Using a Document Camera in the Classroom

A document camera allows teachers to capture an area of interest and use the content for pre-recorded videos and live presentations. Document cameras magnify objects and make them easier to see on a student’s mobile phone, a projector, and any computer that’s used to display the image. Document cameras can quickly become a go-to for teachers because they are easy to use with almost any software that supports webcams. Document cameras enable teachers to show students items of interest during a discussion and are even more useful when paired with annotation tools. In short, document cameras are a great tool that bridges the gap between physical items in the classroom, and the digital world of blended learning.
For online learning, the quality of recorded video content is a priority. From writing samples to scientific specimens, maps, and more, document cameras help you bring objects into the online classroom to make topics come alive. Overall, this device is a win-win for both teachers and students. Document cameras are also incredibly versatile so that a teacher of preschool or high school, and beyond can take advantage of their benefits.

Early Education Tips

Middle School Tips

Pro Tip: In the online course, you will learn how to quickly take screen captures of your digital annotations. Remember that with digital notes, you don’t necessarily need to erase your work. Just save a screenshot or create a new page, save it, and keep working.

High School Tips

In short, document cameras are a great tool for engaging with your students. Later in this book, you will learn how to use document cameras with other sources of media to create engaging videos.
In online classrooms, you can select a document camera as your webcam, or it can be shared as a secondary webcam with annotation tools. In Zoom, for example, use the “Share Screen” button to access the “Advanced” screen sharing tab. This option allows you to share the video from your document camera in a screen share session while your main webcam is still active.
In this way, you can use the Zoom digital ink tools to annotate on top of your document camera’s video feed. The same digital ink tools that are available in Zoom during a normal screen share, will also be available to you when you select your document camera in Zoom’s “Advanced” screen share area.

Pro Tip: Zoom is a great tool for creating short educational videos. You can use your webcam at the start of a short video, and then share your document camera during your lesson. Once you start using the annotation tools, you will really be able to create engaging videos.

Of course you can also use your document camera as a webcam source in normal video recording software to create engaging video content for your learning management system. Document cameras will allow you to share in-depth concepts and create compelling video content for students to enjoy at their own pace. Document cameras are extremely versatile, and once you learn how to incorporate them into your online videos, your students will look forward to the visual richness of your lessons. Document cameras can provide unique views of materials in your classroom that can transport students directly into the educational details of many lessons.

Key Takeaways:

1. Document cameras are a useful tool in the online classroom.
2. Document cameras can be used with digital annotation tools.

More Technology Tools for Online Education