Category Archives: QOMO

The Perfect Combination of Doc and Web Cam for Virtual Learning

Whether you’re a teacher, a student, or a parent, the 2020-2021 school year will be forever remembered as the year of the “pivot.” Who could have ever seen this coming? In an instant, the educational model we have relied on to teach our elementary, middle, and high school students, not to mention all of the young adults at higher education institutions, was turned upside down by the events of the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing educators and school administrators everywhere to reimagine the American classroom. 

However, every cloud has a silver lining, and in this case, it was the rapid acceleration of the use of technology both to teach and to learn in the remote school setting dictated by the pandemic. Unable to walk between rows of desks in a traditional classroom, checking over the shoulders of students to ensure that they were grasping the key concepts of each lesson, teachers found themselves in need of a way to keep school every bit as engaging, interactive, and effective from a distance as it is in person. Fortunately, certain pieces of technology already in existence helped teachers and students achieve the level of interaction necessary for a productive school day- and it’s expected that this technology will continue to help educators connect with their distance learners both during the rest of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. 

Armed with the ideal combination of document cameras and webcams, teachers can still interact with remote learners as if they were right there in front of them! By allowing students to see their teacher’s face and what they are teaching them at the same time, doc cams and webcams are bridging the gap between in-person and remote learning as we edge closer to being able to bring back the traditional five-day school week for kids across America.

Doc Cams vs. Webcams– What’s the Difference?

While we’re all familiar with webcams, thanks to the endless stream of Zoom meetings we’ve participated in this past year, document cameras, or doc cams, may be a little less familiar to those not in the education industry. Here’s a little side-by-side comparison of what each of these cameras does to enhance the remote learning experience for students and teachers alike.

Webcams

While many desktop monitors and laptop computers now come equipped with webcams for video chats and more, older monitors, like those that may still be in use in classrooms across America, do not always have a built-in webcam to use for virtual classes. 

Even if your school computer is equipped with a webcam, these built-in models rarely offer the same level of quality, flexibility, and versatility as an external model like our picks below. Fortunately, there’s no need to upend the school budget with all-new monitors or laptops for school staff, thanks to these affordable yet highly effective webcams that are compatible with nearly all models of computer.

HamiltonBuhl® SuperFlix 720p HD Webcam with Gooseneck Stand- from $35 

With its non-slip base and built-in microphone, the SuperFlix offers a simple solution for teachers in need of a quality webcam at an affordable price. 

Features:

  • Internal microphone with excellent voice pick-up capabilities and clear recording production
  •  5 million pixel registration
  • 30mm to infinity focal range
  • Easy plug-and-play setup
  • Supports both Mac and PC
  • 1x IR LED light: Infrared light for shooting at night and in low light areas
  • Bendable arm for optimal positioning
  • Shutter button for easy still-image capture

 

QOMO WebCam 004- from $69 

This affordable high-definition webcam allows you to stream live classes, record future class content, and more! Easy to clip on and adjust, the WebCam 004 offers a lot of bang for its buck

Features:

  •  USB connection- no drivers required!
  •  Professional quality 1080p camera lens
  •  Built-in dual mic
  •  Tripod adapter on base fits the optional tripod

 

 

 

 

Adesso CyberTrack H6- from $89.99 

Looking for an ultra-high resolution desktop webcam that fits both your price range and your remote teaching needs? Meet the CyberTrack H6! Starting at just $89.99, this 4K ultra-high resolution camera allows you to be heard loud and clear as you livestream or record lessons for your remote students.

Features:

  • 120-degree view angle
  • Integrated wide-angle microphone
  • Broad Instant Messenger compatibility

 

 

 

 

Doc Cams

Less widely-known than webcams, but just as important for remote learning, doc cams, or document cameras, are an absolute necessity for the visual learners in your audience! While webcams capture the auditory part of your lessons, complete with voice inflections, facial expressions, and more, doc cams help provide an integrated classroom experience by showing students everything their teacher is writing on the virtual blackboard. 

Remember those overhead projectors we had at school as kids? Doc cams are a high-tech version of that concept, beaming lessons into remote students’ homes all over the country and helping them follow along with math problems, spelling and grammar lessons, and a variety of other practical applications. 

