Remote(ly) — Buzzword of the year

Due to a recent coronavirus pandemic, the world has changed. Streets, parks, shopping malls, company offices are empty because everybody’s at home, waiting for the air to clear, literally. As a consequence, schools are empty too. 

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” — Remote learning

For all the uncertainties during the last few weeks, I feel good again because the #STAYATHOME situation didn’t stop students from meeting their teachers and listening to their classes. How was that even possible? Easily! They were doing it remotely. Not only in the US but all over the world, by using video-conferencing apps, teachers have offered one-on-one appointments to their students to connect, get lectures (learn) and provide feedback.

In addition, teachers were working “tirelessly” to help families troubleshoot a variety of issues — whether it was signing in or getting familiar with the online learning platform. As many families had never used video-conferencing services before, youngest students, such as kindergartners, used help from their parents’ to access the program. That was something really nice to see — using the cliche, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,”

Hands-free communication tool

For a start, to do a video-conferencing call, you need a smart device with a camera. Usually, that would be your mobile or a desktop device. The great thing about cameras in those devices is that they are capable of providing excellent video quality while being able to work with a variety of video-streaming services. Still, using those cameras could be a problem. Those cameras are fixed and built to capture your face, but if you need a camera that can show things from your point-of-view, to show others what you’re seeing and the things you’re doing with your hands, you’ll need a hands-free and a POV (point-of-view) camera in one.

Now imagine if you were a math teacher and remotely, by using a video-conferencing call, you want to show your students how to solve a math problem while drawing it on a blackboard. How could you do that with a mobile or a desktop device? Not so easily.

A Teacher Wearing Vyoocam
Math teacher wearing Vyoocam

Wearables

Wearable technology or wearables are smart electronic devices (electronic devices with micro-controllers) that are worn close to or on the surface of your skin. Sometimes those devices can be mounted to your body or your clothes, but either way, you won’t need to hold them in your hands to operate them. Believe it or not, there are only a few wearable devices with a built-in camera that can connect to the Internet and work with video-conferencing services. More interestingly, except one, all of those devices are called smart glasses.

Vyoocam

Unlike smart glasses, Vyoocam is the only wearable device that is actually a POV camera capable of running not only the video-conferencing apps but any app available on Google Play store. Yes, you heard it right. Vyoocam is the only wearable device that can run any Android app the same way Android smartphone does. More interestingly, Vyoocam doesn’t have a head-up display which many users find very unattractive and difficult to use. The advantages of not having a head-up display are numerous; the device is small and robust so it can be easily held in a pocket, it can easily clip-on to any eyewear or a head-mount, because there’s no need to power a display, the device has a long battery life and most importantly, it is very easy to use.

A Teacher Giving Remote Classes With The Help oF Vyoocam
Teacher solving a math problem while doing a video-call with Vyoocam

The Apps

Educational applications, platforms and resources listed below aim to help parents, teachers, schools and school administrators facilitate student learning and provide social care and interaction during periods of school closure. Most of the services listed are free, and many cater to multiple languages, tend to have a broad reach, strong user-base, or evidence of impact. They are categorized based on distance learning needs, but most of them offer functionalities across multiple categories. Lastly, most of the services listed have an Android mobile app, and therefore, unlike with smart glasses, they can work with Vyoocam.

To learn more about Vyoocam visit https://vyoocam.com

A student seeing live video coming from Vyoocam

Digital learning management systems

Systems purpose-built for mobile phones

Systems with strong offline functionality

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Platforms

Self-directed learning content

Mobile reading applications

Collaboration platforms that support live-video communication

Tools to create digital learning content