Categories
Setup

Video Recording Tips

The following YouTube videos may help you as you plan and prepare for recording your videos.

  1. Video Recording Methods
  2. Create Higher Quality Videos
  3. Additional Tips

Video recording methods

Recording Videos options for the KOTESOL 2020 National Conference

This video introduces a FOUR methods you can employ to create online content for the KOTESOL 2020 National Conference. We are still working out logistics, so please continue to check the National Conference website for updates.

  1. NC 2020 intro: (0:35)
  2. Recording with YouTube: (5:40)
  3. Recording in the classroom: (8:26)
  4. Recording with PowerPoint: (10:12)
  5. Recording with OBS Studio: (14:50)
  6. Editing options (YouTube, Windows, Mac) (17:19)
Summary
  1. Go Live with YouTube Live (YouTube Live tutorial here) – this requires a “verified” account (verify with a phone number)
    • “Going live” also records your video with your own webcam / mic setup and saves it to YouTube automatically
    • Or upload videos to YouTube after recording
  2. Record videos in the classroom with
    • Your smartphone or DSLR camera
    • A built-in mic or separate (higher quality) mic
    • A tripod or your friend (holding the camera)
  3. Record videos with PowerPoint (but don’t just save it again as a PPTX file, export it as a video file):
    • To export PPT recordings as a video: File → Export → Create movie…
  4. Record videos with OBS Studio (OBS Studio tutorial here)
    • This is the most dynamic way to record television quality videos – depending on your setup and ability
    • Many “career” YouTubers and Twitch streamers use OBS to record their vlogs and streamed game playing
  5. Record videos with Zoom and Screen share (BONUS)
    • This method is one I learned about after making the above video (some Zoom setup tips here):
      1. Create a Zoom room with only yourself
      2. Screen share
      3. Record your presentation

Create Higher Quality Videos

How to record better videos

This video shares my personal setup and methods for recording my classes online. I provide a quick introduction to:

  1. My “studio” (0:17)
  2. Monitor(s) (2:48)
  3. Lighting (5:56)
  4. Microphones (9:21)
  5. Smartphone recording (12:54)
  6. The software that I use (OBS Studio) (15:26)

I hope it gives you some good ideas about how to record your videos at a little higher quality.

Summary
  1. Consider your background – do you want to show your bookcases / wallpaper? Consider:
  2. Consider using two monitors (or if you’re using Zoom, one monitor + your smartphone)
    • This will allow you to record your screen while also paying attention to your webcam or recording software
  3. You need a bright, soft source of light – 45 degrees above your eye-line is perfect, so:
    • Sitting in front of a window is good
    • Or, adding a soft light to the left / right of your eye-line helps
    • But sitting in front of a bright light (behind you) is no good
  4. Improve your sound quality
    1. Stand alone microphones include noise-canceling technology and pick up far better sound quality
    1. Your phone is good at arm’s length, but much farther than that and you should consider a separate mic
    2. Also, consider the space in which you are recording and the sound dynamics and acoustics. A quiet space is best
  5. Seriously consider using your smartphone for recording
    • Most modern smartphones have built in HD cameras, so it’s a great option for high quality video from a device you already own
    • But be cautious about going longer than 30 minutes without a break. My phone records a maximum of 4GB of HD video at a time, and then splits the file before beginning recording again. This is about 30 minutes of HD video. If a presentation lasts longer than this mark, you may have a few seconds missing in the middle when the camera splits the video to a second file.
  6. Again, OBS Studio gives you the most flexibility for recording videos (OBS Studio tutorial here)

