Updated: Mar 18
Thanks to C-19, schools and organisations around the globe are exploring new ways to connect messaging and lessons to students and audiences and the world of PTZ Cameras is exploding. These cameras are not new but what is possible with the latest iterations of this technology is making education more accessible, interactive and exciting.
PTZ cameras are robotic / remote controlled cameras with the 'PTZ' acronym standing for 'Pan, Tilt, Zoom'. The cameras have a similar image sensor to a camcorder but instead of being housed in a portable body you can take on holidays, a PTZ camera is designed to be mounted on a ceiling or wall and then remotely operated to leverage all kinds of learning situations.
The obvious application in the classroom is to record lessons and lectures which can then be replayed on-demand by students remotely. With many school closures due to C-19, the ability for teachers to maintain face to face style lessons for students using these camera technologies is keeping kids stimulated and motivated during these difficult times but there are other advantages too.
PTZ cameras can zoom up to 30x depending on the model so a camera mounted at the back of a classroom can easily frame in closely on a whiteboard so details are easily captured at high resolution. Having a recorded lesson to replay also allows students to rewind and replay if they miss something and the ability to review footage for revision has other applications outside the classroom.
In school basketball stadiums cameras can be controlled by students to live stream game play for fans but also record the game to allow players and coaches to review game play after the event and identify areas of merit or those that need improvement. The PTZ cameras can be permanently mounted in difficult to reach places to achieve fabulous angles for the gameplay and a recent video over IP streaming codec makes installation easier than ever.
In the past, video over IP delivered passable results in SD but new standards allow high definition cameras with full HD to stream on a new protocol for streaming which allows video signal, power and control to be delivered via a single ethernet cable and the newest cameras such as those from PTZOptics are plug and play.
Simply connect a camera to your network and then you will be able to locate the camera and broadcast the signal it puts out via a remote location anywhere on your network. PTZ cameras can also be used for Zoom conferencing as are they are compatible with all kinds learning management software systems.
Student learning is not the only aspect of school life that has been disrupted by C-19 and social distancing requirements. School leaver events and socials are no longer on the calendar and award presentations are in a precarious position. Video provides schools with a way to share lessons but it also allows teachers to correspond face to face with parents. It allows the celebration of sport and also of academic achievement. In fact, with a PTZ camera system, schools can actually bring a huge benefit to students.
Long after an event has faded from memory, student events captured during C-19 will always be remembered.