Document Cameras

This post is written for our December online training for the Year 1 Collaboration Coaches, but anyone interested can join the conversation.

Several of our Year 1 coaches just got their document cameras, while others have had them for some time. We offer a few Prospector University classes throughout the year and some summer breakout sessions on using them, but it’s through ongoing professional development, discussion, and use that we’ll get more and more comfortable with them.

I’d like for us to take some time to watch two different videos (aprox. 11 minutes). One video is to use the doc cam itself, and the other is the software that goes with it. Then, I’d like for us to think about how we can use it in our classrooms, and share ideas/tips.

The Document Camera

Watch this 3 minute training video to learn new ways this tool is operated:

What new things did you learn about using the doc camera from watching this video? Does ours work the same way?

Aver+Media Software: 2 options

There will be two options in here for you to view. One option is for those who are just being introduced to the software for the first time, the other is for those who use the Aver+Media and want to learn other advanced features.

Introduction to Aver+Media Software

If you are new to the software, then watch this 10 minute training video to learn new ways this tool is used:

What are the main things to remember about using this software? — Give it a try in your classroom. Refer to this video as needed.

If you chose the introductory option, you may skip over the “Advance Features” option, and go straight to “Using the Doc Cam in Class.”

More Advanced Features of  Aver+Media Software

If you use the Aver+Media and want to learn other advanced features, then watch these 2 videos to learn about the virtual transparency and using the doc cam to create time-lapse videos:

Look at how Mr. Avery used his doc cam to capture his Tech Night for Parents to create a video:

To learn how Mr. Avery did this, click here.

What new things did you learn about using the doc camera from watching these videos?

Using the Doc Cam in Class

What are some ways we can use the doc cam in class? Why is a doc cam beneficial?

Here are a few resources for you to spend some time looking at:

How have you used a doc cam?

Set some goals

While the purpose of a tech tool is to help our students’ learning, we need to learn the basics first of how to use the tool and set some goals for implementing it. After we get some experience with it, focusing on the pedagogy and student learning becomes easier.

No matter where you are in the learning curve, it’s good to set goals so we get to the point where knowing when and how to use the document camera to enhance their learning.

What goals will you set to use your doc cam or to try something new with your doc cam?


What new things did you learn about using the doc camera from watching the videos?

Why is a doc cam beneficial?

How have you used a doc cam?

What are some ways we can use the doc cam in class?

*What goals have you set regarding the doc cam?

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86 thoughts on “Document Cameras

  1. Time lapse and the laser positioning guide was new to me. I am not sure if I have an older model, but I would like to find out if mine has the guide. That would be so incredibly helpful! I am very interested in the time lapse capture. I had never thought about turning the camera up at the class and using it to take pictures. I am not sure why we would do this, but I want to put some thought into to it!
    The doc cam has been very beneficial. We use it everyday to enlarge and project our work and practices. The students are immediately focused on whatever is on the screen and absolutely love to come up and share.
    My goal is to use the virtual transparency mode. I have never used it, and I feel like it would be a useful tool. I would also like to come up with a way to use time lapse capture.

    • Danielle,

      It seems that we took the same things from the video and maybe we can work on the time lapse together to share with each others classes. Maybe a quick “How to” video. What do you think?

      Bonnie Barrett

      • Hey Bonnie,
        I would love to work with you on time lapse. Do you have any ideas? I was thinking it would be fun to use it during an art project, and then post it on our website. What are your thoughts?

    • I found using the doc camera to be very helpful in my art classroom. I always thought I would always demo at a table and have the students circle around me. I ended up having very large classrooms this year, about 35 students and realize this method would not work out. The doc camera became a tool I ended up using weekly in my classroom. The students were able to see fine details projected larger on a screen. The videos that were shown were helpful in understanding the uses of the doc camera. I want to explore other things I can use them for. I have been able to also video tape myself in advance and display it, as I worked around the classroom explaining the steps. Thanks for showing more ways to use the doc cam.


      Paige Reesor

    • I would like to be around when you begin using the virtual transparency mode. I haven’t used it before either and I think that it would be very useful in teaching grammar. I need hands on and demonstration in order to learn something myself. I can see it being used with the “Move” feature, where there are circles that the students have to classify words into (such as all adjectives in one circle and all adverbs in another). This would be a great activity to reinforce the recognition of these parts of speech. I can see all the others being used that way too (nouns, verbs, etc.) and then have the transparency feature to go along with it.

