Before your quilt group hires a digital teacher, it is wise to ask questions and request receipts as we go forward in this digital sharing age. One bad experience can ruin a lot of folks’ impressions of how wonderful this experience can be.
In order to create a fully professional environment for my digital students I have moved my studio to a 15 x 19’ (closed door) space, installed overhead dimmable LED lights which partner with two natural skylights, created a “filming corner” desk and plenty of walk around space around my longarm and domestic sewing machines with lovely sight lines in every direction. At no point does any angle not look like a professional set. I have invested in three stand alone LED lights with soft boxes to ensure beautiful lighting on me, and on any work surface. Additionally I invested in professional training on utilizing the best new software for seamless transitions between multiple devices, lighting and sound design.
I am utilizing a MacBook Pro which shares seamlessly between a prepared keynote/powerpoint style slide trunk show or class samples with professional photography of quilts, playing any pre-filmed movie or sample clip I open, my iPad drawing tablet and an iPhone. I use Procreate Draw during class with multiple layers for the ability to open and close any previous sketch and even send sketches to students if necessary. The iPhone acts as a live camera. I invested in a gyroscopic gimbal which holds the phone perfectly steady and level, despite being hand held. I have a live camera person who operates this for live tracking, panning, and close ups of all quilting. I utilize my AirPods Pro earbuds as a microphone, which neutralize all environmental sounds and make sure students can hear my voice even if I am 10 feet away on a sewing machine, also acting to actively dampen the motor sound and isolate my voice. Finally I have invested in a new dual feed router, mounted in my quilt studio. I have three household wifi high speed networks with different ranges and bandwidths, so if an issue on my end is detected (via a pop up warning on my MacBook) I can seamlessly change networks.
I am confident that the only thing that will interrupt class is an actual household power failure. Fortunately, this has only happened a handful of times in 22 years, as I have underground neighborhood wiring. Any power outage is coming from some kind of catastrophic storm damage miles away on a main line. This rare circumstance would be a unforeseen event that would unfortunately require rescheduling of the classes.
I have paid for a zoom pro account, however it still has limits. I can host a full video/audio group of up to 100 members (99 students and me). Beyond that and the event will need to purchase one time add-ons to make more spots available. I am able to create a webinar for up to 500 participants (video only and access to the typed chat feature) for an additional $150. The fee for 1000 participants the is $340 and then 3000 people for an additional $990. These prices are zoom driven, and I have no input into them. In this situation we would designate up to 10 people as “co hosts”. The co hosts can moderate the webinar lecture, keeping an eye on chat room questions and feeding them to me in a more orderly fashion.
Classes will be capped at 30 students each. Additional students can be added for a $20 per student fee.
One person at the host organization will need to be responsible for the zoom links and making sure each paid participant gets an active link. No recording will be permitted of class. Recording will be disabled and students are expected to be informed that separate recording or redistribution of material is forbidden.
Click a thumbnail to read just a few recent reviews of a digital classes presented at the first Mancuso Online Quilt Festival, June 2020