Document Cameras

Document cameras, also known as image presenters, visual presenters, digital and visualizers, are real-time image capture devices for displaying an object to a large audience. Like an opaque projector, a document camera is able to magnify and project the images of actual, three-dimensional objects, as well as transparencies. They are, in essence, high-resolution web cams, mounted on arms so as to facilitate their placement over a page. This allows a teacher, lecturer or presenter to write on a sheet of paper or to display a two or three-dimensional object while the audience watches.

 Theoretically, all objects can be displayed by a document camera. Most objects are simply placed under the camera. The camera takes the picture which in turn produces a live picture using a projector. Different types of document camera / visualizer allow great flexibility in terms of placement of objects. Larger objects, for example, can simply be placed in front of the camera and the camera rotated as necessary, or a ceiling mounted document camera can also be used to allow a larger working area to be used.

Typical applications for a document camera include:

• classroom use
• Training sessions and meetings
• Conferences
• Videoconferencing and telepresencesss
• Presentation of evidence in courtrooms

Document cameras have been around for a while, but better cameras are becoming more affordable for schools. Here are a few tips and tricks helping and watching others use the document camera .

Smile You’re on Candid Camera Having kids share reports in front of the class? Turn the camera towards the students and have them appear on the screen. They’ll show up on the big screen and feel like a rock star!

Uses of a document camera

1) Dictionary Skills:
Teachers and students can easily model dictionary usage, layout, etc. by placing an actual dictionary under the camera.

2) Modeling Writing:
Good writing teachers model writing for the students on a regular basis. A document camera makes that modeling very genuine because no longer is the teacher writing on a transparency or a giant piece of paper. She is writing on a paper just like the students will be writing on! She is then able to model correct paper organization, handwriting, etc.

3) Off-Task Student:
Have a student who struggles focusing on his/her work do the assignment under the document camera. With a writing assignment, there are no “right” answers, so it doesn’t really matter if the other students can see. Using this method, the teacher is able to check progress on this student from anywhere in the room with a quick glance.

4) Whiteboard Lines:
Project a blank piece of lined paper onto your white board. Now you and your students can write directly on the whiteboard and keep the writing straight and neat. Classroom Management

5) Worksheets, Forms, Text Book:
Rather than wasting precious class time running around making sure all the students know where you are in the book, on the worksheet, etc. you can simply point if you use a document camera. Having the students fill in forms is now a snap as well.


6) Forgery:
When, and if, you ever catch a student forging his/her parent’s signature, place the forged signature under the document camera. Poll the class as to whether or not the signature looks genuine. This will make a clear impression that the teacher is not picking on the guilty student…after all, the whole class agrees that this signature has been forged. Also, it sends a powerful message to the other students, “Don’t even think about trying this yourself!”


7) Maps:
You will no longer need the pull down maps for geography and history discussions. Simply slap a book map under your document camera and away you go!


8 Science:
Demos When the teacher does a science experiment, point the document camera at the materials for all to see. For example, let’s say your experiment measures liquid in a measuring cup. Tilt the camera so that it points at the side of the cup. Now all of your students can easily read the measurement and more clearly understand how to determine an accurate measurement.