A Day in the Life: Using a Bluetooth Headset as a Remote Recording Device for Lectures

I have been teaching for the past few years and have found that recording my lectures is helpful for students that are sick or that need assistance due to attention deficit issues. Many of the programs to record lectures are costly, so I set out to see if I could use my MacBook and a Bluetooth headset to accomplish the task. I found that not only can I, but that it works remarkably well.

The Bluetooth Device: The Bluetooth device I opted for is the Jabra BT3030 Bluetooth Stereo Headset [affiliate link]. Not only is it a good headset, but it can be hung around your neck or clipped to a shirt. This makes it easy to keep on you if you move around a great deal while speaking. In addition, it has a headphone jack on the left side and a microphone for use with your phone. These give it a good bit of flexibility and let me keep it positioned properly.

The nice thing about the Jabra BT3030 Bluetooth headset is that you do not have to have it attached to your ear. It can clip to your shirt or be worn like a necklace. I can then roam the class or work in a lab while recording my entire lecture.

The Program: I use the Jabra BT3030 Bluetooth headset to grab audio and send it to my Mac. On the Mac I use GarageBand to actually record lectures. It does a great job of grabbing and saving the audio, and because it is so easy to use I have no issue tweaking the audio if need be.

But wait, there’s more! I added PowerPoint to the mix, and the combination is great. Since I lecture with PowerPoint, I can use the program’s “record slideshow” feature to save the PowerPoint presentation as a .mov file. Later, I add the movie clip to the audio I recorded with GarageBand. Once the two are together in GarageBand, I edit out any chatter that was recorded before or after I started my presentation. That way the timing of the video matches the audio perfectly. Moreover, by editing the audio and video in GarageBand, I can take out any breaks that occurred during the lecture.

After editing is complete, I save the file as a .mov file so my students are able to download and listen to at their leisure.

The audio from the headset is much better than the recorders that my students use. Add in the fact that they like to be able to look at the PowerPoint slides while I lecture, and you have a winning combination that allows them to understand the material in greater detail.