This is critical! There is nothing worse than trying to take part in a conversion or listening to an explanation and the connection keeps breaking down. So do ensure that your internet connection is not going to let you down.
This is also crucial to being able to learn online. A phone is alright, but the bigger the screen the better you will be able to see what is happening in the demonstrations etc. So a desktop computer or laptop will help no end. If you have a tablet that’s great too, but the images on screen will be a bit smaller so that’s worth bearing in mind.
If you will be working in a different part of the house with your sewing machines etc, you may need a wifi booster or extender to enable the connection to work effectively wherever you are. Just check to make sure your internet signal will reach you wherever you’ll be working.
Most laptops will have an integrated webcam which is great for just chatting, but having a separate one can make it much easier for me to see what you are working on, both on a desk and at the sewing machines. It will save you having to hold up your work to the camera on your computer or tablet, so you may wish to consider one of these. They are not expensive, I have added a few links below if you want to have a look at them.
If you are going to use a separate webcam having a flexible stand is a must. As this will really allow you to show very clearly what you are working on both at a desk and at the sewing machines. Again I have listed a few links below if you want to have a look.
Most laptops and tablets will have an integrated microphone so you will be able to join in any conversions. But if you would prefer to have a bit of privacy you may prefer to use a headset with its own microphone so only you can hear what is happening online.
A few other things you may wish to consider when setting up your online learning environment.
It’s not just you I will need to be able to see, but what you are doing. So make sure that you position the webcam so I can see what you are doing. It’s fine to move things around as we go and it will be a bit of an experiment to see what works best for you at home.
It’s also more comfortable if you can position your camera at eye height so you do not have to look down all the time as this can put a bit of a strain on your neck and back.
It’s always best to work in an area with good lighting so you can clearly see what you are doing. But it’s also vital that I can see what you’re doing too. So this may mean having to change the lighting slightly as direct lighting behind you will make you appear in shadow. Again this will be a bit of a work in progress and may change as we have more online sessions and you become more familiar with the set up.
Just check that the microphones you have are working effectively and be aware of any background noises too, as this may affect your ability to hear and be heard in the sessions clearly. Headsets often include their own microphone and this can be a much clearer way of joining the online sessions.