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cub-reporter bear to the rescue!...

You have a group of learners, sharing a Zoom (or Teams, or Meet...) call, with a teacher elsewhere (maybe they are shielding?), or with another group, or anyone conferencing in online. You want each learner to have the opportunity of having their voice heard clearly, through a good microphone.

However, if each contributor has to walk up to the front, it will be complex and too much time will be wasted - or you'll have queues - which then disengage those not in the queue.


The answer is - and we have tried this successfully many times over the years - a throwable wireless mircophone. The person who holds it gets to talk. And then they throw or pass it on, when asked.

It needs "padding" to protect the catcher. You can fit it inside a ball, a cushion or - and surely this is always best - a small bear. This is what you do:

bear in use

Throw the bear? Hang on... a few words of physics needed: inertia (and thus impact) is acceleration times mass. If the bear + microphone is light enough it won't hurt, however fast it is thrown. A heavy microphone (eg handheld karaoke one) will hurt!

A small bear is ideal, therefore. For inside that little bear, we recommend something like the RODE Wireless GO - Compact Wireless Microphone System, WIGO which are tiny, broadcast quality and about £160. Something less pro, but small enough and good enough, will be available if you shop aound for under £30.

If you are wondering where this is all going you might be interested in super expensive all room virtual microphones like the Nureva Microphone Mist. It picks up each contributor in a big conference room regardless of where they are standing - even if they are facing away from the screen. And with no bear. We've been trialling one at UCJC in our Learning Lab but at over £3,000 you'd best stay with your home made Cub Reporter Bear until prices fall hugely. Say, 2030!

Till then, bring on those bears!




Professor Stephen Heppell
this page last updated on 12th October 2020