  2. Hi Tracy,
    Thank you so much for helping me figure out the basic features of my new doc cam. I have never had one before, just the old timey overhead for teaching. I have used it for three days now and the motion sickness is getting better! If I do not look up when I am giving notes in math, then I am fine. The kids are totally used to it as they have been taught on it in previous years or classes.

    I learned how to capture a file so that I can reopen it later for review, or to print out and give a copy to an absent student. I now how to freeze an image, so my students are able to do the mindset without me bumping it and having to rearrange it again. I can capture many different images and save them for desired time intervals, from 5 to 60 seconds. The move tool is pretty amazing. I can now lock all so my students do not move something on accident. I like that the kids can move items in the appropriate category and if they can infinite clone to copy and paste a picture, image, or even coins.

    My goals for the doc cam are to learn how to do more with it, let my kids use it as they know more about it than me, and to incorporate it more in my lessons.

    Thank you very much for helping me today with my new document camera. I appreciate it very much.


    • Karen,
      I am super impressed with how much you have learned to do with the camera in just three days! I want to learn how to do all of those functions as well. I would like to incorporate my students using it more as well. Lets sit down and brainstorm some ideas!

  3. Hi Tracy,

    Thank you so much for the videos on how to use the document camera and the program that comes with it. It was helpful in understanding the technology that I am using in my classroom. I really like the time lapse mode and the laser pointing mode. That is something I work on trying to make sure my document is in the right spot before projecting it onto the Smartboard. It does appear that we have the same camera in our classroom.

    When using the Aver-Media software,there are a lot of features that are similar to the Smartboard Notebook software. So, when I use the document camera, I use it to project a handout or an assignment that we are using the classroom. This allows me to write right on the sheet and model it to the students in the classroom.

    My goal is to start using the laser point mode to make sure my documents are in the right spot before projecting it onto the screen. I would also like to play around with the time lapse mode. Maybe by making a video of something the students are doing to share with another class.


    • Bonnie,
      It would be great if we could do videos for each other. Maybe we can brainstorm some ideas. Something like my kids could show your kids how to capture pictures off the internet and your kids could show them an iPad app? Or how to add add and subtract with models?

    • Hi Tracy,

      Thank you for the great videos. I have had a little experience with the doc camera, but I have not used it very much. I actually have a scientific one I purchased with grant money I need to learn to use as well. I originally gave my doc camera to a fifth grade teacher because I thought my scientific one would do the same thing. Wow was I wrong!

      I have used the doc camera for showing student work (no names of course) to compare and contrast writing samples so students can see different writing perspectives.

      After watching the video I have to say that I am so excited to try the cloning and the move tool. I think the cloning technique will work well with my math class. Especially when it comes to fractions.

      I like Bonnie’s idea of creating videos to show other classes.

      Thank you!

    • In a class I taught over the summer, there was an interesting idea on how to use the videos. Someone said that if you’re teaching a science lesson, say a dissection, you could record yourself doing the dissection before it happens in class. Then, when it comes time to show students how to do it, you could play the video and talk about what you are doing, being able to stop the video where needed. This way, the action is already recorded and you are able to discuss certain highlights of this. Obviously, we would not be doing dissection at this age, but it’s an example of how you can use this feature.

      • Hi Colleen,
        Thanks for sharing, and it’s a fabulous idea! You are right, your kiddos wouldn’t be doing a dissection, but you would be looking at the parts of a butterfly or the parts of a plant (including the roots). You know how you soak a bean, then split it in half to look at the parts… Don’t you think the doc cam would be fab for this?

      • This is such a great idea. I love the camera, but in kindergarten it is hard to do anything very involved, and monitor the class. Thanks for the tip.

  4. Hi Tracy,

    I am SO excited to have a document camera in my classroom. Although I had never used one before, I had seen one used in other classes. I started using it the first day I got it and worked my way through figuring out the very basic function of it. It’s wonderful to be able to take a worksheet or even a page from a textbook and display it to the class to comment on it. What a great tool! After viewing the videos that you shared with us, I now know that there is SO much more to this piece of technology than I ever imagined.

    One of the first things that caught my attention was the similarity between the doc camera functions and those of the Smartboard. This was exciting to me because one of my teammates has a doc camera but no Smartboard. Once I become more familiar with all of the features and how to use them, I will be able to show her how she can create lessons using the doc camera!

