On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a webcam so you can see me!

For a while I have been planning to do a blog post talking about what I consider to be essential (and some non essential but cool!) technological tools in the educators toolkit to go with a Tablet PC (read Surface Pro 3). So today, being Christmas, I thought I would start a “Twelve days of Christmas” series where I talk about a tech tool each day (or so, depending how the holidays go!).  I’m not going to pretend I was lucky enough to get all of these for Christmas this year, but I think the theme is cool 🙂

So first up is an external USB webcam.  I’ve tried quite a few and love the Logitech C920.  I like it because it has a very responsive and high quality lens.  I like it because it has reasonable (not brilliant though) stereo microphones.  I love it because it has a tripod screw – so pairing it with a Slik Mini II tripod just makes sense.

tripod-open tripod-folded

As soon as you put the webcam away from the Tablet PC, all kinds of things become possible – you can video yourself so you have a body and not just a talking head:


You can view things up close.  Things like a science experiment.  Or a Christmas ornament (which my the way has some cool science due to the hot air rising from the candles turning the vane):


You can use it as a document camera, looking at a document or lolly packet:


But what this really needs is a video – right?  The video below was made with the camera in the exact set ups you can see above.  I know I’m playing around with Christmas stuff, but I hope you can see the classroom possibilities.

So that’s a wrap – I think most educators would benefit from a USB webcam to use with their Tablet PC – tomorrow I’ll talk about some software to best leverage it.

Happy Christmas everyone!

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