Here are some of our favorite doc cams- and the price is right, too!

QOMO QPC22 ScannerCam- from $209 

Affordable, high-quality, and ultra-portable, the versatile ScannerCam triples as a document camera, scanner, and webcam all in one! Its perfect balance between quality and portability allows teachers to easily transport their ScannerCam for presentations and lessons wherever they are.

Features:

  • USB connection for high-quality image and video capturing
  • Low energy consumption LEDs provide illumination in any condition
  • High definition 8 MP camera
  • Built-in mic
  • Lightweight and portable

 

 

 

QOMO QPC20 F1 Ultra Portable Scanner and Document Camera- from $199 

Slightly larger but every bit as powerful, the QPC20 F1 offers everything the QPC22 ScannerCam does, at a lower price!

Features:

  •  USB connection for high-quality image and video capturing
  •  Low energy consumption LEDs provide illumination in any condition
  •  High definition 8 MP camera
  •  Built-in mic
  •  Lightweight and portable

 

 

 

Though this school year looks unlike anything we’ve ever had to experience before, there’s still a way for teachers to reach their students through effective, interactive lessons. Thanks to webcams and document cameras, as well as headsets for the students to learn in a distraction-free environment, the school experience can still be just as stimulating from a distance as it is in person.

Great Gadgets for Remote Teaching and Presenting

Congratulations, teachers- you’ve made it through an entire semester of remote instruction! This is a huge accomplishment, particularly if you teach an elementary school grade full of energetic little students who find it hard to sit still in front of a computer screen for any length of time. No matter who your students are, or what subjects you teach, there’s no doubt that you deserve a huge round of applause (or, honestly, a medal of honor) for the seriously daunting undertaking of remote teaching.

Think about it- in just a few short months, you and your fellow educators have been tasked with restructuring your entire class curriculum and lesson plans to fit a fully-remote school day, sometimes for students as young as 4 years old! If that’s not a major accomplishment, we don’t know what is. We hope you look back on 2020 as the year you rose to meet each challenge head-on, adapting to best suit the needs of your students and parents. As far as we’re concerned, you’re heroes!

Unfortunately, though, we’re not out of the woods just yet. While we can now see some definite light at the end of this tunnel, it could be months before school resembles anything like the “normal” we remember. Though many school districts have plans in the works to safely welcome their students back in person safely within the next couple of months, the odds are good that we’re still going to have to rely on remote learning, at least part-time, for the foreseeable future. With teachers across the country anticipating more of the same for the second semester of the school year, now’s a good time to take a look at some helpful devices that can make remote teaching and presenting go a lot more smoothly in 2021.

Here are some of our favorite gadgets geared toward making remote teaching more streamlined and efficient, not to mention cutting down on some of the most common headaches teachers are experiencing:

auto-tracking cameraJigabot Camera Bundle – $995
Wouldn’t it be great if you could hire a camera person to follow you around your classroom during a remote lesson? Imagine being able to efficiently utilize all of your teaching materials as if you were standing in front of a live class. Thanks to Jigabot, this dream can be a reality!

The Jigabot auto-tracking robot camera helps teachers take a futuristic approach to presenting remote lessons to their students by taking the camera operation work off their plates, leaving them free to conduct class as usual. This adaptive, versatile camera robot works with just about any mobile device, as well as every streaming service, to smoothly and seamlessly follow you around your classroom wherever you go. Your students will always see you in the frame as you conduct your remote lessons- no need to worry if you are presenting the wrong portion of your smartboard!

Thanks to its smooth, responsive motors, Jigabot works whether your preferred camera is mirrorless, a camcorder, or a cinema camera tethered with cables. Pros use Jigabot to get the perfect shot every time, and now you can too!

web camQOMO HD Webcam with Built-In Microphone and Mount – $79
Need a different point of view than the one your built-in laptop webcam will allow? Say hello to the QOMO HD webcam. This high-definition camera with built-in microphone enables you to stream and record clearly for lessons, grade-level meetings, parent-teacher conferences, and more. Equipped with a sharp 1080p camera and dual mic, this 4K webcam captures audio and video much better than a standard laptop webcam. A USB connection allows for high-quality, plug and play image and video capturing with no drivers required.

