Updated: Feb 11
Make sure your background is free from distractions. It seems silly, but a student may actually get distracted based on your background. You'll end up hearing words like, "Who is that in your picture?" So, grab a couple of books, a plant, and leave the rest of the space behind you blank. When you're in the Zoom room, think about what's behind you.
Head, Shoulders, Neck, and Face
I've already talked about head, shoulders, neck, and face when we try to teach our kids what should be in the screen. When we are in the video, we have to think of the same thing. We don't want our students taught by bobble heads. We want to replicate what we would look like if we were sitting next to them. We want our head, neck, shoulders, face, and half of our chest facing them and in the screen.
Best Lighting is a Window
It's best to have natural light coming in from in front of you. Let's face it though, some of us work at night or in our basement. Not the best natural light. You can easily buy a $20 ring light from Amazon that will work perfectly to pop in front of you. I suggest getting one that slides into a USB port and has adjustable lighting settings.
Avoid Virtual Backgrounds
I advise to avoid virtual backgrounds altogether, especially the motion ones that can cause your students to develop headaches. It can also distort the items you are trying to hold up to the screen. Sorry to say, but you need to say goodbye to the beach scenes unless it's absolutely necessary because you have something going on in your background.
Touch Up Appearance
Zoom has a great feature which allows you to show up brighter for the kids or their parents. You can touch up under the meeting settings.
A Bit of Lipstick
It's not necessary, but a bit of lipstick doesn't hurt when you're showing up on video, especially when you're trying to dictate nonsense words. It really helps the movement of your mouth 👄 show for the students so they are able to follow your mouth movements for big clues as they figure out their nonsense words.
I hope these video tips help you show up better on video. I love to help others optimize video and only use a document camera to teach online by putting away the technology. Reach out to me if you'd like one-on-one coaching. If it's your first time, I'll even send you a promo code. I also have some coaching packages to help you start off your new year.
Don't forget to sign up for my free Document Camera training on February 8, hosted by Reading with TLC. It's from 7-8:30 pm EST, so it will be easy to attend. I hope to see you then so I can share more video tips to decrease tech and increase engagement with your kids.SIGN UP HERE
Here's a fun, free Valentine "roll and spell" game for you to play with your students. Comment below and let me know you like it! Click HERE for access.
Have a great week!