Good classroom technology should be simple, frictionless and allow you to focus on the real goal… Learning. With the wrong tools, we end up working around technology rather than with it. But with the right technology, the equipment and overheads disappear and what’s left is an elegant and greatly improved learning and teaching experience.
The CC30 HD Collaboration Camera from AVer is one of those unique devices that keeps things simple while delivering some pretty exciting opportunities for teaching. With clever design, top quality hardware and delightfully simple operation, the CC30 is one of the best ways to take learning beyond the walls of the classroom. Thanks to AVer for a review copy so we could do a hands-on review. Let’s take a look!
In the box
The AVer CC30 packages all the hardware and software you need to present, record, screen capture, live stream, and annotate material with your class. Plugging into a computer’s USB or directly into a projector or screen via HDMI, the camera offers crystal clear 8MP video. And the wireless microphone means less cables and more freedom when moving and working with students around the room.
AVer CC30 Camera
The CC30 camera is a neat and portable size while maintaining some pretty hi-spec video processing. There are no buttons or dials on the camera itself, keeping it elegant and easy-to-use as well as making it less prone to misuse or accident. It has a 120 degree HD view, perfect for screening wide angles in the classroom as well as a heavy and solid base, keeping the camera firmly fixed on the desk.
One of our favorite features is the manual privacy shutter that slides up or down over the lens. This is another example of keeping features simple, while also being well aware of privacy and security concerns in schools.
On the rear of the camera, there are ports for power, audio-out, HDMI, USB and a slot for the wireless microphone receiver dongle. And once again with security in mind, a Kensington lock port is provided to allow the camera to secured to a desk or tether.
Wireless microphone and peripherals
One of the biggest features of the CC30 is the purpose built wireless microphone. There are no tangled wires preventing movement. There is no flaky pairing of Bluetooth. You just stick in the receiver dongle and it’s good to go. With built in echo cancellation and noise reduction technologies, the microphone is designed to work in loud classrooms and only pick up the audio intended.
Other cables and extras in the CC30 kit include:
- Wireless microphone receiver dongle
- Mini tripod
- Power adapter
- USB2.0 Type A to Micro-B cable
- AA Battery x 2
The CC30 comes packaged with AVer’s free video lecture software CaptureShare (download here), giving everything you need to display, screenshot, record and live stream video and presentations. CaptureShare again keeps things very simple, overlaying a lightweight panel at the bottom of your screen. From the panel you can then manage multiple video inputs (eg. classroom video from the CC30 + video from a document camera) and layouts as well as access all recording and streaming functions in one click.
The CC30 is also fully compatible with video sharing applications such as Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, WebEx, Adobe Connect and WebRTC.
In the classroom
Designed specifically for the classroom, the AVer CC30 has a number of features that make it ideal for teaching. One of the best examples here is the 120 degree lens that gives a greatly enhanced viewing angle, making for a much more natural and unobtrusive video session. In comparison, a standard webcam only gives a narrow 70 degree angle as seen below. This really highlights the benefit to finding the right technology for the right environment.
There are a number interesting and innovate ways the CC30 is being used with students. Here’s just a few ways this cutting edge tech is being taken advantage of in classrooms:
1. Classroom collaboration
Try setting up a Skype in the Classroom or Google Hangout session with another class. It could be the class across the road to discuss an upcoming project, or it could be an amazing cultural exchange with a school on the other side of the globe.
2. Parent and community involvement
With the ability to live stream, all of a sudden school events, presentations, meetings and more can be viewed from anywhere. A live stream can be broadcast to YouTube, embedded on the school website or mailed out to parents, opening all sorts of opportunities for further community interaction.
3. Flipped learning
Recording material specifiaclly for flipped lessons can be very time consuming. With the ability to record both live video and lecture material, the CC30 is an ideal tool to record classes for reuse in the future. Whether it’s for students who may have missed a day, for students who want to revisit material, or even to save repetition in future years, it’s quick and easy to start building a robust library of recorded lessons.
- Max. resolution 3264 x 2448 pixels supported
- Full HD 1080p 30fps video
- Supported high frame rate mode, up to 720p @ 60fps & 1080p @ 30fps
- Field of view: 120° (Diagonal), 100° (Horizontal) @ 8M
- Digital zoom : Up to 8X in full HD
- Working range : 32.8 ft (10m)
- Microphone sensitivity : -36dB +/-3dB
- Power : AA battery x 2 replaceable
- Full battery operation time : Typical 8 hours
- ф1.8 inch (3.5 mm) audio output (Line-out)
- USB 2.0 micro-B connector
- 16.4 ft (5m) USB cable
- 9.84 ft (3m) universal power adapter
- UVC 1.1 / Plug and Play (No driver needed for Windows and OSX)
- Windows 7, Windows 8, Window 8.1, Window 10
- Mac OS X 10.9 or above
- Chrome OS 29.0.x or above
For more detailed technical specifications, check out the AVer CC30 datasheet.
In all, the AVer CC30 is a high quality and well thought out collaboration kit for the classroom. With a focus on simplicity and reliability, the HD camera and wireless microphone are simple to set up and require very little technical skill to put in place and use day-to-day.
If you are looking for ways to bring enhanced collaboration or a flipped approach to your school or classroom, the CC30 is well worth exploring.
FTC Notice: We were provided with a free product in order to do a hands-on review. The company also sponsored this article -- but had no opportunity to review, influence or edit the article before publishing.