Get Seen: These Are the 7 Best Webcams for Online Teachers

by: Matt Moran ESL Authority Matt Moran | Last Updated August 5, 2020

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When it comes to webcams for online ESL jobs (as well as headsets), there is a huge difference in quality between most built-in models when compared a dedicated camera.  And, as many of you have likely experienced, having a poor webcam can cause a lot of inconvenience for you as an online teacher.

The issue is that while some newer models do offer HD video, they are severely limited by their design and location. Built-in webcams are obviously less flexible when it comes to adjusting what they see, and are often more affected by low light and exposure to sunlight.

Dedicated webcams, however, are not limited by space and even the low-cost models tend to employ technology to combat adverse lighting conditions.

Related: Our 11 Favorite Laptops for Teachers

What does this mean for teachers?

Protip:  If you have an online teaching job, please do not spend every class just sitting there!  Even the most mature students are going to require a bit of animation for their teachers from time to time.  This could mean anything from standing up to demonstrate a lesson to moving over to the whiteboard you may or may not have behind your desk.  Trust me when I tell you that it is far easier to move a webcam than a computer.

If this isn’t reason enough to consider investing in a webcam, then the aforementioned features should seal the deal.  The good news is that webcams for online teachers don’t have to be expensive, and some are a downright steal.

We’ve researched 5 models, each with a different price point, in an attempt to help online teachers understand what’s best for their needs and budget.

Our Top Picks:

Preview
Best Budget
Creative Live! Cam Sync HD 720P Webcam
Best Overall
Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, Widescreen Video...
Most Versatile
Ipevo CDVU-03IP Point 2 View USB Camera...
Model
Creative Live! Cam Sync HD 720P Webcam
Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, Widescreen Video...
Ipevo CDVU-03IP Point 2 View USB Camera...
Prime?
-
-
-
Price
Price not available
$100.92
$239.97
Best Budget
Preview
Creative Live! Cam Sync HD 720P Webcam
Model
Creative Live! Cam Sync HD 720P Webcam
Prime?
-
Price
Price not available
Purchase
Best Overall
Preview
Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, Widescreen Video...
Model
Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, Widescreen Video...
Prime?
-
Price
$100.92
Purchase
Most Versatile
Preview
Ipevo CDVU-03IP Point 2 View USB Camera...
Model
Ipevo CDVU-03IP Point 2 View USB Camera...
Prime?
-
Price
$239.97
Purchase

Teacher Webcam Reviews

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920

From widescreen to video calling to desktops and laptops, this webcam can do it all.  Everyone knows Logitech makes awesome products and their webcams for teachers are no exception.

This camera works almost everywhere and comes with a folding stand so that you can place it on a table if you don’t have somewhere to clip it.  On top of that, it’s got stereo mics + low light correction to ensure you’re seen and heard with 100% clarity.

Best for: Teachers looking for high image quality

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, Widescreen Video...
19,236 Reviews
Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, Widescreen Video...
  • Full HD 1080p video calling (upto 1920 x 1080 pixels) with the latest version of Skype for Windows;...
  • Video compression, Built in dual stereo mics with automatic noise reduction; Automatic low light...
  • Compatible with: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 or later; Works in USB Video Device Class (UVC)...

Razer Kiyo

If you’re teaching (or vlogging) in the early morning or evenings then this webcam is for you.  Low light can be catastrophic for any online lesson and the light ring on the Kiyo ensure’s you’ll be seen regardless of the time or conditions.

In addition, the Razer features autofocus to make sure you stay clear and is fully adjustable making it easy to find a place to put it while still capturing you and your lesson.

Best for: Teachers in need of good lighting

Razer Kiyo Streaming Webcam: 1080p 30 FPS / 720p...
1,005 Reviews
Razer Kiyo Streaming Webcam: 1080p 30 FPS / 720p...
  • The 1 Best-Selling Gaming Peripherals Manufacturer in the US: Source - The NPD Group, Inc., U.S....
  • Designed for Streaming: Supports video and audio recording in 720p 60 FPS / 1080p 30 FPS; Streamlabs...
  • Convenient, Built-In Lighting: An attached, 5600K daylight-balanced ring light around the camera...

