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Mastering the Art of Live Streaming Classes: A Step-by-Step Guide for Educators

Education is no longer what it was just a few years ago. The global pandemic transformed this sector in ways people never could have imagined before that event. Modern educators must now know how to deliver live streaming classes effectively, as more students make use of this option. Remote learning isn’t as common as it was during the pandemic, but many people today rely on hybrid models of learning. Educators must keep up and ensure the course content is delivered seamlessly. How can an educator become a live streaming pro when they already have too many things on their plate? It all lies in the details.

Choosing a Platform

When choosing a live stream platform for use in the classroom, educators need one that is easy to use. Students and teachers must be able to navigate the platform without difficulty. This platform should offer reliable audio and video quality, as technician issues disrupt the learning process. In addition, the educator must ensure the platform works across multiple devices.

Security and privacy have to be top priorities when choosing this platform, particularly when minors will use it. Password protection, waiting rooms, and participant moderation features are essential. Choose a platform that offers classroom capture with breakout rooms, screen sharing, and virtual whiteboards to encourage students to interact with the teacher.

Money is always a concern in the educational sector. Some platforms offer free plans, but subscription services offer more features. Find the right balance between cost and features while confirming the plan can be scaled as needed. Class sizes often change over time, so this scalability will probably increase in importance.

Equipment Selection

Educators might assume one way to save money would be to use a tablet, smartphone, or laptop to deliver this material. While these devices have that capability, they don’t deliver high-quality productions. Students will quickly tune out when there are audio and video issues. A professional-looking live stream is made with the help of quality equipment.

Confirm the internet provider can handle the live stream, as an unreliable connection spells doom for the broadcast. Test this connection before going live. Use individual cameras and microphones for each person presenting during the event and look into adding extra lighting to ensure all participants and materials can be clearly seen. A ring light is one option although there are many others. Educators should start with essential equipment, familiarize themselves with this equipment, and add to the basic setup as their skills increase.

Optimize the Classroom

A class being taught via a live stream has plenty of distractions. Many of these distractions come from the student’s environment but not all do. The virtual classroom must be set up so it engages the students and doesn’t distract them further. A quiet, well-lit space is always the best option. Keep the background clean and free of clutter.

Try different angles before going live to see which views work best and appeal to the students. Learn how to use the various platform features so time isn’t spent playing with the streaming device while the students wait. Once their attention is lost, it’s hard to get them to engage again.

An Engaging Presentation Style

Teaching via live stream is different from teaching students in a classroom. The educator must maintain eye contact with the camera. Speak loudly and clearly, doing so with enthusiasm. Students also need to see gestures and body language. Now is not the time to sit behind a desk and deliver the material in a monotone. Students will quickly lose interest and turn their minds to other things.

Visual aids help to engage students. Use slides, images, and videos to capture and keep the students’ attention. Only use visual elements that are clear and concise. They need to add to the learning experience to be effective.

Audience participation is important when live streaming material. Polls, question-and-answer sessions, and breakout rooms allow for more participation while engaging the students. When an audience member has a question, take time to answer it. Provide feedback in real-time to ensure a dynamic learning environment that includes all students.

Technical Challenges

Educators focus on teaching students. Unless they are educating others on video production, they may not be very familiar with live streaming equipment and other technical aspects of production. When a problem arises, which it probably will, the teacher should be able to do some basic troubleshooting. This problem might be a camera or microphone malfunction, internet connectivity issues, or a glitch in the platform. Every teacher should have a plan to handle these issues quickly and minimize disruptions to the learning environment.

Request Feedback

The best way to improve the remote learning experience is through ongoing feedback. Ask students what they liked and disliked about the live stream and use this information to improve future broadcasts. Experiment with new techniques to see if they provide better results and continuously strive to enhance the learning experience for students.

Network with Others

Students aren’t the only ones who can help educators improve their live streams. Talk with other educators to learn what has worked for them and what hasn’t. Most educators find they are in the same boat. They had to learn this technology rapidly during the pandemic and didn’t have time to experiment and see what students liked and disliked. This technology has been used for a few years and will be used well into the future. Educators have a better grasp on it and have learned what works and what doesn’t. Sharing this information with others in the industry is priceless.

A person cannot learn how to host a successful live stream overnight. Too many variables come into play for this to happen. However, with time and effort, any educator can master the art of live streaming and provide students with a dynamic, engaging, and effective learning experience. Be patient and embrace the learning process. This is what teachers tell students every day and now the tables are turned. Appreciate what is learned from this experience beyond the live streaming skills being developed.

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