Additional Tips

Live Streamed video vs. Zoom vs. Pre-recorded
  • Live Steamed video
    • Lowest quality of the three due to buffering needed on both ends (buffered upload from the streamer, buffered download from the viewer).
    • It will also have a few second delay between what is recorded and what is shown on screen
    • But YouTube does offer options to maximize quality (longer delay), or maximize interactivity (lower quality)
  • Zoom
    • Medium quality video, it will run like a video conference call
    • But, it’s a good idea (if you’re using an app for Zoom – or the YouTube app for Live Streaming) to set your camera as horizontal orientation before beginning. Once you start the call / stream, the orientation might not change, and most software is optimized for horizontal video
  • Pre-recorded
    • Offers the opportunity for the highest quality video, sound, and video elements (depending on your equipment and setup)
    • Affords the ability to edit the video before posting, to cut unnecessary parts or mistakes, or to add in additional elements, effects, overlays, images, or video clips
    • Ultimately is the most difficult to setup and will likely be the most time consuming – depending on how much you want to put into it
Setup considerations
  • Location / room
    • Choose a quiet room, with good lighting
  • Background / backdrop
    • Consider your background – and point the camera in a direction you don’t mind showing, or put up some kind of backdrop
    • Always be mindful of where the camera is pointing and what it is showing (unless you don’t mind)
  • Adequate Lighting
    • You need a bright source of light from the front
    • 45 degrees above your eye-line is perfect (so sit in front of an open window if you can)
    • Or, attach a light or two 45 degrees to your right and left as they will help soften the shadows on your face from an overhead light that is too strong or too directly overhead
  • Framing & camera angle
    • Don’t put your face in the exact center of the shot. Rather employ the rule of thirds to keep your eye-line in the upper-third of the viewport
    • Additionally, remember that cameras that are too low tend to show you with a double-chin. There’s a reason Instagram models take photos from above their heads. A higher angle (on the top of a computer monitor, or selfie stick) gives you a more attractive appearance on camera
    • Sometimes you may consider putting your laptop computer on top of a stack of books if the laptop camera is too low and pointed up at you.
    • Eye-line or higher is a good angle for the camera.
  • High quality camera (phone / HD webcam)
    • The highest quality camera, and the highest quality settings you can enable on that camera will give you the best video. Just remember the cautions mentioned above about file size.
    • If your webcam is not an HD webcam, perhaps it’s time to invest in one. You can find a good HD webcam for right around 50,000 won.
  • Sound quality (microphone)
    • At arm’s length, most camera mics are OK, but the farther away the camera / mic is, the lower quality the sound. This is because these camera / mic combos don’t employ any kind of noise cancellation
    • Consider purchasing a separate 3.5mm mic for your phone or USB mic for your computer to get a much better sound quality
Software
  • PowerPoint (slides only)
    • When recording a video with PPT, remember:
    • You’ll get slides ONLY
    • You need to Export the file as a Video (and not just save it again as a PPTX)
  • OBS Studio (with talking head)
    • With OBS Studio, you can record:
    • Your screen
    • Your webcam (and overlay it over the screen)
    • Additional cameras
    • Additional monitors
    • A single piece of software
    • Create title and image overlays
    • Play videos and record them
    • Record a single software window
    • OR combine ALL of these (with transitions) into a very dynamic presentation
  • MS Movie Maker (Windows editing)
    • The simplest (and FREE) solution for editing videos in Windows
  • iMovie (Mac editing)
    • The simplest (and FREE) solution for editing videos on Mac
  • Handbrake (convert video files)
    • The simplest (and FREE) solution for converting any video file between a variety of formats
    • Compress huge files into smaller MP4s
  • Audacity (sound editing)
    • The simplest (and FREE) solution for editing or cleaning up sound (MP3s, WAV, etc) for your videos
Categories
Setup

How I Built the #KOTESOL2020 National Conference Website

There are really 3 different websites in question here, and multiple integrated technologies:

  1. KoreaTesol.org (view site)
  2. Kotesolconf.com (view site)
  3. Live.Kotesolconf.com (view site)
  4. WordPress Plugins
  5. Reflection

The conference organizers originally approached me about helping to build the conference website around the beginning of March. That gave us only about 6 weeks to organize everything to transition from an offline conference to an online conference.

