What is ManyCam and Why Would I Want To Use It?
ManyCam is a piece of software that acts as a filter for your videos. Think of how you can apply filters to your Instagram photos or how you can apply filters and stickers to your Facebook calls. That’s what ManyCam is for your webcam. It’s a video switcher that allows users to add different video sources to a live video.
It’s a fun piece of software that adds video enhancements to any Skype, YouTube or Twitch livestream. Basically, if it uses your webcam, you can use ManyCam with it.
ManyCam can also be used to record your screen, change your background appearance, change the colors of the live video and add goofy and silly stickers that children will love.
Why Would You Want to Use ManyCam?
ManyCam makes your classroom environment more entertaining and interesting for students. This is particularly helpful if most of your students are young learners between the ages of 4 to 8.
Small children really enjoy a class that uses ManyCam because of the built in features like stickers, being able to put on digital items like cat ears or a mustache as well as filters.
Ready to Install ManyCam?
You can checkout the homepage of ManyCam here. Simply download it and run the auto installer if you’re on Windows. ManyCam works out of the proverbial box with Windows PC’s as it was designed to be used on a PC.
ManyCam For Mac?
ManyCam is compatible with MAC IOS now! Simply download it and run the auto installer.
ManyCam features for Online Teaching
Want to add your webcam to the main picture frame? Simply select an empty slot and choose your camera. In the empty slots you can choose a YouTube URL, your desktop to record your screen, media files and of course your webcam.
Frames Per Second
With video, you can choose 30 frames or 60 frames per second. The human eye can only see 30 frames per second. The reason film makers like 60 frames is because it can be slowed down to 30 frames and give a slow motion look. For ManyCam, I would leave this setting to the default.
Flip and Rotate
One of my favorite features is the ability to flip and rotate. Small children enjoy this feature as you can turn your video frame upside down. A good idea would be to do a high five and then have the video flip and rotate for example.
The zoom feature allows you to obviously zoom in on whatever is in the main picture frame. This is helpful for pointing something specific out. It’s not too useful however using your webcam as most web cams are low resolution.
ManyCam Picture in Picture
The most practical feature of ManyCam is it allows you to perform a picture in picture. So you could say, have a YouTube video playing in the frame but then off to the lower right in a little box, would be a recording of you with your webcam.
Colors, saturation and brightness
Another practical feature of ManyCam for online teaching is the ability to apply color, contrast, saturation and brightness to your video. Ideal for those early morning where you’re lacking natural light.
ManyCam allows you to select your audio input and output. Thus, you can select both your headphones and an external mic.
You can use this feature in conjunction with a green screen to add a digital background. Not at all practical for online teaching, but it’s a feature to be aware of none the less.
Not useful at all for online class as all online teaching platforms come with their own built in draw function. If you were to teach students via Skype however, this feature could be useful.
ManyCam has various built in features but also the option to download and install additional effects you may find useful. For the full list of effects you can visit the ManyCam top downloads page to get an idea of what they offer. My personal favorite are the animated apples that can be used as a reward system.
Lower thirds is where you add your name into the lower part of the video. Ever watch a video interview and it says with animated text and graphic “John CEO of XYZ company” as an example? That’s what lower thirds are. Not useful for online teaching.
Distortions (Windows Only)
Which version should you get?
ManyCam currently has four versions:
The Free Version
The free version is perfect for getting started with ManyCam. You get to play around with the software and get a feel for how it works and how to best integrate it into your online classroom. With the free version you only get two video “sources” – mainly you can only select two boxes in the interface. You’re also limited in features. But if you’re looking to check ManyCam out, you can’t go wrong with the free version.
The standard version is the first paid version. It costs between 20-30 USD a year. The variance in price is based upon the discount promotion ManyCam may be running. With this version you get four video sources. This version is appropriate for most online English teachers as it allows you to save numerous YouTube videos, background and visual games that you can easily switch to on the fly.
The studio version is the most feature rich of the three options. At 70$ roughly a year, you’re able to have 12 video sources and use it on two different devices. With this version you could have picture in picture running while at the same time be playing a game or having a YouTube video playing.
This is still a good choice as it will provide you with all the features you could possible want as a solo online English teacher.
This version is ideal for small business. At $250 a year you get to use ManyCam on 12 different devices at the same time as well as over 24 video sources. It has all the features of the studio version. The only difference is you can have 24 video sources.
ManyCam is a very useful tool for online teachers. Particularly teachers for DADA as the material DADA uses can be a bit on the boring side. Other platforms like VIPKID and Magic Ears are switching their in house material to be more interactive so ManyCam may not be necessary in some situations.
However, if you’re looking to make your online class standout a bit more, have a look at ManyCam.