When starting out and to help set yourself up, you can use my zoom account, unless you already have a paid for account - once you are up and running I would ask that you set your own account up in order that others can access the account. - Login details are below
Skill Share Sessions can be run through the room application available on Facebook - see Skill Share Session Page
Thank you to Xenia for creating this techi tutorial for us
What do you need
The very least you need to set yourself up to teach online are:
mobile phone with a good camera
stand for mobile phone
laptop or tablet with a good camera
decent internet connection
plain or neutral work surface
There are a lot of options given to suit all budgets - it may even be worth asking in the staffroom is anyone has stuff they want to sell on, especially if they have upgraded.
Here is a small list of items you may need to start your classes. - including items recommended by Xenia, I have added a few more items that I have found useful, or alternatives -
Your work surface is as important as anything else when filming or photographing tutorials, a plain light colour works best. Coloured surfaces such as the green work boards can fight with colours, especially red and cause distortion to the way it is captured on screen.
There a range of options from chopping boards you can buy in your local supermarket to self-seal boards (although it is hard to find one that has a plain side in a light colour, so bear that in mingd when searching) or silicon mats, although not so great when using a scalpel to the more expensive
60cm x 45cm chopping board - extra large heavy weight board
You will need at least the very basic stand to ensure you are providing a good view of your work area to your students - I've included the ring light here that Xenia uses in her tutorial, but you will need to have a cabinet to fix it to vertically if you are thinking of this option.
An ideal starting point - the phone can also be turned upside down and placed on a pile of sugarpaste tubs or books to film down onto your work area
Clip to your table and film over head - the arm is flexible to position where you want
A dual purpose tripod, which can be used as a traditional tripod or the top will flip over to allow over-head filming on the table top
A sturdy table top phone holder - available from The Cake Decorating Company - flexible and robust
A upgrade on the previous Arkon mount - very sturdy table top phone holder - I have this and have an attachment that allows me to connect my camcorder to it.
This gives you a two in one option, lighting and phone mount, but it will need fixing to a cabinet horizontally to use it overhead - this is what Xenia uses in her tutorials - if you need help taking it apart please ask.
Another option for a small ring lights and phone holder £14.99 and £19.99 respectively
You may or may not need a microphone it will depend on the quality of the device you are using. But you may find that it improves the quality of sound your students can hear, and if hearing what students say is a struggle for you, you may wish to consider some bluetooth headphones with a built in microphone.
Will give clarity to your voice, plug into laptop, mobile or tablet
If you do not want wires around you consider a table top microphone that will plug into your laptop or phone jack
Perfect if you don't want any wires at all - as used by Xenia
Lighting is one of the most important elements of both photography and filming, you want good white or day light lighting over your work area to ensure a clear bright picture.
A robust 18" ring light - Xenia has removed the tripod legs and used 'D' rings to fix to the cabinets by her work desk, so that it becomes an overhead light
Another perfect starter kit, although you may need more lighting the ring light is 6"
Bare in mind these lights are big and need space - they can also be a pain if they need to sit beside your chair
Table top lights that could sit on paste tubs or books to give them some height if needed
Logitech webcams are some of the best on the market and as Xenia has shown us there is a programme that gives you flexibility to add text, swap camera's and have split screens. However they are at the higher end of the market.
If you are using a laptop and the camera isn't so great, you might want to consider a webcam as a cheap alternative to your second camera, and if you just want something basic I would suggest taking a look on Amazon and filtering them for customer reviews, there are plenty with 5 stars that are around the £25 / £30 bracket, there are a few that come with a mini tripod too.
A more advanced method of filming allowing you to have split screens
Another advanced webcam to allow streaming
If using webcams like Xenia (Logitech) then you can the Logitech Capture program which allows you to change the lighting, add words plus stream and record with both webcams.
This an alternative cheaper option if you just need a better camera to attach to your laptop
What to Teach
We want to ensure there is a wide variety of classes, it would be beneficial to the student if they could follow the project as we would teach them face to face, so starting at project one.
If you are a Skill Share Teacher with your own students, you can encourage them to book onto your classes, these would still be scheduled on the calendar but marked as 'sold out' - if you have a previously 'sold out' class to your own students you will be able to allocate that time slot on the calendar as we can run more than one class in a time slot.
Subjects can be ongoing and repeated - think of it as an online school but small live classes
Subjects to teach
Cake Minds Projects
Content Creator Projects
Introduction to Sugarcraft Skills - what it is useful to know if you've not used sugarpaste before (there will be a video in the Welcome Magazine, but they can also have the option to sign up to an online class if they are still unsure - this might be an hours class at a reduced rate) - see note below
Basic Cake Decorating Skills - that need longer than the Link Up Meetings allow - see note below
Bake together - basic cakes / cupcakes etc - see note below
- these need to be submitted and confirmed by Rhu and come under the Cake Minds Banner
Scheduling your Class
Scheduling your class - there shouldn't be an issue if teachers time-slots clash, but no more than two is preferred in one time slot and classes need to be different, unless previously booked by the Skill Share Teachers students
You will be invited to submit your preferred times and projects in order of preference two months in advance. The number of slots available will depend on factors such as
number of students on our database
how many classes each teacher would like to teach
what projects are being taught, we need a good cross-section
Classes will be run through the Cake Minds Zoom Account and once scheduled you will be sent a link to your class to share with your students.
Students will book directly with the teacher and they will be responsible for any payments for the class, it is strongly advised that payment is taken on booking.
Student Members of Cake Minds will have first priority to book at least six weeks in advance, there will be a cut off deadline where unfilled places can be offered out to non-members at a higher rate - £45 (this is to encourage membership)
Communication with Students taking classes
Each class will have a materials list - and this should be sent to the student once they have paid, Yourself or the students Skill Support Teachers can help advise where there are any questions regarding materials and equipment.
A reminder email is recommended at least one week before the class is due for any last min items they may need.
It is highly recommended that classes are started 15 mins prior to the start time to ensure they have everything they need - water, glue, trex etc
There are a few posts in the staffroom on how teachers have set up their own online classes. If you go to 'Topics' and select online classes, they should pop up for you. Finding the best way for you may take a bit of research, but there is plenty of help in the staffroom and from me.