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