At the beginning of this year, I was supplied with a document camera for my second grade class. In short, I wanted to start this discussion in order to throw around some ideas for using the document camera in a classroom. I have used it in the following ways:
-Making every book a big book...shared reading experience
-students showing and explaining their work (especially in math)
-put a timer underneath the camera for variopus applications
-capture student work
-conduct science experiments with insects
-students sharing writing
-shared writing experiences
-word sorting
-math manipulatives
-discussing and displaying homework

Anyone else?

Tags: assessment, cameras, centers, computer, document, math, reading, science, shared, sharing, More…sorting, stations, student, technology, word, work, writing

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It's also handy for inital training for:
1. digital camera use
2. responders
3. mp3 players for books
4. any other piece of "stuff" everyone can use, but can't gather 'round to see easily

BTW - All of these were done with Kindergarten students...
Hi Bobby,

I have used a type of document camera for biology experiments - demonstrating an eye or heart dissection before letting students loose with scapels at secondary level.

regards, Britt.
My school just received 4 of them through a grant from our IT department. I've never used one, but need to develop ideas so that I can train the teachers...anything you folks could send my way would be greatly appreciated...
We have a few AverMedia document readers in our division. Sadly, a lot of our teachers had no idea what they were about and why I was so excited about them. So here are some links I shared with them:,,sid9_gci834853,00.html

Some videos I found on document cameras, document readers:

They aren't cheap. When I prepared the budget order requests for my division, I was quoted $680 for our AverMedia 300e model. Getting an Elmo (which appears to be a superior product) for less sounds exciting.

We piloted them in a first grade classroom to assist with an autistic student. He was very visual and it really engaged him in the learning process. We also found it really engaged all of the students. Our digital natives are extremely visual learners. We subsequently added document cameras to all of our elementary classrooms and they are a great hit with students and teachers alike. If engagement is what you're after...document cameras make a significant difference for the little ones.
That might work if you were really handy and could rig up some sort of a device to aim the camera at your subject. In my experience you have to make the technology easy enough to use for a wide range of tech abilities in order to get it in the hands of good teachers who aren't so good at tech. We use the Elmo and Ken-a-Vision products...they are simple enough that even our biggest technophobes are using them effectively. On another train of thought...clarity is exceptionally important when using these devices with early readers and in the writing process. A good document camera and projector are no more expensive than putting one computer in a classroom and we seem to be able to afford that in most places.
Actually, a HUE HD webcam comes with a base and arm so you don't have to rig up anything. And it's only $25 on Amazon!! I've been using it for a couple of months now and it is working great!
The key to document cameras is the resolution; students at the back of the room need to be able to read it. Webcams would therefore not be suitable (but I haven't tried it). I've used some poor document cameras where you could barely make out whats on the screen unless you adjusted settings for awhile. There can also be an unbearable delay. Our school purchased a huge order of Lumens brand models. These came with a microscope adapter. The best part of a document camera possibly comes when you use it in conjunction with an interactive white board.

-stick today's paper underneath it and make annotations
-have students plot graphs using a grid you put on the screen
-have students correct work they wrote on the IWB

I love this stuff.

I just used our new ELMO for the first time today. Much fun was had by all.

In our 9th grade English classes, we used it for DOL, workshopped essays a bit (drawing pathways from previews to topic sentences, that kind of thing), and 'scribbled' all over a short story as we began to read it together.

And we all know what each other's hands look like up close. :-)
When I taught literacy to lower SES 5th graders during intersessions, we used them to highlight paragraphs. The teacher would model and the students would then highlight different parts of the paragraphs on their own copies at their desks.

I just got an AWESOME doc camera from my district, and I can't wait to use it for my 11th graders. I've done it a bit when annotating to model.
Greetings Bobby

you do not mention whether your camera is computer connected?
the avervision allow for recording of pictures of the items being displayed, later the computer can be used to disseminate to classroom students, who can assemble a narrative of wha tthe pictures tell you..

enhanced podcast-garageband(macOSX)/mediaworks(macOSX/winXP), sketchcast, splashcast, photostory, slideshare could be used to post the students reflection on what you may have been showing them...

document cameras are great!!

In my art class I have students share their work on the document camera.
I write all notes on the document camera (I no longer have a chalk/white board in my room because I never used it!) o
On newer cameras you can zoom in and really look closely at objects (great for science)
I put transparencies over books/images and write on those to highlight specific items

My document camera and computer are both hooked up to an averkey and display on a large television (necessary set-up for my distance learning classes). I switch back & forth between the two constantly.



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