It takes a lot to teach online. Every single thing I do in a typical lesson has had to be adapted for working remotely. Procedures have changed. My teaching space and office has been rearranged more times than I can count to improve work flow and ergonomics. All my handouts and music scores are in the process of being converted to digital formats. And now, add on the very important tasks of keeping up with frequent software updates and tech troubleshooting. Currently, I work almost as many hours off-camera as I do on-camera.
Over the last three months, I have been tweaking my online teaching processes and upgrading my gear for a better student experience. I have added a new height-adjustable rolling work table that has become my digital teaching centre. My laptop hosts the video calls and provides one camera view. A webcam provides a side view of me at the keyboard, and another webcam provides an overhead view of my hands at the keyboard. I have added a second computer monitor and iPad, which gives me a better digital whiteboard and the ability to mark up homework and music scores when screen sharing during a lesson. The digital white board sketches are easily saved and added to student homework emails. And I use a cardioid condenser mic, USB audio interface, and studio monitors for audio.
The new teaching year have launched very smoothly, allowing my students to settle into their new back-to-school experiences. I am still learning, planning, and dreaming for how to make online lessons even better.