September 2020

Håkon Robbestad Gylterud

2020–09–04, Friday

Lecturing from the comfort of my home today – what a time to be alive!

My lecture started 08:15 in the morning, and it was a nice experience to sit comfortably and stream my lecture to the students – who perhaps also were sitting comfortably.

No early morning bike ride in the rain. No stressing with the HDMI connection and projector resolutions. Just sitting down in my home office, with everything set up the night before, pressing Start streaming and wait for the students to join.

Actually, I spent quite some time during spring preparing for this possibility. So, my home office can now double as a streaming studio. Here is what I did:

Learning OBS is definitely the most bang for buck thing I did. OBS is free (in every sense) and is just such a great tool for composing video directly. It can even be used as a virtual webcam, feeding into video conference programs – even Zoom.

The A5100 is a great camera for streaming, since it has a clean HDMI output: No focus boxes or HUD elements plastered onto it. With the elgato I get 1080p and 50fps in through a USB 3.0 port.

The caveats with streaming using the A5100 are:

But earnestly, I do not think streaming should be the default way of lecturing any time soon. And the reason I think so has little to do with me the lecturerer. Nor does it have anything to do with the tech – which worked great! But my opinion is that the students need to meet physically.

When you go to a lecture you see that you are not alone about learning this stuff. And you get to know the other students, and talk with them during breaks. You let your eyes wonder across the room and look at all the faces. And perhaps you find a face you really like, and which you migth work up the courage to talk to one of these days.

For humans, there is so much motivation in this! If everything is online, you don’t get that motivation to see the lecture. And you do not learn something accedentally because you overheard those on the row in front of you discuss their solution to an exercise, tête-à-tête.

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