By Fran Mauney
I have to tell you about the latest technology toy that is a must for your classroom! It is called a HUE webcam and it only costs $50!!!! It can be a web camera or a document camera and best of all, it is so easy to install and use. Simply install the CD that comes with the camera. Then, plug the camera into your USB drive and click the camera icon on your screen. Automatically it begins working. Now you can have a document camera or a web cam in your classroom and you don’t have to pay $500-$1600 for it. How does it work? Think of a small lamp with a flexible neck, if you tilt the camera head down, it works like a document camera and projects on your computer screen. If you tilt the camera up it acts as a webcam and can be used for Skype and other programs.
Why would you need a document camera in your classroom? Well, I use the HUE as a document camera to show students’ work, science experiments, math manipulatives or textbook or newspaper pages. We edit students’ work together by using the ActivInspire software and highlighting, underlining, or drawing on the screen. Everyone can see the science experiment as it is projected on the interactive white board or screen. (You do need an LCD projector in order to project the image on the board, screen or wall.) I can take pictures of the steps of a scientific experiment AND it works as a video recorder as well. You can capture the recording by choosing to in the File menu or take pictures by pressing the silver button on top of the camera. It is that easy! If you’d like more ideas about how to use a document camera in your classroom here is a list: Document Camera in the Classroom
I tilt the camera neck up and use it as a web cam when I am teaching using the program called DimDim. Here is a quick start guide telling you how to set up your account. Setting Up DimDim This is how it works, Schedule Your Meeting and invite attendees. Why would I use DimDim? As an Instructional Technology facilitator, I use it to train teachers. I can email the teachers and invite them to a meeting, they can click on the link, sign in and see my computer screen. If my HUE camera is attached, they can also see me as I teach. They can type questions while I’m teaching and the questions will appear on the side of the screen. That way I can answer questions while I teach. As a classroom teacher, you could use DimDim to meet with other teachers from other schools and share ideas. This could cut down on travel time and you could meet online instead of in person, or you could use Skype to communicate with each other.
One more thing, the HUE comes in great colors: blue, red, green, white, black, and pink.
These are a few ideas that could help you communicate better with your students and teachers. I hope that you will find this useful in your classroom.
You can learn more about exciting new technology toys/tools at the Upstate Technology Conference. Sign up to present or participate today! c u @ utc!