KoreaTesol.org

KOTESOL Main website
Purpose & usage:

The Main KOTESOL website is traditionally the “single source of truth” for all KOTESOL Conferences. It usually includes:

  • Conference information & announcements
  • Speaker information and schedule
  • Information on hotels & the surrounding area
  • Presenter & attendee registration
  • Fees & bank transfer information
Limitations:

Unfortunately, the Main KOTESOL website also has various limitations and constraints we tried to work with (or around):

  • Page building and Post writing are stylistically limited
    • This is to maintain better control over the entire website’s design while allowing non-programmers to update the website without breaking things
    • Basically, the Main site acts as a blog, with the same basic design limitations a simple blog would impose
    • It is assumed that most web editors are copy-pasting text from MS Word documents that require minimal formatting
  • The site itself is running a software that was originally released in early 2011. Although the software continues to receive maintenance updates, it is scheduled to reach “End of Life” in November 2021. So, the site is really due for an update.
Needs:

The conference organizers needed a website built quickly that would look great, function well, and not be as limited as the Main website. Basically, they were asking for:

  • A “flashy”, attractive promotional website to spark interest in the conference (kotesolconf.com)
  • A way to limit access to the conference content to only registered attendees (live.kotesolconf.com)
  • Quick information access
  • A site that could be built quickly
  • A way to create and maintain a “Library of Content” including the Live and pre-recorded presentations (YouTube)
  • Tech support before, during, and after the conference
  • Guidance on the various technologies that could be utilized for the conference, and methods to combine them seamlessly into a single online experience for the day of

Therefore, due to the online conference requirements, and the technical (and stylistic) limitations of the Main website, the conference organizers contacted me about helping to create a new website specifically for the conference.

View my original Statement of Work for the project (Mar 18, 2020)


Kotesolconf.com

Conference Promotional website

View code on GitHub

Purpose & usage:
  • A “flashy”, attractive promotional website to spark interest in the conference
  • Quick information access
  • A site that could be built quickly

After the initial contact in the beginning of March, I drafted a Statement of Work by March 18, with a goal of setting the promotional website “live” by April 2 (2 weeks later).

At that time, I only had minimal information about the conference itself, and the invited speakers. But the team wanted to get something up quickly to begin promoting it.

Luckily, I’ve already built 3 other conference websites in a similar manner for Regional conferences we’ve held in Jeonju in 2017 and 2018, as well as the 2019 National Conference, so I already had a template to use that required minimal rebuilding.

How I built it:

Technologies employed:

  • NodeJS
    • an asynchronous event-driven JavaScript runtime environment that compiles webpages out of the browser serves up a very fast and dynamic website
  • ExpressJS Framework
    • the de facto standard server framework for Node, providing routing and other features that make web application development much faster and easier than using only Node
  • Pug templating engine
    • a popular templating engine for Express and Node which compiles files to HTML and utilizes a simplified syntax, which makes the code more readable, and quickly editable. Pug makes it easy to write reusable HTML and render data pulled from a database or API
  • JSON data files
    • the de facto standard JavaScript data-interchange format. It is easy (and enjoyable) for humans to read and write. It is easy for machines to parse and generate.

These days, JavaScript is one of the fastest growing, and most widely used technologies for building websites that are fast, dynamic, and scalable. How this works with the technology stack employed above:

  1. NodeJS runs on the server to compile the JavaScript (Pug) files into static HTML that is readable by the browser when someone visits the website
  2. ExpressJS builds the API we use to access data stored in our JSON “database” files, and it takes care of routing between different webpages
  3. Pug builds the webpage HTML structure and dynamically renders data that is served to it from the Express APIs
  4. JSON holds JavaScript Objects and arrays of Objects that act as our database, which are accessed by Express and passed into Pug. (Basically, the reason JSON is so great is that I can take an Excel file, export it as CSV, and convert it to JSON. Therefore, the JSON file itself is nothing more than a text-only Excel file.)
Advantages:

