I teach vocational subjects, got myself a webcam to try at home, and I set it up in my classroom this evening. I will need to get a remote mike as well, the headset won't let me move around the room. I plan to use Skype (not sure if it is allowed, but I will persist until it is blocked) to have remote students access lessons, and to invite industry specialists into the classroom. Some employers of my apprentice students have CCTV in their workplaces, hope to link my webcam to them and have a guided virtual tour of their facilities. We have videoconferencing facilities about 250 metres away and up two levels in the directorate board room - not quite the place to carry out messy trade skills training activities. Will experiment with a long Internet connection lead to laptop so I can take webcam into the workshop for practical demos online. Just need to request software loading approval. The hardest part.
You might remember I am new curriculum coordinator at Australian Technical College Sunshine Victoria. We have a 3 way learning model which incorporates school, TAFE and work. I am currently thinking about how to develop flexible curriculum delivery partly via e learning in trade based subjects to complement the TAFE studies. Thinking about tools that will enable school-based apprentices to learn across all 3 areas in their course: school, work and TAFE. Also to catch the kineasthetic learners with interesting interactive and 3D e learning objects rather than the fairly boring ones that tend to be out there, just text put onto a screen. Any thoughts about these kinds of things? Also interested in ways to use e learning (or more e business) to facilitate communication and assessment of students across all 3 areas: school, work and TAFE, to produce a more instantaneous and holistic picture of each student. Any thoughts?
I've started a little experiment in which I record a short clip of myself explaining what the students did in class for the students who were absent. I work in adult education and retention (making sure students continue to attend and encouraging students who have stopped attending) is a big issue. My feeling is anything that enhances communication and a feeling of connectedness to the rest of the class will increase the likelihood that a student who has been absent will return. So far, what I'm doing is to record the clip and upload it as a wmv file on my wikipage. I then create a link to it on the class homepage which happens to be a www.pageflakes.com/ page. If you want to take a look, you can find the link in the left column of the class pageflakes page. I've only got two videos posted so there's not much to see, but it's an idea!
When considering which web cam to purchase, you may like to investigate the few Logitech models which support Video Effects. Video Effects compatible web cams can utilize Avatars and Face Effects.
The software bundled with these models utilizes face tracking technology to calibrate the facial features of the user and the result is a synchronized recording of the selected Avatar. Free Avatars can be downloaded from the Logitech web site.
I've attached a screenshot of three of the approximately 50 Avatars available.
I have worked with an educator in utilizing the web cam to make social stories for a student with Asperger's. He loves cartoons so she thought she might try these web cams .He kept running away in Physical Education lessons and she utilized the GingerBread Man avatar to construct stories about not running away.
Anyway...More details about which models support this feature can be found on the Logitech web site http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/webcam_communications/video_softw...
I recently used the built in web cams we have on our tablet PC's to film our Bungee Egg drop project. I used windows movie maker to edit and add titles. I also created an eyejot video greeting and video reply on our wiki page so visitors with webcams could leave us a video greeting when they visit our page. I hope you will visit and leave a message using your webcams or have your students log on and leave us a message.
Hey, I am a newbie to this site. I am implementing a $40,000 HP Technology Grant and want to start videoconferencing with classrooms around the US. I googled free webcam chat and came across this site. I have signed up on flashmeeting. If anyone has any other good advice to get me started, it would be appreciated.
Welcome to classroom 2.0. Congratulations on your technology grant!! You may want to also sign up for a Skype account since may who collaborate on projects are familiar with it. Elluminate is another great site for conferencing for professional development and it has many tutorials on the site as well.
I teach a Social Studies class called Current Issues and we have monthly video conferences with classes from other parts of the globe. So far we have used Skype but we are experimenting with ooVoo and SightSpeed. The students love it. We were talking to Russians immediately after the the conflict in Georgia and got an entirely different viewpoint that we did in the US media. Currently, we are expanding our communications to other countries and are even in the beginning process of planning a joint humanitarian project with a school in Cameroon. There is something surreal about the first moment students from the other side of the world appear before us in our classroom. Here are a couple of photos of us in progress: