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teaching online – our technology

July 18th, 2023

Teaching Online

Most of what I learned, I was taught by my student Mizael who developed his skills as a gamer. Best advice is listed here:

#1  get a camera separate from your laptop. Research what you want.  I wanted something that had speakers and good range for meetings as well as  teaching.

#2 add a second monitor so you can keep track of your Zoom window, your OBS window, your teaching resources. Everyone has to configure their monitors to their preference. I like to have my camera and ZOOM window as close as possible so it looks like I am looking AT my students.  Then I have my laptop just below the ZOOM window so I can glance down at my various windows and notes on my table.

If you haven’t used ZOOM – it’s simple. Nothing fancy to it.

OBS (online broadcasting software – is free!) took me some time to learn.  You will want a green screen (we have everything from a sheet to an actual popup screen) and sufficient lighting.   Think of the green screen as your whiteboard.  This will be behind you (or in front of you).  You will see it on the screen and can interact with it.  I still turn around thinking I will SEE the words on the screen and then run into the GREEN screen! There is a learning curve and I am learning.

I use my external fancy webcam in conjunction with OBS then set OBS as my webcam (start virtual camera). Watch a video and it will all come together for you. Lots of videos about setting up OBS and using the FILTERS to get your colors and resources all neatly organized.

#3 I find it helpful to have a document camera also.  I keep a sketchbook on the table to the right of my laptop and an assortment of markers and colors.  Sometimes I print the page we will be working on and use the doc cam to show what I want my student to do.  Sometimes I want them to draw a graph or diagram and I can show them a sample.  Sometimes I want to share a book I haven’t scanned yet. Document camera is a great asset.

#4 I prefer a mouse to a touchpad but now I have a touch screen and I am getting better at the touchpad.  Also I am learning to use a  pen+tablet as a mouse – it’s touchy so I haven’t gotten precise yet.

Amazon Kindle online reader

I use this almost every day – placing the window for the reading material on the OBS screen as a source and then reading, pointing out words.  Better still if the remote student has the book or accesses the material in their kindle or on their screen also.

OneDrive Live  

I upload everything to the cloud so I can share with my remote students. They can access the PDF files I make so we can work together.  Their moms most often print the pages which is nice.  I put the PDF on the OBS screen as a resource and then use a Huion Inspiroy H430P pen tablet to write on the actual PDF file on the computer.

Google Doc

I use a Google Doc every lesson to interact in writing with my students. I do this even if we are in class together so they can see their writing and my replies.  Save by NAME SUBJECT YEAR MONTH DATE SUBJECT and you will have files to go back to and reuse. Many classes, I change the NAME and reuse with another student.  I have to go through and remove personal references.  You could save a TEMPLATE and make life easier.  I tend to do things the hard way.

Here is a Google Doc I used to teach about this book: The Dog That Dug For Dinosaurs.  I hope the link works for you.

Here is a youtube video of me teaching a Bible verse.  I am have PowerPoint on the screen behind me. Used the external camera and recorded by OBS video.

Check out Christian School For the Deaf – YouTube for more videos we have done.

In another attempt, I added the captions using WonderShare Filmora software.

I am still working on how to use Google classroom.

I am still collecting resources like interactive games online that we can play.

These two have potential to share the site then draw, write, play tic-tac-toe together:  Sketchpad – Draw, Create, Share!     and   Ziteboard