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    • #4174
      Laura Berlage

      class examplesWhat your camera can see when it points at you or at your hands working is what students will see.  These should be the “staged” and well-lit spaces.

      Anything that is beyond this is “off-frame” and available for other purposes.

      It can be difficult to guess what is off-frame, so set up your camera, point it as desired (see more tips in the exercises for this section).  Stretch our your hands and arms until they just disappear off your screen, then notice where that lands in the room around you.  As soon as your hands leave the viewable space, anything beyond that has potential.

      I love learning exactly where my off-frame spaces are because these become where I have all my materials, resources, examples, and tools lined up and ready to go.  It’s never any fun to hoof off to grab something right in the middle of class all the time.  If you keep it within reach, your approach will be much more smooth on camera, and you’ll be less frustrated as well.

      Here are examples of some of my favorite items to have close at hand but not on camera:

      • My roster (and contact info for the host organization if something goes awry).
      • Examples and mockups for all or at least most of my classes, so I can show additional examples or promo what’s coming up on the schedule.
      • Books I often reference during classes, with additional books referenced infrequently situated a little further away as backup.
      • Materials for my demonstrations and pieces-in-progress for demonstrations.  For instance, I have a square tote for all my tapestry looms for classes, while I use another for all my punch needle frames etc.
      • Tools and small supplies such as needles, thread, punches, pens, scissors, tape measure, weaving combs and bobbins, crochet hooks, threaders, etc.  Extra warp if something breaks.  A second scissors or pen in case you set one down during class and then can’t figure out where it went (usually on the floor for you to find later).
      • Post-it notes in case I need to write down a scheduling change or a student recommended resource on the fly.
      • My phone, in case I need to relay an emergency to family (or be reached about one)–volume waaaaay down.
      • Patterns, designs, and project notes to reference during different classes.
      • Whiteboard and dry erase markers for drawing diagrams during classes.  Magic erasers (white, foam-like cleaning supply, just use it dry) work wonders for fast and very bright cleaning of whiteboards.
      • Kleenexes!  Saved me many times!  Lip balm and a comb have also come in handy.
      • A discreet waste basket that is always off camera.
      • A piece of black felt, in case a particular project is more easily seen with a dark background compared with my wood table.  If you work on a dark table, a light background adjustment might sometimes come in handy.  Felt does not reflect the light, so it won’t gather up “hot spots” and other annoyances.
      • Gooseneck Ottlites that allow me to bring in extra light that is adjustable, especially pointing at my work surface.

      What will be especially handy for you to have within reach that student’s can’t see?  What would most augment the fluidity of class and make it easy for you to locate and use items and resources, instead of scramble in frustration?  How might you creatively organize or set up the space outside the view of the camera to facilitate your teaching?  I’m all ears!

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