If you want to try something to liven up your online classes, why not try Manycam?
I have relied on Manycam for two years of online teaching. It took me some time to get used to it, but it worked to my advantage with a few tweaks. I haven’t stopped using it since!
Let’s discuss Manycam for online teaching, and how you can use it to keep your online teaching interesting. You can even use it to replace your physical props in the classroom.
Setting Up Manycam
Hold up! There is something I need to get off my chest.
When I first started using Manycam, it slowed down my laptop and affected my visibility in online classes. On some occasions, I even had to switch to my other camera and abandon Manycam altogether.
What was the issue?
When I first started using Manycam, it slowed my laptop down, and I couldn’t find the reason why.
You have to be careful how you configure the settings for Manycam. If you don’t have a super-fast laptop, you might actually disrupt your classes altogether by using Manycam.
A simple tweak in the settings can change this. My laptop is a manufacture-refurbished Asus 8 GM RAM laptop with a 2.5 GHz Core i5 processor, which is adequate for everyday tasks. I have an external webcam plugged into my laptop to deliver HD quality.
The HD webcam connects to Manycam to produce a flawless image. My laptop works best at 25fps (frames per second).
If you are setting up Manycam, you might need to alter the settings to see what works best for your laptop. You can also conduct an IT test on the teaching platform to make sure it is connected and working properly.
Manycam for Online Teaching
Manycam can improve our online teaching in several ways. You can be very creative with Manycam to produce some fun effects for the students.
As an ESL teacher, Manycam has given me the ultimate benefit of explaining nouns by using effects. Remember that students tend to learn more from visual pictures, not just words!
The effects are categorized into groups:
- Face Accessories
- Food and Beverages
However, you can basically find images for just about anything. Whether you are teaching seasons, numbers, nature, feelings, or want to teach a more advanced topic, there are many effects you can use.
Examples of Some of the Effects You Can Find
While the categorization makes finding the effects a more efficient process, it is much easier to find your effect using the magnifying glass and entering the term you are looking for.
You can also download additional effects or upload your own pictures to present on the camera. You can hide/unhide images or add them to your favorites so you can reach them in class conveniently when you need them.
Manycam has a Chroma Key which enables you to change your background to whatever you want! Maybe you want to match your background with the topic of the day or have a virtual classroom inside your screen.
To do this, you need to set up a green screen like this one:
By using the Chroma Key Function on Manycam, you can change your background to something more entertaining.
We can also reserve one of the screens to add rewards.
Maybe you want to change screens during the lesson and give them a star.
Or you might want to build a snowman.
Or give them some candy.
You can even screen share your screen to show them a reward. I screen share a custom area of my screen and zoom into one of the students. The students are projected on my webcam, and I put a crown on their heads using Manycam. Or I distort their face using some other funny effect.
Maybe you want to revise a topic by playing tic-tac-toe or Shark Attack. You can move to another screen that contains your game.
This encourages greater student output because they can’t draw on the screen. They must tell you what to do. Only you can write and draw on your Manycam.
Play the game with the student and have fun! Students absolutely love these games and can play them many times without feeling bored.
Set the Timer
To make the classroom more exciting, set a timer and ask them to complete the exercise within that time period. Or you can use the stopwatch to see how fast they can complete a task.
If the students are getting bored, a timer is a good way to switch things up! It can also create great excitement and competition among students.
Create a Preset For Before and After Class
Are the students running late for class? Then you likely don’t want to be visible on the screen idly waiting. In fact, you might want to take a sip of coffee or use your phone.
The best way to do this (and not get caught) is by setting up a new plain preset that you can switch to. You can decorate and personalize your layer if you want.
It is easy to switch back to your main camera once the student arrives or you are ready to begin class.
You can create multiple presets, and even have an end-of-class slide if you want to remind the students about something important.
Crop Your Background
If there are things you don’t want the students to see, you can easily crop the background to suit your classroom!
Tip! Use Bitmoji with Manycam
You can actually find a lot of fun and interesting images with Bitmoji.
Bitmoji creates an avatar that looks just like you. You can find a bitmoji doing just about anything.
Get the Bitmoji Chrome extension on your laptop. Right-click to save the image and upload it to your Manycam. Now you have some unique and funny images to show the students, and they are personalized to look like you!
Manycam Pricing Plan
Manycam is free until you decide to upgrade to a yearly or lifetime subscription.
Upgrading removes the Manycam watermark you would otherwise see on the side of your screen. Manycam has discounts throughout the year, so be sure to be on the lookout!
You can download Manycam for free here and test it for yourself.
That is how I use Manycam for online teaching. I love Manycam because it radically reduces or eliminates my need for props in the online classroom. The children also love it and it is a great educational tool, especially for online ESL teaching.
You can download Manycam for free and see if it works for your classroom. If so, let me know how you use Manycam to create better classes.