we had our first #homedojo online session today and it was AMAZING! obviously going cold turkey for two weeks had something to do with how good it felt to train again, but still it was a great session. sensei neil delivered a lesson that was basic due to the space constraints, but at the same time challenging and insightful.
we used zoom which is very affordable and easy to use. chances are you are already familiar with the technology, but just in case – zoom is a video conferencing service over the internet. you pay a very reasonable monthly fee to be able to host sessions and the app for the users is free meaning that running costs are minimal. it’s an absolute godsend for the particular predicament we find ourselves in. i only wish i has some shares in a company that is undoubtedly doing very well at the moment.
when using zoom you have two views: gallery and speaker. in gallery mode you see all the feeds from all the participants tiled on your screen, whereas in speaker mode you get one main feed (the speaker’s) on most of the screen at the expense of the other feeds which are made smaller. normally the instructor would use “gallery” view, so they can observe all the students, and students would use “speaker” view, so they can see the instructor in more details.
i started the lesson in “speaker” mode so i could follow neil, but then half way through switched to “gallery” because i’ll be teaching myself the day after tomorrow and i wanted to observe the other students. after a little while i discovered that i preferred that view because it felt more like training in a group rather than a 1-2-1. i had my laptop plugged into a 40″ tv, so even in a smaller tile i could still see neil well to follow him. at the same time i benefited from the energy of all the other people participating in the session. definitely something i would recommend.
another aspect of training online is that you can train from wherever with whomever. we had 15 participants of various grades all the way from 7th kyu up to 4th dan, and from 4 different countries: the UK, Norway, Iceland and Israel.
so, i want to thank zoom for making a fantastic and affordable tool that made this possible, neil for a very enjoyable lesson, and also everybody who participated and made it a success. oss!