This post is for fellow fiber event teachers who are continually trying to figure out how to best serve our students.
Giving students individual attention is really important, and I will continue to do this, but recently I’ve discovered the joys of teaching with live video projection. Students really like it. At the same time, everyone in the classroom can see my hands moving, demonstrating something in particular.
Teachers need to ask for their host venue to have a projector and screen, or, for smaller rooms, a large flatscreen ready for them. A video-camera, smartphone, or ipad (anything with quality video taping ability) + proper device-to-projector connecting cords + tripod + black background = all you need.
I wish I had a smartphone, but I don’t. So I tote my small Canon video camera with me to events. With it are a black shirt that serves as my background, one cord to output video (no sound needed) to the projector, and my makeshift tripod.
You’ll need to set it up at home first to be certain you have what you need. The advantage to my camera is that it has a remote zoom and a light, so I can get really close! Students can see individual stitches even in a large room. The tripod was going to be an issue for me financially, so I used something I already owned. I used the stand to my dress-maker’s form. It has a stable base. It collapses somewhat for travel. And, importantly, it has an “arm” to which I can attach the camera directly overhead my hands, about 24 inches above the table top.
Here are some photos from recent events. I used it at Vogue Live in Chicago in a huge room, the Empire Room.
And I used it in a more typical event classroom setting at Interweave Knitting Lab in San Mateo. I plan to use it at future Stitches events, and wherever I go. I just love this teaching tool.
Here is a student, Martine (spelling?) helping me out.
Just set the camera to record, without taping anything. I keep the camera plugged in, as opposed to relying on battery life, and I bring an Ott-light in case conditions require it. One could use a web-camera or a document projector as well, but I think those of you already owning and iPad or iPhone will be ready to try this.