• Sound -

    I have really liked the Logitech USB H530 headset. My cheaper level of Logitech was pretty nice, but you could see that there was noise when I was not speaking coming through. This one has excellent sound cancellation for background noises and yet give a great sound for when I do talk. The sound is great coming in to my ears is great too.

    If you like adding sound effects and you have a MAC, SoundFlower, Ladiocast, and SoundByte makes for a nice combination so that you can add the sound effect right over your voice. No toggling between sound inputs. I posted a how to for setting it all up in the We Collaborate forum.

    Visuals -

    If you are making your own materials, a good graphics program that you are comfortable working with is fantastic to have on hand. My personal favorite is Illustrator because it is vector-based. There are things you can do with vector that you cannot do with a pixel-based graphics program. There are many freebie graphics programs out there: Aviary, GIMP, Inkscape. Just start working with one so that you can get comfortable with how to use it.

    If you write on slides a lot, such as working through math equations, you really need a pen tablet. Wacom Bamboo is great. Once you get used to it, it is like writing with a pen on paper. That is so much nicer than trying to write with your mouse.

    If you need to do a lot of close up and macro webcamming, the Logitech 720p Webcam Pro (Windows) or the Logitech Quickcam Pro for Mac (for Macs, obviously) are excellent. It has a very good macro mode and auto-focus. The Windows one does the auto-focus via software and the Mac one does it via hardware (the Mac doesn't natively have the ability to auto-focus). I am a biology instructor, so I need macro more often that a regular webcam view.

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