Culinary Queen M’Lisa’s Secret Ingredient- a TutorCam Go!
M'Lisa Kelley is the director of nutrition and chief culinary instructor for California's Piedmont Unified School District. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, closed schools and forced students and teachers to go online it had a huge impact on M'Lisa.
She was used to instructing her students face-to-face in a classroom environment. The classes have continued, but via video conferencing.
It was tough instructing students how to handle cooking equipment the correct way via video screens.
It was dedicated teachers like M'Lisa that TutorCam inventor Brandon Kennington was thinking about when he announced his "One Hundred Heroes" campaign last month. Brandon wanted to give TutorCams to 100 teachers in need of a technology boost for their remote learning classes.
M'Lisa entered, her story resonated with Brandon and a TutorCam Go is on its way to her home. "I'm hoping the TutorCam will help give my students a more indepth view of the techniques and skills that they need to learn," M'Lisa told us.
"Things like Culinary Cuts - learning to hold and use a knife properly, hand manipulation of flour and butter to make pastry, the exact motion of sautéing. I am hoping the TutorCam Go will help them see what I see as I am performing the tasks."
Brandon, a Purdue University mechanical engineering graduate, was inspired to create the TutorCam after volunteering to teach a math class at his kids' Los Angeles school in March. It was a few days into the pandemic and the school was using Google Meet to connect teachers with students.
Brandon could see the students' faces. They could see his face. But, Brandon could not show the students the pencil and paper he used to solve problems. He could not see the kids' workbooks as they worked on math problems.
He immediately began designing the TutorCam and it soon became a reality.
NBC's Today Show recently featured TutorCams on their iconic morning show and declared them a “must-have”. TutorCams are document camera stands allowing teachers and students with a tablet or smartphone to provide a second live camera view of their math workbooks, English textbooks, science experiments and other teaching materials during video conferences.
It allows M'Lisa a second camera to demonstrate how to correctly hold and use a knife or prepare ingredients for one of her recipes.
The other 99 winners of the One Hundred Heroes competition come from various teaching disciplines. There are math, science, music and English teachers. Some winners specialize in teaching students with dyslexia. Others are speech pathologist educators working with intellectually disabled patients.
There are band leaders and Kumon tutors. The potential for TutorCams is endless.