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Friday, August 7, 2020

My Distance Learning Setup, 2020

 And so the adventure begins!

This year begins my 11th year in education and my 9th year as a Special Education High School Teacher. 

It's hard to believe that it's already year 11.

Given the unique circumstances of distance learning, I think all of us as teachers are feeling the charge for the start of this year.

I thought I'd do a quick blog post about my distance learning setup for the new school year. 

As a district, we did full distance learning in the Spring using Zoom. It was a clunky process (as it was for all of us), but in time I think I've accumulated all of the equipment I need to feel comfortable about instructing at home. I've used this equipment for instruction, case management, and also when I had the opportunity to present at a couple conferences in the Spring. 

Here is a list of the equipment I'll be using this school year:

- iMac Mid-2011 (USED - Craigslist in SF a couple of years ago, $350)

- Logitech C920 webcam HD1080 (NEW - Facebook Marketplace, $100)

- Lvit Smart Phone Stand Type, Ring Light (NEW - $28.99 on Amazon

- CMTECK USB Desktop Computer Microphone (USED - $10 on Craigslist)

- Airpods (not pictured - NEW - $134.99 from Best Buy)

Logitech C920 Webcam, a little of an investment, but I needed a refresher from the grainy FaceTime HD Camera.
LVIT - Ring Light - when the room is dark or when I'm presenting for whatever reason
CMTECK Desktop Microphone - I got this mostly for creating Quicktime videos and presenting, I will need to see the audio quality of the Airpods before I totally do away with this. I was pretty happy with the audio quality in the Spring.

As you can tell, I'm a big fan of buying used, which takes a lot of trust. However, I recently bought an iMac Late-2011 model for my daughter for distance learning that cost us $150. I've loved all Mac's I've had and they've lasted so long that I'm willing to take the risk. I'm due for a new Macbook Pro soon (I have a Mid-2011 model), which I think will be important. This setup is great for now, but there will be times this semester when I know that I'll need to go outside for meetings or class due to having another teacher in the house doing Zoom's, and a daughter on distance learning, and a toddler. :) I'm hoping to get one soon!

The Airpods are a new addition and a gift to myself. I really should have had them in the Spring since I would need to wait by the computer all the time to check in for Case Management appointments, etc. It got to be such a drag and was so difficult as we were all initially settling into quarantine with organizing outdoor time, snacks, lunches, etc. with the kids.

What does your distance learning setup look like? Have you made any great used finds to support you in this new endeavor? Drop it in the comments if you care to share. 

Well, my daughters are almost awake now so it's time to get the day started including the snack bag and figuring out our outdoor destination for the day! Be well and have a good one.

- Kristine

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