    My goal is to find a few helpful features and document how to use them in a easy to understand manner. So often we get technology and tend to only use the basic features because there is no time to figure out how to use the rest of them. Since one of my teammates already has a doc camera but doesn’t know how to use many of its features, this will be helpful in our collaboration. Personally, I’m going to start using the laser point feature right away. This will be helpful so that I am totally prepared to teach the students when I turn the doc camera on.

    Thank you again, Tracy, for your part in getting us this new technology!


    • Laurie,

      When I was watching the Aver software videos I thought the same thing about SMART Notebook. It brought back memeories to our training over the summer. It’s great to see programs being similar, it makes learning new technology so much easier. How is your Smartboard knowledge progressing?

    • Hi Laurie,

      I’m glad you will utilize this tool to help your students with their learning. It is an amazing way to capture those teachable moments and model for others. It’s also a great way to have students reflect and share their learning with others.

      Kind regards,

  5. Tracie,

    I loved the time lapse videos! I’m not sure how I would use them in class but I love the idea of being able to show a growing concept, or an activity like the one in the video. I also did not know about the transparency button on the doc camera. I will be letting my teammates know about that one tomorrow!

    My goal is to learn how to take pictures and time lapse videos and actually use them! So often I would take a screen shot of somehting I wanted to come back to and a week later forget all about it!

    I love my doc camera. It is an engaging piece of technology that my students fight to get to use. They love to be able to go to the doc camera to write their answer. I also put up a worksheet and instead of making 26 copies I hand out white board and markers and they use that for their answers instead. It’s a paper saver and my kids love using markers and white boards!

    • Bethany,

      I agree the time lapse is exciting. I wonder if you could use it to record the steps in a project, or even simple instructions, and then play it while you monitor the students’ progress?


      • I think that is a great idea! I know we were talking about the even and odd songs you sing with you kids. I wonder if we video something like that how it would turn out.

        • Great point, Marcy! Yes, much of what we are learning through Kim Sutton can be shown here with the doc cam. I have some of her estimation and pattern ideas that can be used with the doc cam so fabulously.


    • Bethany,
      I agree with your statement about how it saves paper and how the students always love using white boards and markers to show their answers and work. Great comments.

    • Hi Bethany,

      I know, isn’t Mr. Avery’s idea for time lapse awesome?! Do you follow his blog? I highly recommend it, even if he is from the upper grades. Great learning and instruction applies to all grade levels.


      • Upper grades? Something to add to my to-do list over break. Thanks for mentioning that. I wonder if I could have the social studies teachers each make a little project with the doc cam that we could share for future units…

  6. Bethany,
    I agree with your comment about putting the worksheet up with the doc cam which alleviates the need to make copies for the entire class. I haven’t had the kids come up to write their answers on the worksheet; rather, they have been writing them on the Smartboard. I like the idea of having the students come to my desk and writing directly on the copy. Anytime they are at my desk, they feel extra special. My students love using the whiteboards and markers, too, and it’s such a paper saver!

  7. Tracey,

    Thanks so much for sharing the videos on using the doc cam and the software. They were very beneficial in getting started. I SO appreciate this new addition to my classroom.

    My goal is to start using it, and learn all the features it has to offer. I believe this new 21st century tool will increase my student engagement to help promote 21st century learning. Looking forward to the doc cam adventure!

    I also agree it can be a great use for saving paper. The students do love writing on boards & using markers. I would like to know how others are using their cameras in their lessons using the software. It looks like it has lots to offer.


    • Hi Shelly,

      I look forward to hearing the different ways you integrate this tool to model for/with your students. I would also like to hear how your students use it to demonstrate for each other, or to share their reflections with others.

      Are your student groups that you pull around 6 students at a time? I know you go into other classrooms to team teach, but was thinking about when you pulled some out… I’ll try to brainstorm more ideas for you that fits your students’ needs.


  8. Wow, great videos! I just recently received my doc cam and have limited my use to, basically, a glorified overhead. I’m excited to see the features in these basic videos that will help me to expand my use. The kids’ engagement is clearly greater when using this and other technology. It is exciting to see how the kids are progressing quicker this year than last, in some areas, and its a direct reflection of the smartboard and other technology that has been integrated into their everyday learning. Image capture, time lapse video, and even split screen are going to benefit the little ones.

