Remote Training Set up

I was asked yesterday about what the minimum set up is for remote training delivery of official Microsoft courses. Due to COVID-19 many of us have switched to remote working, including trainers, teachers and lecturers. Whilst modern technology has made it relatively straightforward to make the switch, this mode of delivery ideally needs more than a laptop and a table if you are going to be doing it long term and doing a good job.

This blog is focused on equipment, there is obviously a much bigger discussion around teaching techniques as well. At the time of writing there are many excellent teachers, trainers and lecturers doing a brilliant job, with just a laptop, their enthusiasm and dedication.

Here’s my list, split into essential and desirable

Essential

  • Laptop (or PC plus monitor)
  • Headphones
  • Microphone
  • Webcam
  • Backup Laptop
  • Screen zoom Software (e.g. Zoom it)
  • Presentation Remote
  • Desk
  • Comfortable chair & foot rest
  • Misc Adaptors & extension leads for your set up
  • Productivity & Remote Meeting Software – e.g. Microsoft 365
  • MCT Subscription (only for official Microsoft courses)
  • Internet Connection

Desirable

  • Printer
  • Mobile Device to PC Streaming software e.g. Air Server
  • Mixing Deck (e.g. Stream Deck)
  • Virtual Camera/Mixing/Encoder (e.g. OBS Studio)
  • Laptop Dock
  • Full size Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Quiz software subscriptions (e.g. Kahoot/MentiMeter/Poll Everywhere/Polly for Teams)
  • 2 external monitors (3 screens total, though I’d say 2 screens is a minimum requirement)
  • Microphone Mount & pop filter
  • Green Screen
  • Webcam Mounting Arm (optional)
  • Do Not Disturb Light
  • Streaming Lighting – e.g Elgato Keylight
  • Video Capture Software e.g. Camtasia
  • Premium PDF Writer

If I’m honest the the only things on this I really consider optional if you are doing a lot of remote training, based on my experience, is the premium PDF software. For the occasional delivery the essential kit would suffice, but if you are doing a lot then you really need the whole lot.

If you add in the kit needed to deliver on site, you’d also ideally need a decent projector and a suitcase to carry the portable kit. I also find I need MacBook as well as Windows device, iPad and Android tablet, plus your choice of mobile phone, data subscriptions for the mobile devices not to mention insurances for them all.

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