Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Webcams Set Learning On Fire!

There are so many productive things that we can do with a good digital camera in the classroom. Unfortunately, we all don't have class sets of digital cameras to use. I would argue that the lack of digital cameras opens up opportunities that only webcams can provide, and we have we have at least one webcam in every classroom, the teacher laptop webcam.  If we bring in a campus netbook cart, iMac, Manda or Innovation Station, then the possibilities continue to grow.

District webcam-enabled computers all already have some image capture software installed.  Macs: Photobooth, iPad2: Photobooth, netbooks: CyberLink YouCam, Manda pc: AMCap,  Windows laptop: Dell Webcam Central.   Also available on all district computers are your installed apps like ComicLife, iMovie, MovieMaker, and Photoshop which also let you capture images directly into those applications to be edited or used as needed.  (Stay tuned for future post on greenscreening in the classroom!)

Fire effect from
Sometimes, we want a little extra creativity in our photo applications or we can't find the installed applications.  Web2.0 sites come to the rescue again with online webcam image capture sites. There are many out there, but nice ones include:
*  - has special effects
*   - allows you to create your own gallery online and has special effects

Perhaps you are at home and need an installable option right away.  Available for both Mac and Windows, can be downloaded and installed for free.

Webcams can play a nice roll in the classroom. Capture student work, pose students for illustrated stories, videotape oral reports, the list goes on!  Engage students with camera technology and odds are, they will come up with other authentic uses as well.

How do you use cameras in your classroom instruction?

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