Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tech Tip Tuesday: Get more out of your webcam

Many newer laptops are coming with built in webcam standard. Even for those with a desktop computer webcams are becoming much less expensive. The question? How do I get more out of it? In keeping with the spirit of this post: Here are some tips on getting more use out of your webcam.

  • Use your webcam as a document camera to share pics, graphs, or even handwritten notes or examples.

  • Create desktop science videos that show demos of science concepts that are hard to demonstrate for a whole class.

  • record weekly announcements and then put the video file on your website.  Need a place to put the video try: my.uen.orgYouTube, or TeacherTube or put the video file

  • Create virtual office hours for parents. Use the Wimba Live classroom on my.uen.org if you are a Utah Educator, consider Skype, iChat, Yahoo, GoogleTalk, or Windows Live Messenger as other possibilities.

  • Create Stop Motion animations by taking multiple pics with the webcam and then splicing them together with a tool like: iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, Frames, or any other multimedia tool.

  • Consider a pic a day feature from your class and take a picture every day of the school year showing what happens in your classroom.

With all of these be aware of your District and Building policies regarding posting materials on the web.  Be especially sensitive to posting pics of students.  There are laws and policies in place to protect the privacy of children.  Find out what they are and then design your own webcam project to highlight your class.

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