The reasons the above combination of technologies is so great are:

  1. Very fast to develop (especially since I had already built a template)
  2. Very fast to server, render, view, access
  3. JSON is a joy to use as I can basically reformat any Excel file into a format that I can easily use as my “database” for the site
Limitations:

However, given the time constraints for this project, I was also faced with the following limitations:

  1. Login / registration:
    • Building a custom login / registration with this technology stack is possible, but would require much more time for development / testing, especially when I haven’t previously built this functionality, and there are other viable options already available
  2. Database:
    • Utilizing JSON files as a “database” means that it’s not really a database I’m accessing and updating, but a single file or collection of files. Therefore, this system, built quickly and in the way I’ve built it, does not function as any kind of CMS where I could go into various webpages to update content. Rather, in order to update the website content, I need to go into a particular file, “Search” for the content to update, then re-upload the “database” file to the server.
  3. Content Management System:
    • Because this system does not function as any kind of CMS, it is not optimized for writing articles, announcements, and updates. Therefore, the second “LIVE” site was also required to help satisfy the needs of this project.

LIVE.Kotesolconf.com

LIVE Conference website

View code for the conference WordPress Child Theme

Purpose & usage:
  • A way to limit access to the conference content to only registered attendees (live.kotesolconf.com)
  • Quick information access
  • A site that could be built quickly
  • A way to create and maintain a “Library of Content” including the Live and pre-recorded presentations (YouTube)

The LIVE site addresses the rest of the project “needs” that the promotional site could not. This includes primarily:

  1. Creating / collecting a Library of Content
  2. Locking that Library of Content behind a registration / login page
How I built it:
  • WordPress
    • Currently powering over 1/3 of the world’s top websites, this CMS is the most popular in the world. In recent years, there’s also been a big push to build a JSON REST API for it that will allow integration with JavaScript technologies like Node (above). This makes WordPress an ideal complement to the website built above.
Limitations:
  • Time:
    • As I expressed earlier in this article, time constraints on this project were one of the biggest limitations. Given enough time, it would have been possible to completely integrate the two sites with a unified login and shared content pulled directly from the WordPress database using the REST API.
  • Two separate sites:
    • As it is, the simplest solution was to create and maintain two separate sites and try to direct all visitors looking for “locked” content toward this LIVE site (requiring login)

In review, the two sites created functioned like this:

  1. Promotional site:
    1. Built very quickly
    2. Provided quick access to information
    3. “Flashy”, including a conference countdown clock, less stylistically limited (more design freedom)
  2. LIVE site:
    1. Built more slowly
    2. Required login / registration
    3. Housed all “locked” or private content (external links) behind the login

WordPress Plugins:

Contact Form 7

  • Created multiple forms for:
    • Volunteering
    • Donations
    • Website Issues
    • General Contact
  • Sending to multiple different email addresses (a different person handles each)

GDPR Cookie Consent

  • Best Cookie Consent footer I’ve found, easy to customize, out of the way

Google Analytics by MonsterInsights

  • Hooked up to Google Analytics – using the same code for both promotional site and Live site, to get usage data for the event

Jetpack by WordPress.com

  • Among other functions, utilizing the Portfolio custom post type for all Speaker profiles (then locking those down to logged in users only)

LH Logged in Post status

  • Lock down the Portfolio custom post type for only logged in users (redirect non-logged in users to the login page)

Quick and Easy FAQs

  • As the name implies, quick and easy, and beautiful design / functionality

Redirection

  • To redirect certain links (like Schedule) to the promotional site which is more complete and has a better design

RegistrationMagic

  • Simple and straightforward, also allows Facebook login (loads of KOTESOL members use Facebook – it seems to be the preferred SNS of the organization)
  • Easy to fit into a normal Page
  • Stat analysis
  • Hides login (no /wp-admin – redirects to /login or whatever I set the page to)
  • Couple of disadvantages:
    • Lost activation emails
    • Can’t login with email (must use username)
    • Sometimes not a clear flow from registration to login to logged in view
    • Profile view is unnecessary (Submissions, etc)