    • Shana,

      I agree, I see lots of increased engagement this year with all the technology tools we have to offer. I see improvement in classrooms where technology is being used effectively, as well. This is truly 21 century learning at its best.


    • Hi Shana,
      You are going to love the camera. I take lots of pics with it, and the copy them to the smartboard. You can write on a worksheet with just the cam, but it doesn’t respond as well. I can’t wait to hear about the different ways you use after you have had it a while. -Danielle

  9. Thank you so much for the tutorial videos. I have never used a doc camera before and the videos were extremely helpful. I knew that a doc cam was to project papers onto the screen but I had no idea you could manipulate them. I also learned that the doc cam offers many features that are the same as the smartboard. The terms are similar so I knew immediately exactly what they were talking about. I have become so attached now to the smartboard that it is difficult for me to branch out and try the aver cam features. My first goal is to use the doc cam more often in class and to become comfortable with it. I am excited to get the students involved in using the doc cam as well. What a great way to share students work, especially writing!

    • Hi Krystal,

      I absolutely loved using the doc cam for editing/revising in writing. In my class, we’d highlight great word choice with one color, and figurative language with another… but having the kids come up and show the class theirs was exceptionally powerful. They would share their thinking process and how they’d come up with what they had written… and the doc cam was such an amazing tool to immediately show and share.


      • Krystal and Tracy,
        I use my doc. camera for that purpose often. We do a daily language practice and I can highlight, underline, put a box around, parts to be corrected. I do the some thing with the parts of speech and parts of sentences as we introduce them.

  10. Tracy,
    I got a new document camera last year through Career Ladder. I started out using it as a wonderfully glorified transparency machine. Then I took a class through P.U. on ways to use the doc. cam. I was amazed at how many features it had. Like side by side display.
    I have been teaching many years and I have to say the document camera paired with the projector is by far the most powerful teaching tools I have. I have used it like many others to save paper and display worksheets. However, I feel the most important feature is to be able to stay in a teachable moment. If students are not understanding a concept I can quickly pull other examples and samples up. Or I have used it when the learning takes off to display images or to go deeper into ideas quickly.
    I really enjoyed the videos and the refresher. I have found that if I don’t push myself to try new things I fall back to the simplest ways. That is one reason I am enjoying our collaboration group.It pushes me to remember to utilize the tools and I get great ideas on how to try new things.
    My goal is to use some of the features that are new to me like the time lapse video and then incorporate more some of the features I have forgotten about like the manual zoom, the focus pointer and the image capture.

    • Marcy,
      I agree with your comment about how it helps to push you. It is really easy to fall back into the same old routine but having technology in the classroom really gets you to think outside the box to teach every day.

    • Marcy,

      I really liked your comment about how you can use the doc camera to quickly show other examples if what you had originally prepared isn’t doing what you had hoped for the kids. I also like that I can just put my book under there so that the students can follow along with me, I can highlight different things in the text, etc. I know that there is SO much more to learn and I can’t wait to learn about and use more features.

    • Marcy,

      I love learning with a group of others. I think that’s one of the things I love about the Edublogs Teacher Challenges so much. The idea of learning something at the same time as someone else just helps me take the next step to try something new and to keep learning. So, thanks for the feedback and insight.


    • Marcy,

      I am totally with you. I love all this technology. It is so fun and very engaging for the students, so I enjoy using it. The problem I have is finding the time to master it so that I am comfortable using it with my students.

      I hope to be able to use integrate it info my lessons more, and the videos give great ideas. I especially like the time lapse and the cloning features.

      Tracy, will we have time to play with them in our next session?

      • Hi JG,
        I’ll be working on our next session when we return from break. I want to plan time in for this, but our training room does not have a doc cam in it (well, it’s a different doc cam and I’m not going there). But, I probably will do some follow up on best practices with doc cams.

  11. The document camera is very interesting. It seems that you can modify online curriculum to customize it for your class. The first video on setting up the camera for use was helpful to initiate its functions. I would like to see how the camera is used and what it really captures. Does it capture material online, in the classroom, and in any other way? I don’t have one, but if I did, it would seem like fun to use with hands on. The opening up of a project – is it saved as a PDF? Does it save in any other format? Can we import it or export the file into other softwares?

