In this series of blog posts, I’m going to lay down for you the exact technologies you need if you want to create, deliver, and sell online courses.
In this first instalment, I cover the tech you need to create your course.
You can create your course with any medium. However, the standard today is video, so let’s cover that.
Lucky for us, it’s now easier and cheaper than ever to produce videos. In fact, everything you need may already be on your computer!
Before we begin, take note: You have a plethora of choices when it comes to all the apps you can use for your course. The ones I include are the ones I know of and may have used personally.
With that in mind, let’s go!
To Create Slideshow Videos …
The following slideshow applications let you record your slideshow with your voice-over narration. After recording, export your presentation into a video file format (mov and mp4 are the most common) and you have a video lesson!
- PowerPoint (Windows)
- Keynote (Mac)
To Create Screencapture and On-camera Videos ...
What if you want to show your face and or your computer screen? Here are a few options:
- Quicktime Player (Mac, built-in) will let you record on-camera and screen recordings. However, it’s not as robust as any of the following, which also offer video editing tools:
- Screenflow (Mac)
- Camtasia (Windows & Mac)
You’ll also need a video camera and microphone. You can use the ones that are already on your computer, but these are probably not the highest quality. If budget permits, get external ones, such as:
Hint: Can’t afford to get all the equipment right now? Buy the microphone first. Audio quality is more important than image quality when it comes to creating effective videos! Next, get the camera. The artificial lighting can wait. In the meantime, stand in front of a bright window.
What technology do you REALLY need to create a video-based online course? Here's the 100% honest truth ....
And let's not forget the video camera that you probably already have in your pocket—your phone!
Today's smartphones have powerful video cameras that will record excellent videos. You'll probably still need to plug in an external mic to get a better-quality audio. A good one to consider is:
To Deliver Live Training on the Web ...
I recommend a webinar platform. It lets you share a slideshow presentation, your screen, and your camera all at the same time. The following also have payments, live chat, polls, attendance tracking, and email marketing built in:
- WebinarNinja (web)
- WebinarJam (web)
… and what about live streaming on Facebook?
This is certainly another way of delivering live video training and you don’t have to pay for it! If you want more features, invest in an app like:
- Belive.tv (web)
- eCamm Live (Mac)
As a bonus, these platforms will record your presentations (eCamm Live has a feature that lets you deliver and record a presentation without streaming it publicly). So these are another way for you to record videos.
However, these applications will not edit your videos. You’ll still need Camtasia or Screenflow if you want to add text overlays, transitions, and other elements to your video lessons.
To Create Print Materials …
Of course, you’re going to want to supplement your course with documents like handouts and worksheets. The following word processors are the most common. Any of them will let you export your document into a PDF:
- Microsoft Word (Windows & Mac)
- Mac Pages (Mac)
- Google Docs (web)
If you want to be different and give your learners the ability to type their answers directly into the PDF, you’ll need another app, like:
- PDF Element (Mac)
And there you have it! That’s everything you need to create a video-based online course.
In the next post, I’ll cover the tech you need to DELIVER your online course to your students. Watch out for it!
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means I earn a commission when you buy through the links on this page. While I only recommend products I myself use or have vetted, you should always do your due diligence before making any purchases. (Full Disclosure)