Classroom technology has changed dramatically over the past few decades, but even in all of the change, there remains a great deal of similarity between past and present technologies. Nowhere is this truer than in the case of document cameras.
What is a document camera?
A document camera is a modern-day replacement for transparency projectors—although document cameras are a greatly improved technology! You used to have to create plastic or acetate transparencies to project a document in class, but a document camera allows you to project documents—and anything else—digitally.
Why use a document camera?
At its most basic level, a document camera is a specially constructed web camera for projecting images of documents and objects crisply and clearly to a display, touchscreen panel, or other device. The Clear Touch document camera has the benefits of a flexible multidimensional neck, built-in LED lighting, built-in microphone, and wireless connectivity to give teachers maximum flexibility in the classroom. Our document camera also comes preinstalled with a lite version Clear Touch Canvas™, our premier infinite whiteboard software.
There is a clear reason why this category of technology has persisted to the present. We live in a physical world, and technology in the classroom needs to bridge the gap between the real world and the digital one. For example:
- We still have a need for books and physical objects in the educational process, and document cameras give teachers the ability to work with these objects while gleaning all of the benefits of digital technology.
- Document cameras give students the ability to see an object or text clearly from anywhere in the classroom, which is important for comprehension and understanding.
- Document cameras replace the need for costly handouts and help to save paper.
- And much more!
Creative Ways to Make the Most of Your Classroom Document Camera
Here are 6 of our favorite ways we’ve seen teachers using their document cameras in the classroom:
1. Read & Write Along with Your Students
Even in today’s high-tech classroom, teachers and students still rely on textbooks, handouts, and other printed materials. Use your document camera to follow along in the textbook or novel when your students are reading out loud, to display a handout, or to inspect a chart, map, or graph as a whole class activity. If you teach younger students, your document camera can make storytime come alive and ensure all students can see the pictures. Your classroom document camera is also an invaluable tool when you want to display in-class writing and go over it with your students.
2. Bring Science Labs to Life
Science classes may benefit the most from having a classroom document camera. Use the document camera to demonstrate a dissection, study the pattern of petals on a flower, or see the striations on a rock more clearly. You can even quickly and easily document the steps of an upcoming lab or identify the parts of a frog by hitting record or taking photos of the process. Use these photos for identification questions on your next quiz or test.
3. Put the “Show” Back in Show-and-Tell
Students love Show-and-Tell. It’s a classic elementary school rite of passage that encourages even the most reluctant students to share a little more about their lives. But how often can the entire classroom really see what’s being shown? The next time your student proudly brings in a seashell or favorite toy, put the object on the document camera so the whole class can see it in stunning detail.
4. Magnify Math Manipulatives
Teachers love math manipulatives! These amazing educational tools teach students math basics such as counting, arithmetic, and pattern recognition while also honing their fine motor skills. With your document camera, you can use your interactive display to model the task for your students before they try it for themselves. Create a pattern with foam color tiles for your students to copy at their desks. Or, project a geoboard and make shapes with rubber bands while your students follow along. The possibilities are endless.
5. Demonstrate How To Use Technology
Sometimes it’s easier to quickly demonstrate how to do something rather than trying to explain it. A document camera is an effective tool in higher-level math classes and other classrooms. Show your students how to use their complicated graphing calculators or their tablets. Everything seems simpler when you have a guide to follow!
6. Review & Discuss Quizzes or Tests
Maybe you have electronic copies of all of your tests, quizzes, and other classwork—but probably not. If you’re like most teachers, you like to be prepared for the day’s lesson but have the freedom to be spontaneous. Your document camera allows you to review pop quizzes and handwritten assignments and tests in the moment.
There are many more ways to make the most of your document camera. Show students a historical artifact or painting. Play a game of cards or dice under the document camera to teach students about probability. Play a matching game to teach students new vocabulary words. However you decide to use your document camera in your classroom, the objects you display will show up in TrueHD on your Clear Touch interactive whiteboard.
Understanding your DC100 Document Camera
Here is a quick reference guide to help you understand all of the Clear Touch DC100 document camera’s buttons and ports:
WiFi Indicator Light
Working Modes Status
Power Indicator Light
USB Extended Port
Learn more about document cameras
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