Over the past two years, we’ve seen an increase in the amount of technology being used in our classrooms. Whether we were ready or not, we had to make a quick shift and perhaps embrace technology for the first time. We also had to find new ways to be able to connect with our students and create opportunities for them to connect with one another. While in our physical classrooms, we have so many possibilities for engaging students in learning, interacting with one another, and for demonstrating things. We can move around the classroom and see the work that students are doing at their desks and invite them to come to the board to solve a math problem or conjugate verbs for a few examples. Those options changed in the hybrid and virtual learning spaces, where we didn’t have those same capabilities, at least perhaps we didn’t think that we did. However, the use of document cameras offers a lot of possibilities that we may not even realize, especially if your idea of a document camera brings to mind an overhead projector.
Although they were big and bulky, they provided a way for teachers to write and project to the board without being in the way of the students. As a result, students could all see the material that was being shared. It enabled the teacher to respond in real-time, and in some cases, it was an opportunity for students to come up and use the board to share with their classmates. But overhead projectors are outdated and have been replaced by powerful technology: document cameras.
The IPEVO solution
In my classroom during hybrid learning, the camera came in handy when using my computer desktop that did not have a webcam or microphone. Being able to have the students in my classroom see and hear one another made it better for learning. With document cameras, we have so many different creative ways to engage students more in learning and amplify learning potential. For a simple definition, essentially document cameras offer a way to project the image of an object or a document, but without the bulkiness of an overhead projector. IPEVO document cameras also offer many more features which help with facilitating hybrid or virtual learning and so much more. The IPEVO VZ-X model, for example, has a microphone, a webcam, and wireless capability which means that it can move around the classroom or travel from classroom to classroom with teachers. How awesome is that!
IPEVO document cameras are a great option for teachers regardless of grade level or content area taught. I was thrilled to have one to use in my classroom and really explored different ways to use it during the past two years. As a language teacher, for conjugating verbs or showing grammar structures, drawing a picture and asking students to write a description are a few of the possibilities. For students who may be a bit uncomfortable going to the board to write or stand in front of the classroom and present, we can place the document camera on their desk so that they feel more comfortable in their space.
Thinking about other content areas, there are many ways to leverage the power of an IPEVO camera. Science or math teachers can demonstrate how to solve a problem or to work through a lab via a document camera, especially if facilitating an online learning experience. Art teachers can use it for demonstrating a specific style of drawing, especially when it’s easier to show how to do something rather than trying to provide written instructions or explain it, using the document camera makes it easier to convey meaning through illustration.
The settings on the camera enable us to provide a clear view of all of the information we are sharing. For students who may need an enlarged size, the document camera enables teachers to zoom in or capture images to be shared later.
In addition to teaching Spanish, I have a STEAM course in which I taught students how to do sketchnotes. As someone who is not that great at drawing, I appreciated being able to sit at my desk and demonstrate the different styles of sketchnoting. For students, being able to have the document camera on their desk and share their work or teach classmates how to create a sketchnote really made a difference, especially when it came to confidence and comfort in the classroom. Students were more likely to share their drawings when they had the camera in their space.
There are so many ways to use IPEVO! You can use it to record a lesson for students to view whether it’s a tutorial or in my classroom, for something simple like showing how to conjugate verbs or any other topic that you are covering. You can explore the free IPEVO Visualizer software to design a video that can be shared with students!
How much time do teachers spend waiting for the copy machine? With IPEVO, you can scan documents rather than waste time at the copier. All you need to do is slide your document below the camera lens and you’ll be easily able to share it with anyone. All IPEVO cameras are plug and play, compatible with any 3rd party conferencing software and scanning software.
Simulations and demos
Sometimes we don’t have enough space. Memories of trying to see my high school chemistry teacher show us how to do a lab, but unable to see. With IPEVO, when you want to demonstrate something, no worries about crowding around each other. By placing the camera on your desk or on students’ desks, and then displaying it on the main screen, everybody can be involved and it can also help students to feel more comfortable in the classroom.
Take it anywhere
It’s awesome that you can carry around the VZ-X document camera and simply set it on a student’s desk or within a group of students who are working together. You don’t have to worry about rolling around on a cart or having a wire to plug it in since it has Wi-Fi connectivity. Once it is charged you don’t have to worry about it losing its power as it maintains it for 12 hours. For conferences, it fits nicely in my bag and I can make my sessions more interactive when I am presenting. Also, the IPEVO DO-CAM model is the smallest and lightest on the market. It is literally the size of a pencil case!
Using the document camera in your classroom, helps teachers to provide instruction, to give demonstrations, while also engaging students more because they are able to share their work with others as well. For example, ask students to draw a picture or solve a problem, and if working in a hybrid learning environment, for example, students can share their learning using the document camera and it leads to an increase in participation.
A document camera is definitely essential when it comes to learning, regardless of where it happens, hybrid or fully virtual, and is highly beneficial in a traditional face-to-face classroom. What I love about the IPEVO document camera is that it is easy to carry around, doesn’t take up a lot of space, and it’s easy to get started with in your classroom.
You can even check out the IPEVO V4K Pro camera which has artificial intelligence and voice technology, that serves to eliminate background noise. IPEVO continues to add more features so that teachers really can provide interactive and powerful learning experiences for students. Learn more here: IPEVO
About the Author
Rachelle Dené Poth is a Foreign Language and STEAM Educator at Riverview High School in Oakmont, PA. She is also an Attorney, Edtech Consultant, and Speaker. Rachelle is the author of seven books about education and edtech and a blogger. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @Rdene915.
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