Show Current Template

  • For site development and debugging

Site Kit by Google

  • Additional analytics and other Google things

Sitewide Notice WP

  • Good for updating the site with links and notices to upcoming presentations

Timed Content

  • Perfect solution for making the Zoom access info and YouTube links accessible at a certain time
  • Works automatically on every page it’s enabled – saved me a ton of work / time trying to set things “live” manually

Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg

  • Good for Multi-buttons
  • Tried to use for a Grid of Projects, but wouldn’t recognize “Private” Projects

W3 Total Cache

  • Caching, obviously

Reflection

I’ve compiled my thoughts about Registration / Login on the Conference Stats & Reflection post. Suffice it to say that in the future:

  1. Registration / Login needs further testing, with multiple use-cases, and sign-in methods
  2. Login with username OR email address is necessary (some users – including me – forget their username)
  3. Login status needs to be made CLEAR. This can be done by:
    • Adding a user icon / welcome message on the logged in page / upper-right hand corner of the website
    • Adding the username on BOTH the promotional site and the Live site using the WP REST API
WP REST API Resources:

In fact, linking the two sites more completely with the WP REST API would be a good endeavor for future sites.

I want to be able to verify authentication between the two sites (i.e. if you’re logged into one – the Live, the second site – Promo site – will know it and “unlock” content appropriately). This would allow me to:

  1. not “double-up” on the content – putting Speaker profiles on both sites – which led to some user confusion
  2. and also, retrieve the username / profile picture for both sites to create a more unified “single sign-on” type experience (sign on once in one site, be linked to both sites)

Some resources follow:

  1. Using Express To Build A Node.js Server To Proxy The WordPress REST API (Torque Mag)
  2. How to make WordPress more exciting with the WordPress API, ACF, & Express.js (FreeCodeCamp)
  3. How to Setup and Use WordPress REST API: Basic Authentication (Cloudways)
  4. The Complete Guide to WordPress REST API Basics (Kinsta)
  5. REST API Authentication (REST API Developer’s Handbook)
  6. Plugin: JSON API Auth
  7. Plugin: JSON API
  8. Plugin: JWT Authentication for WP REST API
  9. How to get current logged in user using WordPress Rest Api? (Stack Overflow)
  10. WordPress REST API v2 (Postman Documenter)
Categories
Setup

Getting Started with Slack Tips

Slack is the tool we will use for widespread communication and networking in this conference.

Slack is convenient in that anyone with the Join Link can join the group and participate in the chats without needing to know someone else’s user ID, or add them add a “friend,” or create a group of existing members. Slack is the easiest way to quickly build an online chat room with members who “opt-in” to the chat.

Channels

After joining Slack, you will see a “Channels” heading in the left sidebar. You can join different chat rooms here.

Featured Channels

We have created a separate channel for discussion with each of the Featured speakers.

  • #featured-plenary (Tomomi Kumai)
  • #featured-legal (Yunjeong Hwang)
  • #featured-tnkr (Teach North Korean Refugees)
  • #featured-covid (Stafford Lumsden)

There are also various #help and #general channels:

  • #2020-national-conference (Hallway discussion, networking)
  • #general (Announcements)
  • #help (General Help)
  • #zoom-help (Zoom questions)
  • #q-and-a (General Q&A)
  • #random (Open discussion about any topic)

If you don’t see one of these channels in your sidebar, click the “+” (plus) button next to the “Channels” heading to “Browse channels” and add one that you want to participate in.

Zoom and Pre-recorded Chats

We have nearly 40 presentations for this conference, so did not want to overwhelm people with too many Channels. Therefore, there are not separate channels for each presenter. Instead, you may Search for a presenter’s name by clicking the “+” (plus) next to “Direct Messages” and send a DM (direct message) to that presenter.

