How to Film an Online Class – 7 Easy Tips
By now, the chances are you’ve probably had to get on at least a couple of video calls or had to figure out how to record a video or two for your class. As an educator, we know you want the video you produce to be good but trying to figure it out on your own can feel overwhelming. So here are seven easy tips on how to film an online class.
The basics of how to film an online class
1 – Dress Appropriately
On social media, there are countless stories of folks that were dressed in business attire on top and then stood up to get something and revealed they were in their pajama bottoms. The moral of the story is, don’t get too comfortable and dress like you would in your classroom.
2 – Have a clean background
If a lot is happening behind you in the background, it is a distraction for your students. Eliminate the distractions by cleaning up what is behind you. For best results, have the camera pointed towards a wall or backdrop.
3 – Limit distractions
You want to limit distractions for yourself. We recommend recording in a room that is secluded from pets and family. Also, make sure to silence notifications on your phone and computer.
4 – A comfortable chair and desk space
If you use a card table and folding chair, it will only work for a short while. Do yourself a favor and get a chair that supports your back correctly and a desk that is at the proper height. It may seem like a small thing, but it will improve your energy and posture when presenting.
5 – A quiet space
Working from home is especially challenging. It is inevitable some household noise that will occur throughout the recording. Try your best to minimize these noises by designating a room or area of your home for recording. For best results, find a room that is carpeted or has other soft furnishings. These items soak up sound waves and help minimize room echo in your recordings.
Tech for improving your online classroom
6 – Better audio quality
This one goes hand in hand with point number 5. After you have a quiet space, consider upgrading your microphone. If your phone came with or if you purchased earbuds that include a mic, you can start with that. These options aren’t the best but are typically far better than using your computer’s internal microphone. Pro tip – we recommend purchasing a USB microphone. These microphones allow you to position the microphone closer to your mouth and do a much better job of canceling out unwanted sounds.
*For your convenience, here are a few links to the types of microphones that are available.
- UHURU Professional PC Streaming Cardioid Microphone Kit
- Rode NT-USB Mini USB Microphone
- Rode NT-USB USB Microphone
7 – Natural or supplemental lighting
Good lighting can take almost any webcam setup and transform it into something that looks truly professional. When possible, set your desk next to a window and turn off all other lights in the room (only during daytime hours of course). Indoor light bulbs emit light at different color temperatures. Some look bright white, while others have an amber tint. These varying colors throw off your camera and can make your skin look funny. By setting up next to a window, the natural light evenly lights up your face and with no other light in the background, the camera knows how to interpret the colors properly.
If natural lighting is not an option, but you want better lighting, a video light or lighting kit may be a good option for you. When buying a video lighting kit, here are three things to keep in mind.
- Dimmable – make sure the brightness of the light can be adjusted.
- Color temperature control – This feature helps you match the color temperature of the other lights around you.
- Adjustable positioning – Make sure you can position the light where you need it when you need it.
*For your convenience, here are a few links to some lights that are available.
Want more help setting up your online classroom? Then check out our free webinar From Brick to Click.
*DISCLAIMER: The product links in this article are not affiliate links, and this is not an official endorsement of these products. These links are here to provide the readers of this blog with a good starting point of equipment we believe should work well. Buying any of the products listed above is at your own risk. Should they not perform properly, Lighthouse Therapy is not to be held liable in any way. We recommend that you do additional research for any product you intend to purchase.
Post by: Mark Wallenwine, Director of Marketing, Lighthouse Therapy