Nathan Teacher’s eLearning Authoring Tools

I’ve been making content for online courses for the last two years or so, and have found stuff that works for me. In the spirit of full transparency, here are the tools I use, or, if I couldn’t find them, the next best thing.

Tools for Recording eLearning Audio

Microphones

I used to do paid voiceover work, and I really love clean audio. I recently sold my old Rode NT1, which was great, and bought a bottom-of-the-line Behringer C-1 Studio Cardioid Condenser, but man! I am delighted with how it sounds!

I really do like the smooth sound of the C-1, it sounds warmer somehow than my old Rode NT1, for a fraction of the price. I didn’t want to say goodbye to me Rode shock mount, but it was well worth it in the end.

Microphone Shock Mount for eLearning and Audio Books

Was this the cheapest shock mount I could find? Pretty much. Does it do the job for me? Uh huh. Every so often I have to re-tighten the screw to keep it all upright, but, otherwise, it hasn’t missed a beat so far.

USB Sound Card for eLearning and Audio Book Work

I bought this in May 2019 and didn’t get to use it until September of the same year, with all the hassle of moving from Mexico to England, but again I cannot fault it one bit. I recommend it to anyone, it’s small, light, pretty robust, and the audio quality if faultless, IMHO.

XLR Cable for eLearning and Audio Book Work

I use this Hosa HMIC-003 REAN XLR3F blah blah blah. I wouldn’t want the cable to be any shorter tbh, nor any longer. At this length you don’t have to coil it over or hide it, but I never find myself wishing it were twice as long. The sound quality and build quality are excellent, again, IMHO.

DAW for eLearning and Audio Book Work

I use Reaper… you pay once, it’s stable and regularly updated. Simple.

Microphone Support Suspension Arm for eLearning and Audio Book Work

This one comes with a shock mount, which I replaced instantly with my Rode shock mount for my Rode NT1, which it managed well. This has served me without a hiccup for three years. If you’re looking for a budget microphone support suspension arm, this is a good one.

Kaotica Eyeball: The Secret Tool for eLearning and Audio book on-the-Move

The Kaotica Eyeball is pretty unique. It is essential for online teachers and audio book recorders on-the-move. It treats the room for you, and removes a lot of the extraneous noises. If you have the budget and a side address cardioid condenser microphone, don’t even think about it, buy it!

Tools for eLearning Video

I haven’t quite got this down yet, but… I am trying. Here’s what I use, your suggestions are welcome.

Camera for eLearning Video

The Nikon d3400 is what I use. It’s a few years old, but it really does the job, even in low light.

If you use a Mac computer, like all right-thinking people, you are going to need one of these machines, a Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Mini Recorder. It features an all-metal body, and just works. Just buy one.

If you do wisely invest in a Blackmagic UltraStudio Mini Recorder, then you’ll need a length of Thunderbolt cable.

If your DSLR camera does not come with it, you’ll need a Mini HDMI to HDMI Cable to use with your UltraStudio Mini Recorder.

This is what I actually have. The video quality is stunning! Even in low-light this video webcam thing does a tremendous job. TedGem sounds like a terrible brand name, but actually, it does a great job. The problem is that your portable video backdrop needs to be around 2m wide if you plan on using it with Skype tutoring calls.

Portable Video Backdrop for eLearning

I use the Neewer T-Shape Background Backdrop Support. The product image is completely disingenuous, it it all totally out of proportion, but, so far, in the last three weeks, I have had no problems. I used some velcro to attach white blackout material from a local haberdashery to the horizontal pole, and used Gorilla glue to attach a rod to the bottom to prevent creasing. It works.

Video Lights for eLearning Work

I bought three of these babies. They are good for worldwide use, with the correct adaptors, can take batteries for portable use, and generally just do the job.

They come with 1/4 inch mounts, so you can mount them on tripods.

Mini-Light Stands for eLearning Video

I can’t find the mini-tripod stands I use on Amazon.com, but the Manfrotto Pixi would be great for mini-stands. If you are recording video on-the-move, you need two or three of these babies.

Video Editing Software for eLearning Work

I use ScreenFlow. You pay once, you upgrade when you want to. It has all the features you need, works well on my old MacBookPro, and generally rocks.

My Old MacBookPro

I use a seven-year-old MacBookPro, with dud batteries and a scratched screen, but hey! It does the job.

Not my laptop.