  12. I have had the Doc Camera for a year. I watched the first video and learned that I can zoom 16 times and capture pics and video. The source is a playback feature with a freeze button. The second video seems like you can use the camera for other things but I would need more one on one training to feel like I am ready to use it for teaching. Maybe we could have a mini-lesson to do using it’s features? I am very new at this device but would love to start using it to become a better teacher.

  13. Hi Eric, since I have prep 7th hour, maybe we could hook up and practice with the features of the Doc Cam? Or maybe after school, I seem to do better hands on with new tech.

  14. I have been using the document camera since I moved to AJHS last year. Initially, I learned to use this camera from Sarah Harrison’s class. She taught me a lot thank you. My area for improvement with this equipment is remembering each part every time. Now, with Tracy’s handy dandy videos regarding the operation of this equipment, I am sure I will remember “how” to use it. Thank you, Tracy for assisting my memory.

    • Lynne,

      You are welcome! I forget if I don’t use it all the time, and find videos the easiest to learn from. There is also a PDF that I attached in my comment reply to Erik (above). Feel free to download it if you find it helpful.


  15. I have taken a couple of classes on the doc cam, but the videos were a nice refresher. I have always felt that there’s a lot teachers could do with this tech, but never really figured out how it would be useful to me more than once in a while. I really thought the laser guide was neat. Whenever I use the camera, I’m constantly moving the paper around and not getting it quite right.

    The doc cam is beneficial because it is a way to make the boost the possibilities of the computer/projector combo. I really like the virtual transparency and I didn’t realize it worked like that. There are a lot of times where I’m showing my students something from the Internet and I have use my cursor to “point” to or highlight information. I can definitely use the VT to turn their focus to someplace more quickly.

    I use the doc cam at a couple of points in projects. It’s helpful for teaching students the parts of a newspaper because I can put one under the camera and isolate them. It works much better than standing in front of the room, holding a newspaper, and having students not know what I’m pointing at. It is especially useful for making rough drafts of papers. Students are able to follow along and draw what I’m drawing on the screen. It’s much better than on an overhead or whiteboard because they can see exactly how it should look.

    After watching the videos, my goal is to use the doc cam each day for the first couple of week of my Journalism I class. I’ll have two new sections in January and I will use Internet news stories to teach how to identify 5 W’s. I can have students, using virtual transparency, highlight the info. Seems like a good way to increase engagement.

    • Jason,
      I use my Elmo similarly to that with the many exhibits we have in business class. I will have my camera installed next semester and I am expecting better resolution and color along with more flexibility around the room. I like what you are doing with the virtual transparency. That is my favorite feature. I can mark up a financial statement from CNN.Com and demonstrate to students strengths and weaknesses of companies. Definitely looking forward to that next semester!

  16. My goals for the camera are to:

    1. Learn to use it.
    2. Apply it to my instruction by creating PDF screens for my online classes
    3. Invite students to use it for projects (sparingly and carefully)
    4. Leverage it with other platforms as I gain experience in using it – so that I have one new learning item per month with the camera (progressive).
    5. Do some research and see how others are using it so that I can learn better how to be more effective with it.

  17. When I first got my document camera, I used it all the time. I originally used it just to project up the worksheets we were working on or to show math problems using manipulatives under it. I would allow kids to go the camera to answer questions as well as have students model math using it. I also would use it to capture images and put into a slide presentation so I could already have the worksheets in the presentation.

    Many of the features of the document camera and Aver software are very close to those of the SmartBoard application. The most beneficial part of the document camera to the SmartBoard is that I use the capture image tool on the SmartBoard software to capture the projection under the document camera and have it placed into my SmartBoard slide show lesson. This made it so I could have multiple documents in a presentation without having to go back and forth to the document camera. I would capture the image of my math lessons and have the different pages on the board so my lessons flowed more smoothly. I used the camera to capture a weeks worth of work and put it into a SmartBoard slide and my lesson is ready for the week. If the students did not understand a concept, I was able to go back to the page and work on it again.

    I would like to utilize the video portion of this more. This could be used in a few different ways. Students could give book reports using this that could be posted. You could demonstrate math using manipulatives. You could video your students doing different activities.

