Imagine a future where schools might look very different from the way they do today – the huge educational complexes kids must attend in-person every morning, or risk missing out on an education, might be coming to an end with innovations in the educational technology industry appearing at unprecedented speeds.

I am, of course, talking about hybrid classrooms, a concept little-known pre-Covid but now has become a buzzword in discussions about student and teacher safety, and new ways to keep educating during and post-Covid in the new normal. A great hybrid classroom is ideally set up with interactive displays, visualizers, charge/sync carts, and tracking cameras.

Tracking cameras are traditionally used for lectures, performances, and other such events, however an application previously left out of consideration was school use. High quality tracking features are also ideal for teachers – but traditional tracking cameras were rarely, if ever, used by schools. Of the very few teachers or schools that shelled out for a top-end tracking camera, teachers could enjoy tracking capabilities for online classes that put virtual learning on the same level as in-person learning, and high image quality useful for whiteboards or other content that meant no more disadvantages like a student might have who got stuck at the back-most desk. The largest barrier – budget – remained for most schools however with professional tracking cameras capable of easily breaking the budget of the average school.

Luckily, some tracking camera solution providers have come to realize this, and tracking cameras tailored for the needs (and more importantly budget) of schools have started to surface. Features like a 30X optical zoom on a traditional tracking camera, which is excessive for a classroom, can be tuned down to a more appropriate 6X total zoom for classrooms in exchange for a more budget friendly camera.

While many features have been adjusted from traditional tracking cameras, there are also all-new features purposefully designed to fit the needs of teachers and classrooms. While not necessary for traditional tracking cameras which might have an expert on-scene for setup, USB plug-n-play is a focus for distance learning tracking cameras, for most cases where teachers are left to their own devices for the setup process.

When creating tracking cameras designed for schools, camera solution providers have had to have a big think about what kinds of additional features teachers are looking for. The first one to appear is gesture control – a feature created to allow teachers to conveniently manage settings on the camera without having to drop everything they’re doing each and every time they’d like to, for example, toggle the tracking function or zoom in.

With teachers taking their tracking cameras to their workplaces, or even their homes, the next consideration is privacy. While there are a number of different ideas floating around on how to achieve this, one of the more popular options is something called ‘Sleep Mode’. This refers to the function of the camera to detect when it’s no longer in use and shut off completely, while saving its most recent settings to be ready to go for next time.

With the budget barrier finally removed between schools and tracking cameras, adoption of tracking cameras in classrooms across the world has been far from small. Device-free teacher tracking offering teachers freedom of movement like an in-person class is a sizeable improvement over struggling to fit yourself and your content into a laptop camera frame, all while trying to maintain the interest of your students with little flexibility in teaching style.

Now, with the world moving further through Covid and moving into what many like to call a ‘new normal’, hybrid offices and arrangements where employees can easily work from home, or go into the office, have popularized across the globe. Previously during work-from-home or virtual office trends, teachers have missed out on the freedom it entails due to the restrictions of needing to be at school, or at the very least be at home with your distance-teaching setup.

With further innovations in the all-new distance learning tracking camera space, small form factor options (link) are now available. These can come in packages as small as the AVer DL10, weighing just 745 grams, that can be thrown into a handbag or backpack and taken anywhere, setting teachers free to teach where they want without sacrificing on teaching quality and leveling the playing field between teachers and other professionals who have had freedom in working location from the start.

Distance learning tracking cameras are an all-new section of tracking camera, offering budget-friendly prices and thoughtful features for teachers and schools everywhere.