Guest post: Teaching AP Calculus and Enriched Mathematics classes with HUE

Guest post: Teaching AP Calculus and Enriched Mathematics classes with HUE

I have been using the HUE HD Pro camera on an everyday basis for 3-5 hours to teach my AP Calculus and Enriched Mathematics classes since mid March. There are two main ways that you can utilize this very handy device to aid in your everyday work as a teacher.

1. Document Video Camera

Since the camera has a built in microphone and a variable articulated neck, I can place the camera directly over the 8.5 by 11 inch sheet that I write on at about 12 inches above the paper. The strong and weighted base of the camera system allows the camera to sit in a fixed position above the page, away from the space I need to write on the page, and in conjunction with a video application like Zoom or Google Hangouts, you are able in real time to talk to the students, write on the page as if it is your blackboard, and thus teach your class as if you were almost in a class together.

The pickup of the microphone is excellent, and the camera quality of the HUE easily displays the page for my students to see. The video that I produced everyday doing this was either recorded and uploaded to YouTube, or was recorded and uploaded to Google Classroom, using the Zoom record feature. This enabled my students who could not attend a class, to catch up by watching the videos. This is by far the most useful quality of the HUE system for my particular use. I was easily able to deliver an entire curriculum to my classes during the Covid period and keep them up to date with the course.

2. Web Camera

You can move the camera away from you, set it straight up and down and point the camera toward yourself. The HUE camera with thus act as a proper webcam and allow you to use various applications that require a webcam. This allowed me to begin a lesson by first talking to my students, where they could see me, and then continue on with my lessons. I very much appreciated this feature.

Advantages/Strengths of the HUE

  1. Very light small system with a small footprint that fits on your desk and does not use up much space.
  2. Good quality video and microphone allow easy use in a video chat application and does a great job.
  3. Camera is attractive and a nice addition to your desktop environment.
  4. Price is very respectable given the overpriced alternatives that exist.

Areas for Improvement

1. Video resolution should be upgraded to at least 1080p. This will help a great deal for improving the video, so that students can zoom in on the video to see some aspect of what you are working on that is small.

2. Consider an application to include with the camera that allows you to fully takeover the aspects of the camera (orientation, contrast, etc.) that is independent of the video application you are working with. This will allow the fine control that a teacher needs while conferencing.

Final Thoughts

If you need a video camera for teaching in a video conferencing environment, I cannot recommend enough the HUE HD Pro camera. It does a great job and you will be very pleased with the product.

June 2021 Update

I would like to add to my original comments about the HUE camera system that I use on a daily basis. There is an updated model of the HUE HD PRO camera that allows a step up in resolution to 1080p from 720p. This has been a great improvement in regard to my ability to clearly see my own screen as I write on paper for my class. Often, as you are writing mathematical formulas and diagrams on the page, you need to look up at the screen and make sure that your class is able to see all that you are doing, and see it clearly. The change to 1080p allows me to see on my own screen, much more clearly what I am doing and make sure that my students are able to see it as well. Since I exclusively use Zoom to run my classrooms, there has been a slight improvement for my students in what they see as well. Zoom does not allow the full resolution of the camera to be shown on the other end. Thank you HUE for the improvement, it is much appreciated and very useful in my everyday work.

Written by Brad Ryan, Mathematics Department Head at Brebeuf College, Ontario.

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