We all have different levels of experience when it comes to online connectivity, so here are some quick tips to help everyone get the most out of their lessons
#1 Wire your computer to your modem (router) using an ethernet cable
WiFi is very convenient as you can be completely wireless and mobile as a result, however, it can also be the cause of disconnections and poor video and audio quality. So if possible always connect your computer directly to your router.
#2 Get cozy with your WiFi
If you must use a WiFi connection on your computer, tablet, or smart-phone, make sure you are as close as possible to your router, repeater, hotspot, etc. This is to ensure that you get the best possible signal strength which will allow for a stronger connection, faster response times, and better video and audio quality too.
#3 Hit the restart button
This is a simple (but very effective) step but a lot of people overlook it. Simply restart all of your devices (Computer, Tablet, phone) and your WiFi router too!. Wireless routers are notorious for getting bloated with memory and processor ‘baggage’ over time, so every once in a while needs to be powered down for 10 seconds and then switched back on, think of it as a power nap for hardware!
#4 Shut it all down!
Every program and app you have running in the background regardless if it seems like it’s not doing anything is actually being a drain on both your device’s performance and possibly your internet connection too. So make sure that you quit all unessential software before beginning your online lesson.
#5 Unclogging the drain
Make sure that other data-hungry devices (and people) are not using your internet bandwidth during your lesson. Your best bet is to make sure that they’re off (not just in sleep mode) as they can all be a drain on your bandwidth. The difference is that when a device is ‘off’ they no longer have a connection to the internet, whereas when they’re in ‘sleep mode’ they can still be connected, and downloading large files and updates. So make sure that these devices are switched ‘off’ – This could be another Computer, PS4, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Tablet, etc.
#6 Switch-off Netflix and YouTube
Try to host your videos through a high-speed connection that won’t be used by other people, especially anyone who is streaming content from Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, etc. As most households don’t run separate internet connections just make sure that none of your family members, guests (or neighbor?) are not currently streaming content using the same internet connection during your lesson.
#7 Make sure to have a good WebCam and Microphone
Most phones, computers, and tablets have okay-ish cameras and microphones that are suitable for lessons – however, it is still a good idea to use headphones with an in-line microphone (like the ones you get with a mobile phone). If you want to go-all-out you could invest in a Podcast style setup using a dedicated HD webcam, broadcast microphone, and sound-isolating headphones.
#8 Position yourself
Make sure that your camera is in a position that will allow the teacher to see your face, your hands, and for guitar lessons your guitar neck and picking area. It’s also a good idea to make sure that there’s no background distractions like younger children or loud work being done at your house.
#9 Be prepared
To minimize frustration, make sure that before your lesson starts that you have your area set up so you can reach all of your tools, devices, and resources comfortably, open the needed apps like Zoom and OneNote and that you’ve tested all of your equipment like your Microphone and Camera.
- Hardwire your computer or get closer to your router for a better connection
- Restart your device and your router to clear out the baggage
- Shut down all unessential background programs and apps
- Make sure that all unessential devices are switched off (not just asleep)
- Ensure that no-one is streaming content like Netflix or YouTube
- Check that your WebCam and Mic are decent
- Position yourself so your teacher can see and hear you clearly
- Be prepared for your lesson with all tools, textbooks, devices, etc.
I hope you found these tips useful and that they will make your online experience a good one!