It's that time of year where the world of educational technology gathers together for the annual ISTE Conference. This years pilgrimage happens to be to the wonderful city of Chicago, a part of the country where I have only been able to enjoy while connecting flights from place to place.
This will be my 6th ISTE conference and I'm looking forward to once again bringing TeacherCast into the homes of thousands of educators with live broadcasting and face to face interviews with educators, vendors, and the occasional edupupppet. In past years, I had the gone all out for the convention bringing multiple suitcases of gear spaning the likes of microphones, mixers, and miles and miles of cables. But … this year … things will be different. This year, my goal is to create an amazingly educational production through only a few small and very portable pieces of equipment and I'm excited to share with you my travel setup for this years ISTE conference.
What's in the TeacherCast Equipment Bag this year?
In the past, I had multiple computers with me that was set up to do multiple tasks. This year, I am slimming down my processing tonnage by bringing only one laptop and one tablet. This not only will do plenty for me as an editor but save my back and legs during long days of heavy walking up the 5 stories of the McCormack Center.
Surface Book 2
This year, I upgraded my mobile Windows unit to the all-new Surface Book 2. It is EXTREMELY powerful and has enough processing power and ram to help me through many hours of live broadcasting while being plugged into several expansion items such as microphones, video cameras, and Bluetooth devices.
IPad Pro 10.5 Inch
This will be the second year for my iPad Pro. The reason I am bringing this device rather than my trusty MacBook is that it can do just about anything I need .. plus just a little bit more. I plan on using the iPad Pro to record podcasts, take videos, keep my Evernote updated, and the Apple Pencil is a great addition while taking interview notes so I can quickly get my show notes out. Additionally, the fact that iMovie on the iPad imports seamlessly into Final Cut Pro X means that I can have a rough cut of all of my podcasts done so I can come home and quickly process them on my production machine.
Both the iPad and Surface make a great team while on the road.
Audio Recording Equipment
In past years, I would find a table and connect my computer to a mixer. This would then come with external USB Sound Cards and other fun (and heavy) cables to use. This year, with the help and butt-kicking from other edupodcasters, I decided to purchase recording equipment that is a little more portable and easier to manage while running from booth to booth.
Zoom H6 Recorder
I found the Zoom H6 for a very good price at Guitar Center. The Zoom Recorder provides a professional quality recording and allows for 4 XLR microphones to be attached. This means that I can provide each of my guests their own microphone and I can either record directly into the device itself using the memory card, or I can use it as a passthrough into either the Surface Book or iPad.
Zoom Shotgun Microphone
On the occasion that I am videotaping a keynote address, I also picked up the Zoom Shotgun Microphone extension. This is a semi-expensive, but a very handy add-on that will give me the ability to record from a distance without the need to microphone the speaker.
The extra extension capsule from Zoom allows for 2 extra XLR microphones to be recorded for a total of 6 total inputs. It also has a 1/8th-inch input in case I want to add a “regular” headphone jack style microphone into it for added recording power.
Patriot LX Series 32GB Card
The Zoom comes with a 2GB card, but with a conference the size of ISTE, I decided to upgrade the card with the help and advice from the guys at Guitar Center.
When strolling through a conference the size of ISTE, it’s important to have the right recording equipment handy at a moments notice. For this, I am bringing several microphones so I can have the proper equipment no matter if I’m sitting at a table in Bloggers Cafe, or on the showroom floor talking to vendors.
Audio Technica 2005 USB (4)
To go along with the Zoom H6 Recorder mentioned earlier, I will be traveling this year with four (4) Audio Technica 2005USB Microphones. These little friends of mine are not only USB but have XLR inputs and it’s a really nice treat to be able to give each of your guests their own microphone.
MOVO LV4-02 Lav Mics (4)
In addition to the 2005’s, I am bringing. These little gems clip really nicely on to shirt colors and record only what is right above them. I’m looking forward to recording long-form shows with these.
Logitech C920 Web Camera
Where I believe that the majority of my video recordings will be through the iPad, I am bringing along my trustworthy Logitech C920.
Last year, I met the team at Padcaster and absolutely fell in love with the device and all of its components. The video that I recorded on how to use it was a very popular hit on YouTube. (Check it out here)
Padcaster for iPad Pro
There are two different Padcasters that I am bringing this year. The first is the Padcaster for my iPad Pro. This will allow me to put the Padcaster on a tripod and use it's video capability when I don't have the need for pulling out the C920 and connecting it to the computer.
New to education this year is the Padcaster Verse. This is a smaller unit that is designed to work with Phones. I can't say enough how much I have been using this unit and how easily it has made my job as a broadcaster and recorder because I no longer need to lug around tons of heavy equipment.
As you can clearly read into the agony of preparing for a conference by reading above. You can't podcast without cables. This year, I am being a bit smarter by only bringing essentials with me, and also packing multiple devices that take the same style of cable.
Livewire Essential 5ft SM5 XLR Cable (4)
These cables are for the 2005's as well as the MOVO Lav mics. They are long enough to reach to all of my guests (I hope) but small enough to be lightweight and fit nicely into my bag.
What is a conference without your array of computer dongles? Is it still ok to admit that I chuckle every time I hear someone ask someone else if they have one to borrow?
Tripods and Stands
A good tripod costs over $30 and is light enough to want to carry on yoru back for 12 hours at a time and easy enough to be able to adjust quickly while your guests watch you sweat under pressure.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where one must carry not one, but two pair of earbuds because their devices may or maynot have headphone jacks.
How can we watch TeacherCast this year at ISTE?
This year, the best way to stay in touch with all of our interviews is by following us on Twitter and YouTube. I will be sharing out several tweets and live broadcasts on all of our social networks. We would love to have you in the audience.
What is in YOUR equipment bag?
Are you an educational podcaster going to ISTE? I would love to hear from you and have you share what equipment YOU are bringing with you. Please leave a comment below.
See you all in Chicago for ISTE 2018!
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