The QOMO HD webcam is also easy to clip on, adjust, and move around, making for a highly user-friendly experience. Despite its small size, the QOMO HD webcam is able to deliver high-quality real-time images and video, making it a remote teaching powerhouse!

QOMO QPC22 ScannerCam 22USB Document Camera and Webcam – $235
Being able to scan documents to send to your students via Canvas or Google Classroom is an essential part of remote teaching. However, most people don’t have access to a document scanner at their house. What if you are trying to send an assigned reading or quiz and you currently aren’t anywhere near a scanner? Don’t worry- it’s the QPC22 ScannerCam to the rescue!

Document scanning is just one of the QPC22 ScannerCam’s impressive features- this affordable and ultra-portable gadget doubles as a webcam, making it ideal for transporting and presenting from home or school. Portable and lightweight enough to carry in your computer bag, set up the QPC22 ScannerCam anywhere to easily zoom, rotate, and flip captured images using your connected computer. Not bad for a device that only takes up as much desk space as a coffee mug!

ThinkWrite TW220 Ultra Durable Pro USB Headset- $34.99
One of the worst parts of working remotely is having to deal with so much background noise that you find it hard to concentrate on the task at hand! With this noise-canceling USB headset in your corner, however, every place in your house is a distraction-free zone!

The ThinkWrite TW220 Ultra Durable Pro USB Headset was exclusively designed by ThinkWrite Technologies to provide sustained comfort, superior sound, and signature durability. Ergonomically-designed soft contour 100%-contact ear cushions, improved sonic quality, and ThinkWrite’s unique ear cup swivel technology allow ears to remain protected from the stress of compression, the distraction of background noise, and strain of damaging frequencies over longer listening periods, while 40mm drivers deliver exceptional sound quality.

For recording lessons, the optimally-positioned flip-down omni-directional microphone boom will provide unparalleled sound quality for all students following along at home.

Remote teaching may not be a thing of the past just yet, but with these devices in your classroom, you can greatly improve not only your experience but that of your students! In order to prepare yourself for whatever the second semester of the school year holds, invest in these gadgets now- you won’t be sorry!

Classroom Tech: When is an Audience/Student Response System Necessary?

As classrooms grow in size and resources grow thin, it can be difficult for a teacher or professor to create, assign, and grade quizzes, exams, and assignments, with an already hectic schedule. Fortunately, there are many classroom tools that can help alleviate this type of stress for both teachers and students; one of them being an audience or student response system.

An audience or student response system is a network of remotes given to students, which allow students to submit their answers to questions or surveys using their personal remote. A teacher can run an exam, survey, or ask a single question, while students’ weigh-in immediately using the system. A receiver collects all responses and compiles the data onto a computer.

So when is an audience response or student response system necessary or the most helpful? Here are a few reasons why an audience or student response system should be implemented in your educational environment.

It’s easier to implement and grade quizzes. Consider the time it takes to write, print, and pass out quizzes: this added task for an already busy teacher can be frustrating, and take up precious time for other school-related tasks. By instead programming your questions with the system, you can easily deploy all the same questions to students at once, and grade all responses as they arrive. And instead of spending time organizing a classroom and passing out quizzes, using a student response system will eliminate that transitioning time. Overall, it saves you time from grading each individual quiz, and also reduces grading mistakes after manually checking and adding a score to a grade book.

It saves paper, creating a greener classroom. For schools that want to implement a better waste management and recycling program, having a student response system reduces the amount of paper that is used and later recycled. For short quizzes–especially pop quizzes–this can help reduce paper use, while reducing overall expenses on paper.

In addition, managing quizzes with a student response system allows for zero loss of an exam or quiz, as long as there are no malfunctions. Since responses are immediately recorded and graded, all results for every student can be found in once place. For teachers and professors who move from one place to the next, you’ll avoid accidentally losing a quiz in another pile, classroom, or office, where it might be thrown away.