    • Colleen,
      Love it, love it, love it! The way you piggy back between the Doc Cam and SmartBoard is fabulous! I wonder how many other people who have both know how/why to do this.
      Kind regards,

    • I have a Doc Cam in my classroom, but would love to have a Smartboard that I could have the students interact with. I think this tool would be helpful in achieve more interactive lessons. It would be a nice way to quiz students knowledge on key vocabulary terms that I use during my lessons.

      I have done the same thing with video taping my lessons and going over the tape during a demo. I have used it to show students would were miss the previous day before or to students who didn’t understand the concept the first time around. I think you should utilize the video portion more because it has been a big help in my classroom.

  18. Tracy,

    My goal is to start using the doc camera in my classroom. I just got it installed and can’t wait to use it. It is also my goal to take at least one PU class to help give me ideas of how it is best used in the classroom. I like what I saw on the video and I think with some practice it will be a great tool in my classroom! 🙂

    • JG,

      Fab! I have an idea and I’m wondering what you’ll come up with if I pitch it to you. How do think the doc cam could be used as a student directed rotation? IE Students have a topic (maybe jigsaw your SS or Sci as a pre teaching, connect prior knowledge, or extension… or a reflection/closure…) and have to put together a visual to share with others (like an infographic but done by hand, or a graphic organizer, or an entrance card/exit card) and then before rotation starts, they have 3 minutes to present to whole class. Thoughts?


      • Tracy,
        I think this idea is great. In my goals I included the idea to rotate the usage with the document camera for students for quickie presentations at the end of class. Students can be responsible for their own closure (I will direct it to make sure it covers our points) in their learning. This can be leveraged with the use of Prezi and the virtual transparency on it to create both “layered” and 3-D presentation.
        Also, I want to pull up a financial statement from CNN.COM (I want my students to do this too) and mark it up using the virtual transparency (like John Madden football) to identify weaknesses and strengths in the financial statements and create a better functional usage of the financial information available on the Internet. Sometimes the students get intimidated with it and this will break down their fear, because they can manipulate it.

  19. What new things did you learn about using the doc camera from watching the videos?
    I learned about the virtual transparency mode and how to create time lapse videos.
    Why is a doc cam beneficial?
    The Doc cam is beneficial in highlighting important facts to students as you research together online. It is useful in printing out notes for students. It is helpful in modeling steps for students.
    How have you used a doc cam?
    I have basically been using the doc cam as a glorified overhead. I found that the Aver Doc cam and SMART aren’t good friends though so Colleen has helped me and my team learn to take photos of our overheads and put them into SMART ahead of time.
    What are some ways we can use the doc cam in class?
    Aside from using it as an overhead, I would like to use the doc cam’s virtual transparency mode as I my class reads and researches online.
    *What goals have you set regarding the doc cam?
    A goal I have is to use the doc cam at least once a week in a different way other than as an overhead.

    • TO,

      Great goals. Yes, when I had it, I used it as a glorified overhead (remember when I piloted it in my class and it wasn’t plugged into the computer so no Aver + Media). However, when I had the students share their ideas and model for the class, use it to share their reflection on what they learned, … it became much more powerful.

      Ideas for using it:
      -See one idea I pitched to JG above for using it as a student-directed rotation
      Poetry: students create poem and then share why it’s a haiku and the meaning, or a doublet …
      Math: tons with geometry such as line of symmetry & use a mirror to show it
      Math: see this video on polygon attributes and angles with mirrors
      Writing: have students write in journal on any prompt or their choice – then have them highlight descriptive words in a color… (they can double check word choice in a word cloud later) if not enough highlighted, have them look for more
      Writing: same routine as above but look for figurative language — Focusing on figurative language will increase word choice, ideas/descriptions, types of sentences, and voice!

      Those are just a few ideas. I’d love to hear what ideas others have.


    • You are braver than I. I was going to make a very similar goal, but I wasn’t sure it was realistic. I do think that using tools is the best way to figure out more ways to use them, I just wasn’t sure I could pull it off for very long.

  20. Hi Tracy! I just stumbled across this post. Thank you for the great information. I definitely haven’t been using my document camera to its full potential. Time lapse—who knew?!

    I love to use my document camera during read alouds. Even older students love read alouds and I think they are more engaged when they can actually follow along in the text. I just put the book under the doc cam and students watch on the screen. It enables me to point out new vocabulary and sparks discussion about particularly interesting passages. Sometimes I’ll call on students read a section off the screen, and they love that! I look at it as kind of a high tech “big book”; it makes reading more of a shared experience.

