Webcams in the Classroom at MCMS

I’m working with our two 6th grade social studies teachers on integrating webcams into their lessons.  Both teachers are asking students to present a current event to the class on Tuesdays.  Using webcams, Skype, and data projectors, the classes will share their current events with each other as they present.  They are also interested in finding classes around the world to communicate with, using this new technology.

I found some resources online that present lots of possibilities for not just using the webcam in their classroom but also for looking through others’ webcams at different places in the world. 

Webcams in the Classroom(pdf)–This is a list of resources for using webcams in the classroom from technology facilitator, David Cox, in Louisiana.  This document contains basic information on what a webcam is and how to safely use it in the classroom.  Mr. Cox also includes many links to teaching ideas.

Cable in the Classroom Project Cam(pdf)–This document outlines Cable in the Classroom’s Project Cam.  It outlines the project and explains how teachers are using it in their classrooms.  Tips for creating a cultural exchange are also provided.

I hope to update sometime soon with results on our first use of webcams in the classroom at MCMS!

One thought on “Webcams in the Classroom at MCMS

  1. Hi Lisa,

    In my home Canadian province of Alberta, our government has implemented a high-speed network which connects all schools, hospitals, libraries, and government institutions. With this has also come a large implementation of videoconferencing hardware, and we now have over 800 school sites in our province who connect to thousands of others for class-to-class collaborations, content experts, full course delivery, and special events (e.g. VC for Hope, a social awareness and fundraising project to build a school in Nicaragua – http://www.vcrln.ca/joomla/ in case you want to see video clips or more information).

    While the equipment involved to do IP videoconferencing is more expensive than a webcam and Skype solution is, to me the investment is a very valuable one. Videoconferencing hardware has high quality cameras which can pan and zoom, and the audio quality from the microphones is outstanding. What results – and this is the key – is a transparent technology experience with kids being able to see each other clearly and up close, being able to quickly pan to different people, and just as importantly having the audio quality necessary for seamless communication. Though Skype is a good solution for a person-to-person realtime audio/video experience, to me it’s not nearly adequate for a full classroom experience.

    I used to be in the camp of webcam videoconferencing for the cost savings, but after being immersed myself in hardware-based IP videoconferencing for the past two years I’d never go back to webcams. Just my opinion 🙂

    Keep up the great posts!

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