Creative Live! Cam Sync HD 720P

If you’re interested in a low-cost but feature-rich webcam, the Creative Live! Cam Sync HD 720P might be for you. Price anywhere from 20 to 30 dollars, it’s considered to be one of the most affordable webcams for online teachers out there.

Furthermore, its plug and play setup means that you just have to connect it to your computer before you’re video chatting instantly.  In addition, it transmits in 720P at 30 frames per second, meaning your video quality is going to smooth and crystal clear.

Best for: Teachers on a budget

Creative Live! Cam Sync HD 720P Webcam
370 Reviews
Creative Live! Cam Sync HD 720P Webcam
  • Capture and share HD 720p video online
  • Built-in noise-cancelling microphone eliminates background noise for clearer voice chats
  • Secure your webcam with a password to prevent unauthorized usage

Logitech HD Webcam C525

Looking for something a little more powerful when it comes to your webcam?  The Logitech HDWebcam C525 is priced a little bit higher but makes up for it with features and functionality.  While the video quality is the same as the Creative Live model, Logitech includes a built-in microphone with their model to make sure you’re heard as well as seen.

In addition, the C525 has a swivel function that makes positioning and adjusting the camera a snap and uses autofocus to make sure your students don’t miss any of the action.  All of this makes it our top pick when it comes to webcams for online teachers. Note: the C525 only works on Windows computers.

Best for: Teachers that love to move around whilst teaching 

Sale
Logitech C525 USB HD Webcam
156 Reviews
Logitech C525 USB HD Webcam
  • One-click upload to Facebook and YouTube

IPEVO Point 2 View USB Camera

Looking for an awesome document cam that can improve your ability to show off worksheets and exercises?  Then the IPEVO Point 2 might be for you – not only is it the best-looking webcam on this list, it has some awesome features to boot.  Perhaps the most useful for online teachers is the jointed display stand which allows you to adjust the focus between you and a worksheet or document in seconds.  This allows for incredible flexibility when it comes to demonstrations and examples, all of which will be coming through in HD quality video.

The IPEVO also touts a built-in microphone for superior audio quality, plus the ability to work on both Mac and Windows systems. Despite these extra features, the IPEVO isn’t that much more expensive that the other webcams for online teachers and it’s certain to enhance the lessons for everyone involved.

Best for: Teachers that use worksheets and other resources

Ipevo CDVU-03IP Point 2 View USB Camera...
561 Reviews
Ipevo CDVU-03IP Point 2 View USB Camera...
  • Versatile, powerful, and compact USB document camera - at a price that will surprise you
  • Multi-jointed stand positions camera for documents, objects, and hands-on demonstrations
  • 2 Megapixel camera; macro mode for exceptional images from as close as 2” (5 cm) away

Microsoft Life Cam 

If you’re looking for a camera that combines great image quality with high-quality audio recording, then the Microsoft Life Cam is a great choice. The high-quality built-in microphone will allow you to free yourself of your online teaching headset and teach more fluid and dynamic lessons. 

It also has a high-precision glass lens and TrueColor technology that will enhance your video quality. 

Best for: Teachers that need a built-in microphone

Sale
Microsoft LifeCam Cinema, Retail
  • 720p HD video chat
  • High precision glass element lens for sharp image quality
  • TrueColor Technology with face tracking for bright and colorful video

TedGem PC Webcam

The TedGem PC Webcam is a great choice for teachers as it’s easy to use, easy to install and offers great image quality. The 1080p camera comes complete with a built-in microphone so that your lessons will look and sound great. 

This camera is also perfect for teachers that love to teach on the road, as it has a ‘fold-and-go’ design that will make it easy to pack for spontaneous trips. 