Categories
Setup

Zoom Setup for the National Conference

Contents

  1. Security Recommendations
  2. Profile Settings
  3. App Settings

Due to a new trend known as “Zoom bombing” (Zoom raiding / Zoom trolling), the Zoom team has shifted resources to combating harassment and improving security features in the app.

So, following the recommendations of this New York Times article, here are some recommendations for better security during the conference. (Note: most of the following settings may be accessed from your profile on the Zoom website at https://zoom.us/profile/setting)


Security Recommendations

  1. * Make sure you’re running the Latest Version of Zoom. I’ve personally updated the app 2-3 times in the last week or two after Zoom meetings. These updates include multiple fixes and additional security features.
  2. * DO NOT share your Zoom link / code publicly. Instead, share it only with the Conference organizers who will make it public to registered Conference attendees on THIS site (and the Slack chat) 10 minutes before you go LIVE.
  3. (Optional): Set a Meeting password. Actually, this step is not necessary because your Zoom link will be hidden behind a login screen on the Conference website.
  4. (Optional): Create a Waiting Room to screen attendees before allowing them in. (This can be managed by your helper / session manager / co-presenter if necessary).
  5. Restrict Features as needed in Host controls:
    1. * Set Screen-sharing to “Host only”. If someone were trying to Zoom bomb you, they could try to share anything (including inappropriate or derogatory materials, images, or Desktop wallpapers). So it is recommended to enable this.
    2. * Turn OFF the Annotation feature. Again, if participants are allowed to make Annotations on your screen share, trolls may try to write or draw inappropriate things.
    3. (Optional): Block private chats. This option disallows participants from contacting you directly / privately in chat.
    4. Turn OFF File transfers. If File Transfers are enabled, participants may be able to share files with the whole group.
    5. Restrict custom backgrounds. Again, if there are trolls in the group, some may try to set their custom backgrounds to inappropriate pictures. Enabling this option will fix that, and although some people may complain about showing the background of their home, you can just ask them to turn off their video cameras.
  6. * Disable “Allow removed participants to rejoin” to prevent people (trolls) you remove from the Meeting to rejoin.

Profile Settings (Web)

Many of the above settings can be controlled from the Zoom website (NOT the app) after you sign in. Go to https://zoom.us/profile/setting to manage them.

You may want to check the following settings online:

1. Meeting

  • Schedule Meeting
    • Mute participants upon entry
  • In Meeting (Basic)
    • Chat (Allow meeting participants to send a message visible to all participants)
      • Prevent participants from saving chat
    • Private chat
    • File Transfer
    • Screen sharing
      • Who can share? (Host / All Participants)
      • Who can start sharing when someone else is sharing?
    • Disable desktop / screen share for users
    • Annotation
    • White board (similar to Annotation)
    • Allow removed participants to rejoin
  • In Meeting (Advanced)
    • Breakout Room (allow small groups)
    • Virtual background
    • Waiting Room

2. Recording

  • Local Recording (Allow hosts and participants to record the meeting to a local file)
    • Hosts can give participants the permission to record locally

If you want to record, you may check the following options.

Note: recording your Zoom talk is NOT recommended as it requires express permission from all participants. Additionally, you must give participants a chance to exit the room if they do not wish to be recorded or you may be in violation of various privacy laws.

  • Recording Disclaimer (Show a customizable disclaimer to participants before a recording starts)
  • Multiple audio notifications of recorded meeting

App Settings

Find your App Settings in the upper-right corner of the Zoom app (Gear wheel). The following list will go through most of the Setting screens and give recommendations to apply during the conference.

