Remote teaching in 2021 – Part 1 (setup)

Intro

When I started this adventure back in March 2020 (due to several corona lockdowns) I was still learning as I went. Now, almost a year later, it is time to update these guides because:

a) many new tools or existing ones have greatly improved. 

b) I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. And more importantly: what creates the least (cognitive) overhead.

In the next series of posts I will demonstrate how  you can cherry-pick ideas from this guide and, bit by bit, advance your technical prowess in online teaching.

The goal of this guide is to show you how you can create more professional looking & sounding live streams with several free tools.

Why?

Teams (and other teaching apps) only have two “views”:

a) your camera

b) optional: a specific screen or monitor you can share

Especially step B is always cumbersome:

  • It’s not easy to elegantly switch between programs while teaching.
  • You can’t really create a nice looking overview of several programs in parallel on screen/ After a few minutes my screen is cluttered with open programs everywhere.
  • You can’t also add live sketches etc.
  • You can’t “hide” parts of your screen, or prepare a program before students see it (unless you use an extra screen)

Setup

Basically, I’d like to be a director that has total control over what the student is going to see & hear. 

What I want is

a) a virtual camera 

b) a virtual mic

By having a virtual camera and virtual mic I can choose what is send to my streaming software. We’ll use the following two free tools that deliver that functionality:

The cool thing about “virtual” things is that you can cascade them, creating several tools in succession to create your online classes. For example. I actually put two more, optional, applications right in front of Voicemeeter and OBS:

  • XSplit Vcam: to remove myself from the background (and the only paid app in this guide)
  • Krisp.IO: to remove noise kids from the background (partially free, but worth every penny)

In the next part I will explain how to setup OBS and use it as a virtual camera

3 thoughts on “Remote teaching in 2021 – Part 1 (setup)

  1. I highly recommend this inspirational video where you can also cherry pick some neat ideas. Note: only works when you schedule actual meetings in Teams, not when you use the “meet now” option!

    Like

    1. Hanselman is the one who originally put me on track on discovering how to improve my technical prowess in these matters! Thanks for the link!

      Like

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