Document Cameras – More Than Just the New Overhead Projector

Over the last year or so, document cameras have been popping up in classrooms throughout the district. These handy little gadgets can do many of the things our old overhead projectors did…and so much more. Here are just a few great ways I’ve seen teachers use their document cameras:

  • Share a piece of student writing with the whole class to demonstrate a great use of figurative language or to model editing and revising.
  • Place a calculator under the document camera to demonstrate how to use the device to solve a particular problem.Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 10.25.34 AM
  • Instead of having students crowd around you to watch you demonstrate a science experiment, use the document camera to project the process so everyone can see.
  • Place an iPad or other device under the camera to
    teach students to use a new app. You can also use the camera to share what’s on the device’s screen instead of having to connect the device itself to your projector.
  • Zoom in on a particular piece of text to demonstrate the use of text markings and annotations.

Looking for more information about how to get the most from your document camera? Click here for my Diigo list of links related to using document cameras in the classroom.

What’s your favorite way to use your document camera? Please share your ideas!




5 thoughts on “Document Cameras – More Than Just the New Overhead Projector

  1. Mike Floreck November 20, 2014 / 11:13 am

    I use mine all the time to help set up an assignment and point out key areas in the instructions. It’s a lot easier to show them using the doc cam then it is to take screen shots and show elements of an assignment on an LCD otherwise.

    I have also used it to model transacting with text, which is a lot more organic than using a digital means of highlighting and making notes.


  2. Jennifer Rogosky November 20, 2014 / 11:33 am

    Great to use for teaching measuring. When you enlarge a math journal page you can’t show how to measure with a ruler because the scale is off. Put the journal page under the projector and show kids how to measure accurately! 🙂


  3. Jess Atkinson November 20, 2014 / 12:22 pm

    I teach Capstone to seniors, and a large portion of the curriculum is aimed at public speaking. I use the document camera as a way for student pairs or groups to share or present group work. It gets them up in front of the class (good even in informal situations), and if they are doing an error analysis or transacting with a document, they can show what they have done for other students in the class to see. I often use it to show how I edit writing or when going over instructions or rubrics. Like Mike, I also model transacting with text. The document camera is one of my favorite tools in my classroom and has made modeling text interaction, whether it’s editing student writing or text marking the texts we’re reading, much easier and more authentic.


  4. Katie Reisinger November 20, 2014 / 2:25 pm

    I love using my doc camera! I agree with Jennifer – we started measuring today in math and it was so nice to be able to show it on the screen! I started placing the iPad under it as well!


  5. Scott Herbein November 20, 2014 / 2:25 pm

    After giving the class time in pairs to observe a gold fish or guppy, when we gathered as a class, I put the camera on the fish (laid the camera on it’s side by the container of fish), and as points were brought up, we could all see it on the screen.


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