Distance Learning With Existing Hardware – Document Cameras

I know you are thinking to yourself, “How does a document camera help ME when my students are in a remote learning situation?”
Well, I’m glad you asked.

Plug & Play Document Cameras

Let’s talk about document cameras for a second….Whether it is Hovercam, Aver, or another brand, today’s document cameras are easier to manage because they either come with what’s called “plug and play” abilities which means you don’t need any software to use the device or the device’s driver instantly installs the application needed to use their doc cam. Simply find an available USB port on either your Activpanel or computer and you’re ready to go.

Think about how you have traditionally used your document camera in your classroom. You’re probably thinking of your non-digital content: worksheets, handouts, or choral writing with the littles. All these uses still work well in a remote learning situation.

Distance Learning and Document Cameras

We’re just taking it to the next level with our students who can’t be with us. Just like in my traditional classroom setting they are seeing whatever I display under my document camera projected on a screen in front of my room. But NOW they are seeing through a Zoom, Google Meet, or Blackboard Collaborate, because I am broadcasting my screen to them. Let me show you an example.

One of my favorite things to do with my students was reading to them. I could set up a webcam, sit in front of it,and hold up the book while reading it. But even if I did this in my classroom, there are still my students who could not see it. Just imagine what your students were seeing remotely.

Recording Lessos with Your Document Camera

Now if I use my doc camera, like my HoverCam here, My students will get a better view of the book I am reading and hear my voice clearly. You can do this for both your synchronous and asynchronous video. Yes, you can record what you are doing with your document camera to upload onto your learning management platform. It’s a win-win for you and your students. If they can’t join you for a live session, you can still support them by putting recording into your new practices on a daily basis.

Document Camera as a Web Camera

Let’s not forget that some of these document cameras have another feature that can really come in handy right now. My Hover Cam here can be converted into a webcam by flipping up the camera head. Aver U50 model has that feature too. No need to purchase or request a webcam. You have one right here. And I can record with the webcam feature as well.

So don’t let what you think is a hands- on science activity or non-digital piece of content like sight word flash cards stop you from actually doing it with your students. It may not be how you envisioned it, but it sure is worth a try.