Monday, September 6, 2010

10 Specific Way to Use a Document Camera

There are so many generic lists of how to use a Document Camera (my school uses AverMedia CP135), but very few are specific or "outside the box" suggestions..  Below are some of the ideas that I have thought of while trying to provide ideas to the teachers in my buildings.

1.) Display a worksheet on the board using a projector and have students come to the board and use the dry erase markers to "fill out" the worksheet.  Works great for graphic organizers, Crossword Puzzles, etc.  Helps to turn an individual assignment into a discussion assignment. 

2.) My school uses Turning Point Clicker software.  Have teachers create a generic Turning Point Presentation and then use the document camera to display the review/test docuemnt.  One copy of the review and helps remove the need to create several different presentations of reviews.

3.) The model that we use has the capability to network.  Therefore teachers have the ability to view a camera in another classroom as long as they have the necessary software loaded on their computer.  So basically one teacher could actually share the same review/assignment in their classroom with another classroom who does not have a Document Camera.  If it allowed audio as well, it could be even more useful.

4.) Kids always ask: What page and/or questions?  Project your textbook/worksheet, highlight where to read and/or what questions to answer.  Freeze the image so it stays viewable to the students while you walk around and monitor students.

5.) Showcase student work, good and bad.  The best way to show what you want your students to do is show what previous students have done that was right and wrong.  Works great for portfolio assignments.

6.) Flip the camera up and video tape your students in class during a skit or activity.  You can also take still images of your classroom to show student work on your walls in case you decide to change them out.

7.) Many document cameras come with the ability to take timed images.  This would be a neat way for students to create their own stop motion photography.  It can also help to show the different steps in a math problem or science experiment.  Be a great way to capture chemical reactions in science.

8.) Many teachers teach the same lesson in different classes.  I remember having to write and erase notes on the board so that I could do it all over again for another class.  Using the document camera you can take images or video your notes and then just reuse them in future classes.  If your document camera has a "screen shade" tool you can use that to only show what you want to students.  The video feature is a great tool for math teachers because you can video tape your explanation of a problem and then just show and pause the video in future classes.

9.) So many schools are strapped for textbooks or do not let students take textbooks home.  You could use the document camera to take an image of the pages from the textbook and upload those images to a website for students to access at home.  Also great for stories, pictures, charts, etc, from a magazine or other book that you don't have enough copies of for your students.

10.) Our model comes with drawing tools similar to what is available with SMART Notebook.  Teachers are able to digitally draw and highlight on documents.  Is great to use the tool to digitally work on a worksheet together as a class by passing around an Airliner.

I know some of these suggestions might not work with your model of a document camera, but if there is at least one suggestion you had not thought of this I hope this post is useful.

How have you specifically used a Document Camera?  What creative and innovative ways have you gotten students to use a Document Camera?  Please Share!


  1. I play class boggle with emerging readers...a fun way to find words, learn about vowels and everyone can see the "game board"!

  2. I use my IPEVO point 2 view camera to show a new app on our iPod Touch.

  3. This is a brilliant list.
    If you are brave you can try some augmented reality stuff using your document camera.
    And if you want to make your own -
    ARive and BuildAR will let you import your 3D models and create the printout to use.

  4. Specific is fantastic, you are right, there are so many generic lists it is refreshing to see one that gives good practical ideas teachers can use right away.

  5. I liked using the camera to project live pix of students and sometimes used the LED interfaced with the computer to post their school ID photos as well. Sometimes I did it to showcase an excelling student; sometimes I did it to bring attention to a student, who was in need of a little extra attention.