Recently, on an episode of Ask the Tech Coach, my guests and I broke into a conversation about how to choose the best equipment for your home studio. We discussed our favorite microphones, and audio mixers, and broke down our favorite headphones. After the episode, I received an email from a listener asking about my choice of studio-quality webcams. This is an interesting topic since over the last 10 years, I have had the opportunity to use a variety of webcams to both record and create content.
Recently, I teamed up with OKIOLABS to try out their USB Document cameras. In that post, I shared some of my favorite ways that a document camera or multiple document cameras can be used in the classroom to create authentic and engaging classroom activities. To help me learn more about the latest updates to web cameras, I reached out to them again and they sent me the brand new OKIOLABS A10 4K AI Autoframing Webcam. But the question that I had is … do you need one?
Do You Need a 4K Webcam in your Classroom?
For many classrooms, the simple webcams that come built into laptops, Chromebooks, and iPads might be enough to get through the year, but there are several advantages for having an external webcam and tripod available. Let’s look at three classroom activities where an external webcam will be a valuable part of your digital learning toolbox.
Have you ever wanted to include your ENTIRE ROOM in a student project, or would you like to have your students be able to move freely around the room to share their knowledge of a topic?
The AI Auto Framing feature allows teachers to create projects and lessons that are filled with creativity to boost student engagement! Walk-n-Talk projects are a great way to utilize this amazing feature of the OKIOLABS A10. The smart technology will allow your students the freedom to move around the room while presenting their content without worrying about staying perfectly in the frame; the A10 does all the work for you. A perfect example of this type of use would be an immersive language test! The student walks around the room explaining different classroom objects in the foreign language. As the student moves around the room, the A10 automatically tracks them by panning and zooming so that they always stay perfectly in the frame.
Virtual Field Trips
Have you ever had an opportunity to take your classrooms on a virtual field trip? Virtual field trips, such as this opportunity offered by NASA, are a great way to explore the world around you, visit museums far away, and introduce your students to experiences they could never get to locally. With the Ultra-Wide 4K lens, you will be able to mount your A10 in the middle of the room and have your virtual field trip tour guide be able to see everyone in the class. The 125-degree field of view makes this the perfect webcam for supporting classrooms of any size and shape. Additionally, the two built-in stereo-grade microphones support multiple learners by reducing unwanted background noise to ensure that your students are able to communicate with your tour guide no matter where they are in the room.
Live Broadcasts and Live Morning Announcements
Is your school looking to reinvent how morning announcements are performed? One of the best ways to do this is through an application such as StreamYard. Using a simple green screen set up, students can sit in front of the A10 perched on a tripod to live broadcast the morning news. Using the A10 for your morning announcements will take them to the next level by delivering them in 4K!
If you are simply looking to keep your morning announcements produced for only your school building audience, you can also check out this article sharing how you can use Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 to create an internal news network.
Is a 4K Webcam for you?
To be completely honest about the OKIOLABS A10, it’s awesome. I love that it comes complete with all the accessories and adapters that support my desktop and laptops and that I can easily pack it in my bag and take it with me anywhere I go. I can certainly see myself recommending this camera to anyone looking for a nice and clear, high-quality camera for their home setup and for any school district looking to get into live video.
OKIOLABS A10 4K AI Auto Framing Webcam by Jeffrey Bradbury
A10 Technical Specifications
The A10 webcam is feature-packed and has everything you need for creating high-quality videos or for streaming live videos from your classroom.
- The A10 features three resolution settings
- 4K / 30fps
- 1080p / 30 fps
- 730p / 30fps
- AI Auto Framing: On/Off Selectable
- Ultra-Wide 125 degree FOV lens
- Auto-Light Correction
- Auto White Balance
- Dual Stereo Microphones
- 2 Meter (6.5 ft) Cable
What’s inside the Box?
Inside the box, you receive the A10 Webcam and its 2-meter USB type A cable. The camera sits on top of a sturdy mount that can clip onto any monitor, TV, or tripod. In addition to the camera, you also get a 20CM tripod and USB type-A to USB type-C converter
Disclosure Statement: This is a “sponsored blog post.” Everything written above was my own writing and my own viewpoints and my own recommendations.