Updated: Oct 4, 2021
Download the SNAP CAMERA APP to Enhance your ZOOM AND GOOGLE MEET STREAMS, or Pre record and Flip!
Just about everyone has heard of Snapchat and there is some controversy over whether or not it has a place in the educational landscape. If you aren’t familiar with the app, it is an ios/android app that allows you to use augmented reality (AR) filters to alter your photos and send them to a receiver for a short period of time. Snap, the parent company, makes Snapchat, Spectacles (camera enhanced sunglasses) as well as Snap Camera. Most social media platforms now offer AR filters, but what a lot of educators don’t realize is that you can reap the benefits of the augmented reality filters without ever downloading the Snapchat app. Snap Camera app provides the software with AR filters and fun and can be downloaded on your Mac, or PC. The product’s tagline on their main page reads “bring the magic of Lenses to your live streams and video chats on PC & Mac.” And boy is it magical! Once you have downloaded the app, all you do to get the magic going is a matter of a settings change. You can check out the instructions on Snap Camera’s webpage, or use the abbreviated directions below.
Download the Snap Camera App
Once downloaded, on Windows, double click the .exe to install. On MacOS, double click the .pkg to install.
Open your zoom or google meet, and change the main camera to “Snap Camera” in the camera settings options.
Open the Snap Camera app on your computer and pick a filter.
Launch zoom or google meet and see the augmented reality in your video!
Why use Snap Camera?
Why would I want to do this you ask? To begin I shamelessly admit to rolling out of bed during virtual learning and using Snap Camera makeup filters to polish my appearance on zoom. I even showed up as the lawyer cat after this video went viral to get my students laughing and engaged at the beginning of my call. This got me thinking...can Snap Camera be used as more than a gimmick to increase the engagement in my zoom calls? It does help with virtual culture, but could it help with content?
After scrolling through the various filters offered I came to the conclusion that YES….YES it very much can! No matter what content you teach all it takes is a little searching and imagination for how you can use filters to give a "facelift" to your live streams, or prerecord instructional videos with the filter to be used later, or in a flipped fashion. Here are 8 filters you can creatively use now!
10 FILTERS TO USE IN ZOOMS AND GOOGLE MEETS
It’s October, but Frankenstein is timeless! Show up to your zoom or meet as the monster and discuss the book from his point-of-view! You can even have students interview you and create a series of questions, or prepare quotes to deconstruct. For more Halloween fun, check out zombies, pumpkins, and witches! (Reading The Crucible? hint...hint...)
Einstein! Or really any famous historical person. You know what would be super exciting! Having a "mystery guest" each week show up! You could get parents, other faculty members, or guest readers to sign up to be the mystery guest. You pre pick a filter that you are going to use, and have parents give a few facts about them. The rest of the virtual class they try to pick out who is behind the filter! Think of it as Akinator: Mystery guest version except they are trying to figure out who the parent/faulty member is!
Pumpkins! I'm pretty certain The Very Hungry Caterpillar ate his way through a ton of fruit. I wonder what it was like to be the fruit! AHHHHHH! How else can you use fruit or food in your virtual zoom? What about showing up as your favorite Thanksgiving dish or a Turkey! This can be especially fun with littles as they prepare to do the popular assignment "How to cook a Turkey."
Mona Lisa or another popular piece of art. Teaching art or history? Then show up as an artist or famous art piece and give the background on that era or style of art!
Teaching United Nations Sustainable Development Goals? Create a flipped video by recording your zoom session with the goals in the background, or show up live streaming them. Use it as a hook or conversation piece to get the conversation going on the 17 goals to change the world!
Astronaut Filter. Are you teaching about space, the moon landing, living on Mars, innovation, history, or Elon Musk? Use this filter to "report" from the moon, or deliver a history lesson on "The Race to Space." Prefer to be laika? I'm sure there is a space dog filter as well!
Caterpillar! Oh my goodness the number of caterpillar filters was astonishing! This one was my favorite. You can teach the cycle of a butterfly for this and show up as a caterpillar to your zoom. Maybe have students discuss what phase you are in, and what came before or after. I'm sure there are plenty of butterfly filters as well!
Water Bottle. Why would you want to show up to class as a water bottle? To teach about plastics and pollution! You can deliver this from the point-of-view from the life as a water bottle, and talk about other alternatives to help minimize pollution.
A school bus? Yes! You can use the school bus to talk about bus safety. This would be great for pre recording your video and sharing with students and parents in a newsletter or on the school website. In addition to school buses, you can do lab safety,
Last but not least, Fortnite! Where you are teaching Esports, or just have a bunch of kids that play video games, I guarantee that you will get their attention with the llama loot character! Lllama Problema Math day. Woldn't it be cool if the Llama showed up to teach Math concepts? If you are a Esports coach, there are a ton of video game filters that you can utilize to teach strategies, or even game mechanics! What better way to teach about sprites and storylines than from Mario himself?
Thanks for reading about Snap Camera! If you have ideas or examples of how you have used Snap Camera in the classroom please share with us using the #Teachingland hashtag and tagging myself @AmandaFoxSTEM!
Before downloading make sure you have the right operating system requirements:
Operating System: Windows 10 (64 bit) or newer; macOS 10.13 or newer
Hardware: Minimum of Intel Core i3 2.5Ghz or AMD FX 4300 2.6Ghz with 4 GB RAM; Intel HD Graphics 4000 / Nvidia GeForce 710 / AMD Radeon HD 6450; screen resolution of 1280x768 or higher
Please make sure that you have the latest driver for your specific graphics card installed
Honorable mention: Egyptian Mask