Hello hoop teachers!
I’m sure you have all decided to stop running in-person classes thanks to the Corona Virus. So I wanted to share what I’ve learned so far about live streaming your hoop classes online as an alternative option.
Hula hooping and exercise in general can raise endorphins and help combat stress and we need all the help we can get in this troubling time.
Please feel free to comment below or email me firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions and ideas to improve this blog and I’ll edit it accordingly.
Note: This blog is about live streaming to established hoop classes that you want to keep going during quarantine. Building new online audiences and building income streams that way will be in a different blog.
What is live-streaming?
Live streaming a way to broadcast a message (or a class in this case) to an audience over the internet.
What tech do I need?
All you need is
- Internet connection
- an internet enabled device, like a smart phone or tablet or computer
- a platform (such as website or app) to broadcast on
- optional: if you’re filming on a phone or tablet – a tripod with an attachment (I have this for my iPhone and this for my tablet
What do your students need
- an internet enabled device to watch the live stream
- space to hoop
- a hulahoop. If they don’t have one, there are a few options:
- Encourage them to buy one ASAP (either from you or a recommended hoop seller). Great to keep small businesses going! Or if that’s not possible at short notice, you could lend your own class hoops out. OR ask others in your hoop community to lend or gift old hoops. Obviously clean thoroughly with antiviral spray or soapy water
What platforms can I use?
The platform you use will depend on how you want to interact with your students as you teach, and also, whether you want to keep the class just for those who have signed up or if you want it broadcast publicly so anyone can access it. Also, whether you want the video to be accessed after the live stream. I’ll divide the two types of platforms up into 1) social media lives and 2) meeting/conference apps.
1) Social media lives (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube)
Live functionality is built into the main social media platforms and I’ll go through them one by one. All of these will stream your class directly to your students, so they can follow along at home, and also have the ability for your students to comment and ask questions as you teach.
You need to be verified by YouTube (they will send you a text) and then there should be an option in your home dashboard. The benefit of YouTube live is that you can mark your video as “unlisted” meaning only those with the link can view it. So your classes are just for those who’ve signed up for them. But of course you can set it to public if you want it to be accessed by everyone. The video is recorded and students can access anytime after the live stream. Here how you do it
You can stream publicly to all your followers if you use your Facebook business page. Alternatively, you can set up a private Facebook group for your class so only they can see. And they can access it anytime after the stream. Your students need to be on Facebook though. Here’s how you do it.
Instagram live much the same as Facebook live EXCEPT there is no option to do it privately for your class, it is broadcasted to everyone. And in order for your students to watch it back, you need to save it to your highlights. Here’s how you do it
2) Meeting/conference apps
These are more interactive. Students will need an invite to the “meeting” then need a device with a camera so they can interact in the online classroom.
Zoom is software where you can send the whole class a link to the “meeting”, then they can be on your screen on video as you teach. There are many diff options in how you view them, and whether you want them all to be muted while you teach, then unmuted for questions etc. There’s also a chat box for questions. You can’t record the class if you’re using the free version though on mobile or tablet though. Here’s how it works
Hangouts is also a free meetings software however your participants must have a google account which could be restricting. But if you’re already all on google, it looks very simple to use. Here’s how to set one up.
So which one to use?
For now, I’ve decided to try out Zoom and also YouTube live as my two options, as I feel anyone can use them without having a specific account set up. I’m going to see what my students prefer – to just have me streaming to them (YouTube), or do they want to be interactive and have me trouble shoot them live (zoom).
I’m sure there’s plenty more options I’ve left off the list so please do comment if you have any suggestions.
We need to help each other in this scary time and the more joy and love we can spread, the better!