Simple Solutions for Distance Learning (with a Logitech Webcam)

(this post was sponsored by Logitech, though all opinions are my own)

Distance learning has been tough. Trying to figure out how to replicate what it is that I usually  do live, in-person with my students each day within a virtual setting has been a challenge. But  as I get further and further into the year teaching my students over the computer, I have found  some ways to make it worthwhile and effective. 

Solution #1: Move Around the Teaching Space 

One of the things I have found during these few months is that I haven’t been moving around as  much to teach. Usually, I get up and work all over my room. I teach from the white board, or  the back rug, or create anchor charts on the easel. But since I am tied to the computer, I haven’t had that “change of scenery” that I use as a way to engage my students. But in the  recent weeks I have gotten my hands on a C922 Pro Stream Webcam from Logitech and things  have changed! With this webcam, that easily hooked into my computer with a USB cable, I have a little more flexibility with my space. I can get up, write on an anchor chart that is a bit  farther away from my computer, and pull the webcam close to me. The kids can “move” along  with me, seeing what I am writing on the anchor chart and using that information too! The  webcam allows me more freedom in a seemingly rigid teaching space.

Solution #2: Bring them Up Close and Personal 

During a normal year, I would be creating lots of hands-on opportunities for the students. But,  as we know, this isn’t a normal year. It is much harder to do that. So I have had to try to find  ways to get the kids as close as possible to my lessons. In science, we are studying the life cycle  of plants. Growing and observing plants usually is something we need to be very close for.  Holding them up to the camera wasn’t working as well, as the focus is just too off. But, the C922 Pro Stream Webcam has once again come to the rescue! I was able to move it around and really show my  students the parts of the plant that was growing. I could get in with different angles that just  aren’t possible with my stationary doc cam. The HD feature also made it look just that much more  lifelike! The scientific observations were just so amazing this year….even over the computer!

Solution #3: Build Community 

Fostering relationships with students is such an important part of what I do as a teacher. I was  worried about how that would go over the internet. At first, it was tricky. With the way Zoom  works, my students are all pushed to the side of the screen while the work isprojected in the middle. That meant that when I was trying to talk to them from MY perspective, it changed  THEIR perspective causing the students to see the side of my face. Since the computer camera  is in the middle, if I was teaching to the center of the screen , I personally wasn’t looking at the  kids. The C922 Pro Stream Webcam is great for taking care of that issue. I just move it over to the side where my students are and I am looking at the kids while I am delivering instruction. It is a  seemingly small thing, but makes a world of difference when building that community of trust  and respect between my students and myself. 

So, while this whole situation isn’t ideal, these few solutions have helped me to make the best  of this situation, while still teaching my heart out. What are some things you have found that  have made your distance learning classroom a bit easier to manage?

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