It’s great for large classrooms to make attendance easy. For professors who have trouble collecting accurate attendance records in huge lecture halls, audience response systems will help you mark students present more accurately. Administering an attendance check, or simply randomizing a “respond A if present” question any time during a lecture will give you a better idea of who is attending and paying attention.

They decrease the chances of cheating in the classroom. This might be an important solution for environments where it might be easier to cheat, or there have been incidents of cheating in the pass. By deploying questions quickly or randomly, students will have a harder time with fixing their responses.

You can easily gather data about students’ understanding of the material. Systems like the QOMO Hitevision QRF500 series collects all information, and allows you to run queries on a student, class, or topic in order to analyze how well an individual or classroom understands the materials. This is a great way to help prepare students for a larger, upcoming exam, or learn where there might be knowledge gaps in the curriculum. Overall, it can help a teacher adjust the syllabus to help students, and spend classroom time on important aspects so that everyone can do well.

Overall, a student response system can be a great tool for classrooms and lecture halls. They are easy to deploy, and have a lower cost-point than deploying a more expensive Chromebook or iPad program for every student and can actually serve classrooms better than these programs. If you simply need to deploy quizzes or exams in a streamlined fashion, especially to a classroom of 400 students, this technology can drastically change the efficiency and progress of the classroom. To learn more about student response systems, or check out your options, contact us.

5 Reasons to Invest in Document Cameras for Education

Document cameras are slowly becoming a common tool in schools and universities, and for a good reason. This type of technology can help give students, teachers, and staff a way to provide clearer access to information and enhance learning programs. But for some departments or boards, it might be hard to persuade them to provide the necessary budget for document cameras. Here’s a list of compelling reasons why you should invest document cameras in education for your institution.

1. Allows for better visibility, flexibility and accessibility. There are a range of abilities and benefits that a document camera can provide. For one, using a document camera can give your students a better look at any items or documents you want to show them, especially for the tiniest details on a piece of paper or on an object. In large lecture halls and big classrooms, this is especially important and useful. Some, like the Hamilton Buhl VP20M Cyclops Visual Presenter, also come with a built-in microphone to help not only project one’s documents, but also one’s voice.

In addition, a document camera allows for teachers and students to present an array of documents and objects to the class. In addition to papers, the document camera can also show 3D objects, from artifacts to 3D models. Some models, like the QOMO HiteVision QView Document Camera, are also capable of connecting other electronics, such as laptops, tablets, cameras, DVD players, and more through HDMI, which removes the need for supplementary equipment for a classroom.

2. Portable for flexibility. There are a great number of document camera models that are very portable, which can serve multiple classrooms throughout the day. The QOMO HiteVision QView Utra Portable Document Camera is a great, lightweight and eco-efficient camera that can give teachers more control over where to place the camera, as well as where to store it after use. For tech departments, this can allow for better management of equipment across a number of classrooms, especially if a budget does not allow for a document camera for every room.

3. Acts as a tool for tactile learning. Younger students can benefit from a tactile aspect of learning, and document cameras can give them an easy way to do this. Not only will students learn to use new technology, but working with the camera and showing their abilities through it will allow for an improved learning experience, especially for students who learn best with hands-on work and presentations.

4. Allows for the creation of video lessons easily. This can be especially helpful for educators, who want to record their lessons for austerity, or for having class notes and lectures available for students who were out sick or on leave. Models like the Adesso NuScan offer the ability to snap photos or create videos, which makes recording lessons easy and efficient.

5. Allows for easy scanning and file collection. Many classrooms and learning centers can benefit from using a document camera as a way to scan and save files easily. Many document cameras, like the Adesso NuScan, come with special software that can make filing and organizing easy to do, without needing to learn a new categorization system. In addition, document cameras can help supplement common tasks, such as scanning and copying, especially when available scanners are in-use. They therefore save some time and money.

Overall, document cameras can help reduce overall technology costs by serving as a multi-function tech tool in the classroom. In addition, these cameras can really enhance classroom instruction and learning, for both students and teachers. To learn more about document cameras, and the various models we offer, contact us. We can help you find the right one that suits your school’s needs.