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How to easily record your lectures with Catchbox microphones
Class recordings are a great way to turn lessons into lasting resources for students. Find out how a wireless lecture recording microphone system such as Catchbox Plus can make it easy to start recording your classes.
Whether you're instructing your students virtually, in-person, or with some combination of the two, there are lots of reasons to consider recording your lectures from creating reusable content to helping students learn. Mainly, a recorded lecture gives all students an invaluable resource that they can study to revise or use to catch up with lessons they may have missed.
In pandemic times, it has become all but a necessity.
That said, lecture capture can still feel intimidating – you need to find lecture recording equipment, learn how to set it up, and make sure it's suitable for your particular environment, be it recording a lecture on a laptop at home or capturing one in a full classroom.
The reality is that it's not that difficult and we'll walk you through 6 basic steps so you can record your lectures with confidence. But first – what tools do you need?
Microphone for lecture capture
Audio is the most important part of the lecture. So, whether you're recording at home or in a lecture hall, you need a solution that can not only capture what you say perfectly but also record what the students are contributing during class.
The Catchbox Plus system, which includes the throwable Audience mic and the wearable Presenter mic, is ideal for doing just that.
Crucially, using the Audience mic ensures that audio from in-person students is picked up clearly for all to hear when listening to the recording. The lecture recording microphone is plug-and-play, which means you can simply plug it in and start using it at home or in class without any complicated setups.
As to the camera – virtually any laptop camera will suffice, but splurging on a more expensive video lecture recording setup will certainly be appreciated by students. Once again, we advise going for plug-and-play solutions to avoid any setup headaches.
Finally, platforms such as Panopto make it easy for teachers to share lecture recordings with students.
We're rolling! 6 steps to using Catchbox Plus to record your classes
1. Search for inspiration from your colleagues
Before creating a recording, start by looking for inspiration from your colleagues. Collaboration is key as an educator, and often your co-workers will have great ideas and tips to offer. We'll also share additional tips below in this article that can help you record lectures in high quality from your own home.
2. Prepare your lecture capture equipment for recording
When you've prepared your lesson plan and are ready to teach and record your lecture, you'll need to take just a few minutes to get your Catchbox Plus system ready to record. Start by plugging in the power to the receiver and using the USB cable to connect the receiver to your computer or laptop. Then, remove the microphone from the cover, turn on the receiver, and turn on the transmitter on the microphone. Set the volume to your desired level, and return the lecture capture microphone back to the cover.
With the Catchbox receiver connected to your computer, you'll be ready to begin recording your lectures for your students. Catchbox microphones can also be used with the likes of Zoom and Microsoft teams in order to livestream lessons for students.
3. Find an optimal recording location
Choosing an optimal recording location, either in your classroom or home is important. Try to find a quiet area that is also well lit (if you are planning on recording video as well). Set up your computer and configure your audio input settings so you are ready to go.
This configuration also sounds more intimidating than it really is. All you have to do is select Catchbox as the audio input, when, for example, joining a Zoom meeting. That's it.
Still, you may want to do a test recording to verify that your recording is clear and ready for the real thing.
4. Record and take notes in real-time
After your space and equipment are set up, you're ready to begin recording your lecture. Simply hit record on your computer and begin your lecture. If you're using a platform like Panopto, you will also be able to take notes in real-time as you teach to accompany your lecture to help students make connections and maximize the value they get from your lesson.
5. Transcribe your recording
Next, replay your lecture and create a transcription to accompany it. A transcription is a written recap of what you said and covered during the lecture and will offer students an additional resource they can consult when reviewing your lesson.
This is by no means mandatory. But if you're keen to do this, you can make use of online audio transcription tools so you don't have to do it by hand.
6. Review your notes and transcription file
Finally, take a few moments to review your lecture recording, notes, and transcription files. Once everything looks good, upload them to your lecture capture platform and share with your students.
Tips for lecture capture from home
All of the steps discussed in the previous section apply to recording at home, as well. You'll still need a lecture capture microphone for great audio. You'll still need your webcam. And transcripts are still a great idea.
That said, there's a bit more maneuverability when recording from home, and some educators might not feel as comfortable in front of the laptop as they are in front of a classroom. So here are some extra tips.
Determine which device you plan to use to record your lectures. Computers, tablets, or smartphones are all options to consider as they are designed with a built-in camera. Recording a lecture on a laptop or computer is often preferred by educators since you'll also be able to integrate slides and other content into your lectures.
Gather any additional equipment you'll need for your recordings. Most schools will allow teachers to take equipment such as lecture recording microphones and document cameras home if it will help improve class and recording quality. Catchbox plus can be easily connected to a PC or laptop via USB, so be sure to use your Presenter mic when recording from home!
Set up your recording location. Look for a quiet space that won't be affected by too much background noise. When possible, consider recording earlier in the morning or at night if you live in a busier area. Choose smaller spaces to reduce echoing and consider adding some sound-absorbing materials to the space like soft window curtains, padded furniture, or area rugs.
Prepare for your lecture. If you aren't used to making video recordings, you may want to create a script or outline to keep yourself on track and make sure you cover the necessary material.
Try to keep your lectures as short as possible to help students stay focused throughout the entire lesson. Videos that are six minutes or shorter will be much more effective than longer videos. If you need to cover multiple concepts, consider making a few shorter videos rather than one overly long one.
As you record, try to look up into the camera as much as you can. If your eyes are looking at the screen, your students will think you are looking down and won't feel as engaged during the lesson.
Make your video accessible to all students. Add captions or transcriptions to go along with the video after you record it. This will help hearing-impaired students follow along, but it can also serve as a good resource for visual learners or other students who may want to read and follow along.
When creating or selecting visuals to accompany your lecture, choose ones with contrasting colors to ensure students are able to clearly read or view what you share.
Recording your classes is a great way to ensure your students can revisit lessons and learnings whenever at a later time – just make sure the content is intelligible by using good lecture recording equipment.
Catchbox Plus makes lecture capture easy with USB connectivity and a unique way to capture audio from both teachers and students. Whether recorded at home or in the classroom, teachers can embrace technology and turn every class into a lasting resource for students.
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Transform your hybrid learning setup & improve student reintegration with Catchbox. Our microphone solutions are eligible for funding under the CARES act and American Rescue Plan. Speak to our team for more information.