Best for: Teachers that travel often

Sale
PC Webcam, TedGem 1080P Full HD Webcam USB Desktop...
  • ❤Full HD 1080P Recording-Stream media and record vivid, high-definition 1080p video, capturing the...
  • ❤Best universal compatibility-TedGem PCHD webcam works with Windows 7/8/10, Mac OSX, Linux, Chrome...
  • ❤Easy plug and play-USB driver and automatic installation. Usb 2.0 connector, it can be easily set...

Wrapping Up

It’s easy for teachers, especially new teachers, to want to jump right into their lessons without giving much thought to their equipment or supplies.  We’ve certainly been guilty of that and while it is certainly possible to give a lesson from your laptop’s camera, there is no mistaking the difference a webcam can make once you try it.  While these might be our picks for best webcams for online teachers, this list is certainly not exhaustive.  If none of these cameras appeal to you, shoot on over to Amazon and find a model that will work for you and your students, you won’t regret it.

Matt Moran ESL Authority

Matt Moran

Matt is a writer, former ESL teacher, and founder of Remotely Working. When he’s not busy writing, you can probably find him sipping a flat white and planning his next adventure.

15 Comments

  1. Hi there,

    Love this post, but many of the cameras on here are not compatible with MAC or are unclear if they are compatible or not. Which would you recommend to purchase for streaming live classes with a MAC laptop? Preferably inexpensive. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Tagen – we actually just updated the post and the TedGem should work for a Mac. It’s a bit expensive but on the lower end for this list – hope this helps!

      Reply
  2. Can we use this logitech camera for an interactive teaching where teacher and student can interact? And is it compatible with android mobile phones?

    Reply
    • Can you explain what interactive teaching means?

      Reply
  3. Hi! Can you recommend a camera that would work to show a whiteboard (and able to focus on the writing on the board) from a distance?

    Reply
    • Does it need to be able to capture you in the foreground as well?

      Reply
      • Hi,
        I’m looking for a camera that can capture me teaching mathematics on a normal dry erase whiteboard. I will also be in the foreground. I want to give live streaming classes to my students.

        Reply
        • Your best bet is to use a document camera and a blank sheet of paper and a Sharpie. Whiteboards are to large to focus on and get your message across and still be visible to everyone.

          Reply
  4. I want to be able to move around while teaching, and go write on my whiteboard. I want it to be able to capture me and the whiteboard at the same time. Which would be the best camera, and would I need a bluetooth microphone?

    Reply
    • Hi Susan – good question – any camera should be able to capture both you and the whiteboard (you may have to adjust it’s focus) but you’re right that the sound will be better if you have a wireless (or Bluetooth) mic.

      Reply
  5. Would any of these cameras be good (in terms of pixels and sound) for recording a yoga class, in which case there would be some distance between me and the camera?

    Reply
    • Hi Anna – they should all be good for video but you’ll likely need a dedicated mic to capture the sound clearly.

      Reply
  6. Hi, I am reiterating the question from M.S. Rana. In spring, my child in 4th grade was having remote interactive 1-on-1 sessions using google meet with his teachers and some sessions were group based where each student in the class joined the google meet session. Lessons were posted on google classroom. Expecting similar model in Fall with longer 1-on-1 remote sessions.

    The sessions typically require the student to either read from the computer screen or printed material on the desk, listen to the teacher, respond to the teacher either verbally or by writing on his worksheet. Teacher need to be able to see the student as well as the worksheet on the desk.

    What option would be best suited?

    Reply
  7. I’m wanting to give my classes to students in class and online at the same time. My problem is my board is an interactive smart board and I can’t find a camera that focuses on the screen so that the students at home can see me and what is written on the screen. Am I better looking at a streaming camera as opposed to a webcam? I’ve looked at a lot of videos, websites etc but everything seems to be about gamers or 100% online classes rather than hybrid classes.

    Reply
    • Good question – if your interactive baord is pulling material from your computer than Id look into simply streaming your computer screen with a camera aimed at you as well. The downside is that any marks you make on the board might not show up, but that could be a decent tradeoff to not having a camera show your board at all.

      Reply

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