1. General Settings

One interesting setting here is “Dual Monitors.” If you have dual monitors:

  • Monitor 1 (main): Open your screen sharing, PPT, or main window
  • Monitor 2 (side): Open the list of meeting participants

2. Video Settings

  • Enable HD = higher quality image
  • Mirror my video = de-select to show text through your webcam
  • Touch up my appearance = uses filters to soften facial features and blemishes
  • Hide non-video participants = may be useful for large groups to give more space to people who are using their webcams

3. Audio Settings

Please setup, double-check, and TEST your Audio settings here before the Zoom meeting to be sure participants will be able to see and hear you.

4. Share Screen

Deselect the following if you don’t want to be forced into full screen mode when someone shares their screen.

  • Enter full screen when a participant share screen
  • Maximize Zoom window when a participant share screen

Select the following to avoid interruptions while screen sharing.

  • Silence system notifications when sharing desktop

5. Chat Settings

There are many options available here, but the defaults are probably fine. Still, you may wish to read through some of them yourself to see if there is anything you want to change.

6. Virtual Background Settings

Note: Only computers with a powerful enough processor will be able to use custom backgrounds anyway. But, it’s still recommended to disallow this feature for participants.

7. Recording Settings

Note: Recording your session is NOT recommended as you would need to get express permission from each of the participants to record them on video or risk violating various privacy laws.

That being said, the following options may be useful in other circumstances:

  • Record a separate audio file for each participant – this option would be useful if you were going to edit the recording later and wanted to control audio levels separately for each participant.
  • Place video next to the shared screen in the recording – this option would keep your webcam image beside the screen share in the video.

8. Profile Settings

This tab mostly has to do with your own profile. Feel free to take a look and edit it as you see fit.

9. Statistics Settings

This would be a good place to check on the stream statistics themselves as you are in the meeting. If your video or audio is lagging for some reason, you may be able to detect the cause or reason for the issue here.

10. Keyboard Shortcuts Settings

If you plan to do extensive Zoom meetings in the future, it might be worth your time to investigate the Keyboard shortcuts or set up some of your own to simplify repetitive tasks.

11. Accessibility Settings

These settings have to do more with accessibility features for users with disabilities. These settings would include things like High Contrast, helpers for blind or visually impaired users, and so on.

Categories
Setup

YouTube Live Setup for the National Conference

Contents:

Some things to keep in mind up front:

Limitations:

  1. Live Streaming MUST be enabled at least 24 hours in advance
  2. Live Streaming from your phone (via the YouTube app) is only available to channels with 1,000+ subscribers. Therefore, if your channel does NOT currently have 1,000+ subscribers, you will be limited to streaming video from your computer + webcam

Reasons for choosing YouTube Live:

  1. YouTube is a massive platform and not limited by the number of participants simultaneously taking part in a (live) video. Zoom is limited to 100 maximum participants at once.
  2. YouTube also provides interactive tools like Chat and Comments that can provide a forum for Q&A either during, or at any time after the presentation.

Reasons for NOT choosing YouTube Live:

  1. Live Streaming = “Live” which means you will be limited by your own setup / ability. There are ways to create a very dynamic Live presentations with multiple video clips, transitions, video layers, and so on, but without practice (and help), it will be more difficult. If you want to create a very dynamic video presentation on your own, you might also consider pre-recording your session which would give you the ability to edit things as you like before making it “Live.”

How to Enable YouTube Live Streaming

  1. Sign into YouTube.com with your Google account
  2. Go to https://youtube.com/features to check if you have Live Streaming enabled already
  3. If not, click “Enable”
  4. On the next page, verify your phone number by having YouTube send you a PIN number
  5. Return to https://youtube.com/features to verify your Live Streaming status is “On Hold”

How to Create a Live Streaming Event

  1. After 24ish hours, your account should be ready for Live Streaming. Verify this by (signing in first and) checking https://youtube.com/features to verify your Live Streaming status is “Enabled”
  2. In the upper-right corner of the YouTube website, point the mouse at the video camera icon, then click “Go Live” from the menu that pops up
  3. In the new YouTube Studio window that pops up, you will see your video and streaming options in a menu on the left

Live Streaming Event Options

1. Webcam

YouTube will automatically take you to “Webcam” where your web browser will either prompt you to access your webcam / microphone or alert you that one is not yet connected.

