The Webcam and the Online Language Teacher

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As online teachers, one of our most important tools in the classroom is the webcam! There's more to it than just turning it on! We'll explore the benefits of an external webcam vs the built-in one on our computers. We'll discuss proper placement of the webcam and how to optimally frame ourselves in it for TPR demonstration and prop usage. We will talk about how to have eye contact with the student on the other side of the camera. I'll give teachers a trick for remembering where to look. Finally, we will talk about sharing camera space with our props, and how the reflective or color properties of those props can affect the "lighting" in the classroom. I talk about these topics in the "proper use of props" and in "lighting and makeup" as well. But in this video, the subjects are specifically addressed in the context of the webcam.

Jessica Niles
Can you share the external webcam you purchased? :)
Anita Thompson
I place a (small) mirror right behind my webcam, so I look into my own eyes and see my own smile when I am talking directly into the camera
WONDERFUL VIDEO... thanks so much... You certainly answered my questioned regarding eye contact! You are so natural and comfortable in front of the screen! Thanks!
Tony Aviles
is it possible to use your Canon dslr as a webcam?
Sandy Noble
This is hard to find info for those new to online teaching. Thank you!
Ginger Byron
Oh Hope! My interview was a disaster. I had everything set up: classroom (really nice one), lighting (followed your tutorial), props (galore!), webcam, headset, the background with a nice green back drop, and I even dawned the red lips - bright cheeks - and orange shirt. I have been teaching children English language skills for over 20 years. Most of my kiddos have been completely mute either with selective mutism due to childhood trauma or with acute mutism due to impairments such as hearing loss, epilepsy, severe cognitive impairment, autism and a mix of many co-morbidities. I have been successful with the all. I know I can do this! I studied those slides up and down - back and forth. I timed them to the second. But then the actual interview happened. CRASH and burn! First shot at it... I was logged in 2 hours early when my computer decides to start running updates THE second the interviewer logged in. The interviewer was so great and accommodating. She allowed me to reschedule my interview for a couple hours later. During the second shot I could not get my web cam to be accepted by the site so I had to chose their camera. THEIR CAMERA WAS OFF! My lighting - waste of time! All my props could not be seen. The interviewer could not see my classroom. Worst of all my mouse would not go to the arrow to allow the actual slides not switch over so I had to do it all by memory. The interviewer was NOT impressed with me at all!
Paige Summers
Which external webcam are you using?!
Cassidy Wolf
I have my final interview this weekend.  I bought a logitech c615 for a mac.  I cannot figure out where to place the webcam so that I can get a bigger picture.  I tried setting it back but then I look very small in the frame.   Need your expertise.  Where to position the webcam and what type of webcam did you purchase?
Kelly Thibault
I'm dying! This is hilarious!!! Also, extremely always! Thank you so much! :)
LaRonda Rose
Wow! This video was very informative. Thank you so much. You gave a lot of tips on things that I would never have thought about.
Nichole Johnson
I am going to start looking at the webcam more! Thanks for this!!
I tried a decently rated $30 Logitech Webcam recently. It wasn't a success because the fixed focus wasn't helpful with props. Any suggestions on brand /model number?
Lynn Foster
Love your tips! They are common sense, but there is so much to keep up with at first, it's good to have a reminder!
KynaByna Naturally
I love your videos! I'm sure you've possibly answered this one hundred times, but what do you use for your background? Could you possibly do a short vid giving tips on how to arrange your virtual class.... keeping things assessible... tips and tricks???? pleeeeeaase? lol
Amy Burge
Great advice! I didn't realize an external webcam could make such a difference with lighting! I also need to go back and look at a few of my playback classes. I'm worried I might crowd the camera sometimes! AHHH!! It's like I'm moving in to see them better. I don't want to scare them! hahaa!
Dandy Blethroad
How big is your backdrop?
Kathe W
What webcam do you use?
Danielle Schreiner
Also, there is an app called "webcam settings panel" that helps a lot with lighting issues. I recently changed my background and the colors made me look really orange and this helped fix that issue.