teaching in a class because we all know how technology works.
DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO FEEL CONFIDENT
I don’t usually wear makeup and my hair is almost always in a bun but when I am doing video I always throw on some extra concealer and lip gloss. (It may not look like it in my videos but trust me, it’s there LOL).
MAKE SURE YOUR DEVICE IS FULLY CHARGED AND IS PLUGGED IN
Video and streaming will drain your battery much faster than normal.
THINK ABOUT YOUR SPACE
Your space does not necessarily have to look like a classroom but you do want to think about lighting. Sit in front of a window or well lit room.
LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR DEVICE
You will want to angle your camera eye level or higher. It will help you to feel more confident to not have your double chin show or have your families see up your nostrils. Lighting behind you too (from the ceiling) can also be a challenge.
Prop your computer/phone up. We show you different ways in the video above.
- Stack boxes and prop your phone or computer on them. Just be careful the setup is stable so the devices don’t fall.
- Get a cell phone stand. We picked up two from Target to show you but you can find them on amazon here too. If using a stand with adjustable legs, just make sure the phone is centered and the you may want to extend the adjustable legs out (see video). Click here for the Pro Phone Stand, click here for the tripod, and click here for the tripod with remote. We found one of these in the cell phone aisle and one in the camera section at Target. We also found this one on Amazon that clamps to a desk.
- Get a laptop stand. This helps you angle your camera and keyboard. Click here to see the one we showed or click here to see all laptop desk stands. This will allow you to keep your head up and looking at the camera.
SIMPLY KINDER GO TO SETUP
We typically do most videos from our computer and stacked them on boxes. You don’t need to have any fancy equipment.
- Look at the camera. It’s tricky, but important. It helps your students feel connected. Add a photo of a friend by your camera so it feels like you are speaking to someone or a sticky note to remind you.
- Turn off your social notifications. It’s distracting for you to have things flashing on your screen.
- Consider having your phone on you. It’s helpful to be able to have access to your email or other information if you need.
- Reading books, know copyright and make sure your administrator knows. Be in a well lit room. Hold the book towards you to read, AND THEN turn the book to show on your screen with fuller view.
- Have your phone on landscape. It allows you to have a display area.
- Practice, practice, practice. The more you practice the technology, the easier it becomes.
We do have some teachers who will be teaching from their RV and so we created a video to show how we do that as well.
The more you go on video with your students, the easier it will become. You students will appreciate you just showing up for them. So remember to give yourself some grace and just dive in.
We also show our Diva Ring Light which you can get here on Amazon. (Correction from hubs, the cell phone attachment was not included with the Diva Light Right. Click here and here to copy our exact setup. You can also lookup Diva Light Ring phone attachments here. And you will also need a tripod most likely).
What tips do you have? Be sure to share in the Simply Kinder community!