A document camera is similar to an overhead projector however it allows you to show things in all three dimensions. So whether it is the overhead that you used in the past or something that a student brings in to share with the class you can easily share it with the rest of the group. Simply put it under the camera and turn it on.
There are only a few adjustments on a document camera that you have to worry about. Depending on the model that you have will determine the adjustments that you have.
Some of the basics are;
- Auto white
- One of the hardest things for a camera to figure out is what true white looks like. Turning this on or off will help
- Depending on the lighting in your classroom you may or may want to turn the light on to see certain details of an object.
- On screen Iris
- This is the size of the eye in the camera, if you increase it more light will be let into the camera.
- This brings an object in and out of focus. Remember as you move the object the focus point will change.
- Do you want to focus in on the corner of a dollar bill use the zoom to do this.
- Rotating the Camera
- You can also move the head of the camera to change the orientation of the screen or the location that the camera is pointing at.
Using the Camera
There are a lot of things that you may want to show a class or that a student may want to show the class. Since a Document camera allows for seeing all three dimensions you can show all the different points of an object.
Ways of Use
- Project instructional materials (textbooks, workbooks, documents, etc.)
- Project problems as you work through them
- Project devices like digital cameras, remotes, etc. to teach how to use them.
- Use in science labs to demo how to do a experiment
- Math classes to show a solution to a problem which has a complex diagram, projecting a diagram from a book onto the board and then drawing directly on it on the whiteboard
- Front Plugin for iPod and other video devices
- Student writing and revising
- Showing Student Work
If the document camera has an memory card slot you may be able save images that are captured from the camera. You may want to use these images for:
- creating documents
- enhancing a slide show
- uploading on your web site
- post to a blog to stimulate discussion
- upload to a wiki to build a reference library to review/learn from