  • Make sure your webcam / microphone is connected and “Allow” access to your web browser.

The next screen will give you Live Stream settings that look very similar to uploading or creating a new YouTube video.

  1. Title: Your Presentation Title
  2. Listing: choose “Unlisted”
    1. Public (anyone can search for it on YouTube)
    2. Unlisted (only those with the link can view)
    3. Private (only those you invite can view)
  3. Schedule: Set the time at least 5-10 minutes BEFORE your session start time
  4. Audience: No, it’s not made for kids
  5. Age Restriction: ignore
  6. More Options:
    1. Description: Your Presentation Abstract (or Summary)
    2. Category: Education
    3. Camera: your webcam
    4. Microphone: your microphone (select your best mic if you have more than one)
    5. Advanced Settings: Allow chat (up to you “on” or “off”)

After clicking “Next,” YouTube will give you 3 seconds to pose for a webcam selfie. Say “cheese!”

  • If you don’t like your image, hover over the instant image, and select “Retake Thumbnail.”
  • You will also have the option to “Upload Custom Thumbnail” if you have a custom graphic to upload.

You can now “Go Live” or “Share” your stream.

2. Stream

Creating a new stream in the “Stream” tab is very similar. The only real difference in the setup is the order of options. But you can still follow the above guidelines.

The main advantage to a “Stream” over the “Webcam” is that using a Stream will allow you to grab the secret stream key from the bottom of the Stream Dashboard and insert that into a third-party software like OBS Studio to create far more dynamic live streams. More information on hooking up OBS Studio in this way follows in the next section.

3. Manage

The third tab in the left sidebar is “Manage” and it is here that you can manage and update any of your upcoming live streams.


How to show PPTs and screen-share in YouTube Live Events

  • Q: How can you show PPTs or do screen-sharing on YouTube Live?
  • A: Through a third-party software called OBS Studio.

Pros:

  • You can create a very dynamic Live presentation on par with the kind of things you see from The Daily Show or other late night and news shows.

Cons:

  • It means learning how to use and setup another piece of technology.

OBS Studio Setup

To create dynamic live streaming presentations, install OBS Studio and hook it up to record various “scenes”. For example:

  1. One with only you on the webcam
  2. One that shows only the PPT
  3. One that shows your whole Desktop
  4. One with an image overlay (like The Daily Show)
  5. One with a text overlay (like your name, or a headline)

Next, create a YouTube Live Streaming event (see above).

Then, scroll to the bottom of the YouTube Live options page and copy the secret key.

Return to OBS Studio.

  1. Open the OBS Options (Preferences)
  2. In Streaming Options, select “YouTube Live” as your streaming service, and input the secret key you copied from your YouTube Live Event
  3. Be sure that your “scenes” are setup properly
  4. Then click “Start Streaming” on the OBS Dashboard

Return to YouTube Live.

  1. Now, take your event “live” from there.
  2. You should be able to open a window with your live stream, and if everything is working properly, then whatever OBS Studio is set to record will be streaming to your YouTube Live event.
  3. Click to your different scenes in OBS Studio to be sure it’s working correctly. (Note that there will be a slight delay in what you do on the computer and what appears in the stream.)

Recommendations:

  • Practice makes perfect. Practice, practice, practice.
  • A second monitor would be beneficial:
    • First monitor: do your presentation, show your PPT and files.
    • Second monitor: run OBS Studio and switch between scenes
  • It’s possible to pre-record your session, edit it as you want, show slides as you want, and then “take it live” via OBS Studio (in the same way as described above) by playing it on your computer in a video player.
    • Then you could also watch the comments / chat as it comes in.
  • It’s also possible that KOTESOL might be able to “take it live” on the KOTESOL channel in this same way.

Resources: