Frequently Asked Questions
Am I allowed to watch the class along with my child?
Yes. However, please don't talk to other parents about what you see in the class or comment on the teacher’s classroom management or teaching ability to other persons. This is a privilege for your child and we don't want to jeopardize it.
Do you provide internet?
Hopecam can provide an internet connection to a qualified child if they don't currently have access in their home. Hopecam will only provide the internet connection until the child completes treatment or returns to school full-time (whichever comes first).
Does my child get to keep the Hopecam tablet?
Yes. If your child is eligible to receive a Hopecam tablet it is their gift to keep.
Does my child qualify?
To Qualify for a Hopecam Connection, a child must:
- Be in grades Pre-K* through 12
- Be undergoing active treatment for cancer
*Pre-K children must be eligible to attend kindergarten the following school year
Does the school have to use Hopecam?
No, schools are not required to participate in the Hopecam program. Hopecam is a voluntary program that schools choose to participate in because of the great benefit it brings to the child in treatment for cancer and his/her classmates.
How can we help fundraise for Hopecam?
We are a small, grassroots organization and we rely on generous donors and sponsors to fund our program and keep Hopecam free for participants. Schools and families can help by hosting fundraisers, donating proceeds from sport events, being sponsored for a race by family and friends, and asking friends to donate directly. There are lots of creative ways to raise money for nonprofits and we hope you will consider supporting Hopecam.
How long will it take to set up Hopecam?
The timeline varies. Usually, the child can be set up with their tablet, Skype and internet in less than 2 weeks. Connecting with the schools can take from 2 weeks to 2 months, depending on the school’s schedule, their response to having Hopecam in their school, the ease with which we can get in touch with them and a few other factors. Sometimes they will require permission slips be distributed to other kids in the class before a connection is allowed to occur.
How often do we connect?
The amount of time spent connecting varies for each child and school. How you connect, when and how long a session lasts depends on a number of variables, including the child’s age, school schedule, treatment schedule, and agreement with the school and teacher. Connections can occur individually between the child and one student, a few students, or as a full class. Connections can consist of a 5-minute check in or a 1-hour class period. As always, start small and expand from there.
What do you mean by "connecting?"
For Hopecam, connecting is when a child virtually interacts with their friends, family and classmates over the internet using a video chat program such as Skype. Our goal is to connect each homebound child with their classmates for social purposes.
What does Hopecam cost?
For you, nothing. Hopecam will provide all the necessary equipment that the child does not already have, as well as equipment for the school.
What type of equipment do you provide?
We provide Amazon Fire Tablets for children who qualify for our program and Logitech web cameras for schools.
How time consuming is Hopecam?
We love the idea of a child being able to Skype into class everyday but we understand that this might not be feasible for all teachers. On average children in our program connect about once or twice a week while homebound or in-patient at the hospital. Once "active" treatment has ended and the child is able to return to school we find that they still miss a lot of days due to treatment side effects and doctors appointment - in these cases the parent and teacher usually coordinate a time to connect.
I have a Smartboard in my classroom, connected to my computer, how does this work?
Smartboard can be great for the entire class to see the student, if this is the style of connection you have chosen. If you want the student to be able to see what you do on the Smartboard, we suggest using a spare computer.
Skype isn’t working, what do I do?
First, contact your school’s technology specialist. It could be that network settings for your school prevent Skype from working, or you need special permission. Involve the technology specialist in what you are trying to do and see if they can help you. If Skype still does not work, give us a call. We can put you in touch with our tech support staff and other technology specialists who have had success connecting. If Skype does not work, some schools have begun using IVISIT. You can visit their website for more information.
Some parents did not sign the permission slip, now what?
Always call the parents first and have a personal conversation with them. Explain the situation and the circumstances under which the class is using a web camera. Often parents misunderstand the purpose and goal of connecting. If it continues to be an issue, we may have to adopt a different style of connecting or strategically place the web camera.
The times that the family wants to connect, does not work with my class schedule, what do I do?
Hopecam only works if all parties involved are flexible and agree on a schedule that works for the teacher and the family. The Hopecam staff has experience negotiating schedules and styles of connecting and we are happy to help.
We need permission from the other parents in the class in order to use a web camera, what do we do?
Hopecam has a sample permission slip and a letter to parents that we are happy to share with you. Please feel free to edit and adapt it as you see fit and add your own letterhead.
What do I do with the equipment once the child has returned to school?
If the equipment belongs to Hopecam, send us and email and let us know that you are ready to return the equipment. We will either pick up the equipment or send you a shipping label.
What is Skype?
Skype is a virtual, private network for video chatting. It is free and easy to use. It works just like a phone call. You must create your own account in order to use it. The teacher and child will exchange account names, and add one another to their contacts. Then, simply click on the student’s account name and press CALL. You can download Skype at www.Skype.com.
For Referral Agencies
Can the child connect in the hospital?
Yes, if the hospital unit has a wireless network. Hopecam tablets are wireless capable.
What if the hospital unit does not have wireless internet?
We will do our best to work with you to see if we can establish a wireless connection at your child's hospital.