The Benefits of an Auto-Tracking Camera in the Classroom
Education has changed dramatically in the last decade or so. No longer are classrooms just physical locations where students come, sit down, and listen to their lectures while taking notes. Classrooms are now dynamic and online and available to learners all over the world. The technology that is now available to broadcast or stream classrooms around the globe has been a hugely positive change in the world of education. Teachers are now using Learning Management Systems or LMS systems for short to enhance student learning opportunities by providing additional online resources. LMS systems are a popular way for teachers to organize resources that now include full HD recordings of the lectures and presentations along with digital assets such as PowerPoint files, PDF documents, and other supplemental learning materials. Learning management systems now provide everyday students with the ability to bring classroom learning back to their dorm rooms and homes for further studies. Many MBA program students who have full-time jobs rely on online learning management systems to keep up with their studies amidst their busy lives.
One of the technologies that have made this giant leap possible is auto-tracking cameras. Before auto-tracking cameras, colleges and universities had to hire students to operate cameras that were used to record lectures. Not only is it expensive to hire students to record lectures for posting into learning management systems, but they also are often not as reliable as auto-tracking cameras. These cameras are easy to set up and provide an automated, non-invasive way to record or live stream a teacher or professor for the benefit of their students everywhere. The HuddleCamHD SimplTrack2 camera, for example, provides the ability for classrooms to connect laptops for use with video conferencing and distance learning software such as Zoom video conferencing or Adobe Connect via a simple USB connection. The SimplTrack2 also features an SDI video output that can be run long distances and connected to lecture capture systems such as Sonic Foundry MediaSite or Echo360. Here are all the benefits of having an auto-tracking camera in the classroom.
How It Works
An auto-tracking camera is an automated camera that is positioned in a room to capture an instructor as they move during their presentations or lectures. They are commonly used in higher education for teachers to capture their lessons via video so that students can follow along live or watch the lectures using a learning management system where the teacher uploads their notes and the video/audio that is recorded is also available for students to review. The SimplTrack2 has simple management software that IT departments can use to remotely monitor classrooms. The software is also used to set up a highly intelligent auto-tracking system of rules that include tracking and blocking zones. For example, if students are coming in through a doorway during the lecture that area can be blocked from auto-tracking. IT managers can view multiple classrooms at the same time using the management software and turn auto-tracking off if they want to take manual control. The idea of the auto-tracking camera software is to provide a flexible one-time setup that allows the camera to function properly in almost any space. Once the auto-tracking camera is set up, it is ready to work 24/7, anytime a professor is ready to teach a class. With the camera’s simple integration into learning management systems, professors simply don’t have to worry about the technology. The auto-tracking camera and microphones in the room do all the work recording lectures when the classes are scheduled.
What are the Benefits?
There are many benefits that an auto-taking camera provides in an educational setting. Here are a few examples of the most important benefits.
No manpower required
The best part about an auto-tracking camera is that it is easy to set up and once you do, it operates without requiring time or money. In education, where budgets are tight and help can be hard to find, having a person dedicated to holding or maneuvering a camera to record a lecture is not efficient. An auto-tracking camera takes the need for a person to monitor it out of the equations which save money and frees up people’s time. Many universities find that the auto-tracking cameras pay for themselves within the first 12-16 months of operation.
Caters to student’s needs
The modern student is very different than the students of old. To attract students today you need to offer flexibility that not only appeals to people’s individual learning styles but their lifestyles as well. Offering lectures, recorded or live, online is a huge competitive advantage that will appeal to today’s students who want more choice in education. Students entering college today have experience with technology and online learning management systems from the high school level. The K-12 education system has been using the “flipped classroom” techniques that bring the homework into class and deliver the lectures via video for students to learn from at home. This trend continues to become more and more important as higher education modernizes and improves its ability to deliver education online.
It allows schools to expand their reach
With so many education institutions out there today, there is a growing awareness that many times there will be a finite number of potential students who can attend the institution. Just because they cannot be there physically though does not mean they cannot become a part of your educational system. Offering online video classes allows institutions to greatly expand their reach and attract students from all over the world. An additional benefit is these students do not require the physical resources that on-site students do.
In 2020, using an auto-tracking camera in the classroom is a great idea. It offers educational institutions all the above benefits and much more. To find out more about how they work, how they will help your school, to request a free demo, or to find out where you can get them near you, click here.