    • I have to agree with you, Shauna. I project the story for the week to the students and do not even have them take their readers out. I read the story on the big screen and we discuss the different elements of the story. This is especially helpful because students aren’t distracted by the book in front of them and they are not turning ahead in the story. This has made my prediction lessons so much easier because students aren’t trying to be sneaky and look ahead, I can read at my own pace. We also stop throughout the story and highlight certain words; sometimes it’s to use context clues to figure the word out, sometimes it’s a grammar review, and other times it’s comprehension. I really have enjoyed having the book projected and the students enjoy it too.

  21. I definately want to learn to use the time lapse and make maps a focus for my social studies kids. They understand that nations acquire more land by battle, theft and purchase, but if they could make it happen on the doc cam, it would probably embed the knowledge into their minds a lot better. One of my students had a teacher who used the doc cam a lot and he is always helping me adjust it or use a new tool. I’m thinking it could be a project for HIM to help ME make displays for his class…yeah, that’s the ticket!

    • Hi Sheryl,

      I have always loved tapping into students. It uses their strengths and validates what they have to offer. It also models that it’s okay for the teacher to be a learner and to not have all the answers… and through collaboration all can benefit.


  22. Hi Krystal,
    Thank you for your wonderful comments:) When Andy brought in the Doc Cam and was installing it, the kids were just as excited as I was! As soon as I turned it on, Julian stuck his head under it and gave a big cheesey grin, then pushed the freeze button. He showed me right there that it really is a camera:)
    I talked to Tina Jada last night and she said that she uses the doc cam to record herself talking through the thought processes of a math problem. Then, when she has a guest teacher, or quite a few students that are struggling with the same problem, she just clicks on that file and wha-la:) I didn’t even think of doing that until now.
    So far, I have let my kids use the doc cam to show the class how they solved a problem in math class. I haven’t used it too much in reading or writing, but I was thinking I could have my kids share their next graphic organizer with the class using the doc cam. We have also looked closely at a lot of bugs that we are going to ship to Bugscope:) So far, it has been wonderful new way to reach my kids.
    How have you used your doc cam so far? Did you just get yours…or are you a pro:) Take care and have a wonderful break, Karen:)

  23. What new things did you learn about using the doc camera from watching the videos?
    -I had no idea you could create a time-lapse video using the doc cam.
    -I also didn’t realize you could use the software as a transparency so you can display and write on websites.

    Why is a doc cam beneficial?
    -The time lapse feature could be used in science to see how plants grow, a butterfly forms a cocoon, or other similar things.
    -It could also be used with a whiteboard (or in my case: using a wii remote with software to create a whiteboard).

    How have you used a doc cam?
    -I have only used my doc cam to take pictures or display something (paper) to my class.

    What are some ways we can use the doc cam in class?
    -I’m going to use my doc cam with my whiteboard set up to help my students with common core close reading. If I set the Aver+ software to transparency, I can pick an online article and help them examine the text more closely.

    *What goals have you set regarding the doc cam?
    -My first goal is to get more familiar with the doc cam and all its features. I then want to familiarize myself with the Aver+ software.
    -My second goal is to set up my whiteboard system so I can use it with the Aver+ software.
    -My third goal is to then use the combination of my Aver+ software and whiteboard to create an interactive system where students can practice examining a text.

    • Hi Jessica,

      Great ideas for how to use the doc cam beyond displaying work on the board. You are right, the Aver+ software is a powerful tool to help foster student learning and engagement.

      Kind regards,

    • Using the doc cam to model close reading is such a great idea. After doing that a few times, having the students coming up to the doc cam to model close reading of a piece in front of their peers would also be effective in helping students get more comfortable with the process as well as allowing us to assess them informally.

      Your idea about the time-lapse video being used in the science classroom is great. It could be fun too to use it as a summarizing video for the year. Maybe once a week, a picture of the class is taken with the camera, and at the end of the year all of the pictures could be put together. Students would be able to relive some of the memories made in that class as well as see how they’ve changed over the course of the year. It’s amazing how many features there are on the doc cams which also inspire me to do new activities and practices in my classroom!

  24. Thank you so much for the videos on how to use the document camera. I have learned so much and I can’t wait to put it to use in my classroom! The students will really enjoy me using it.
    Thank you

  25. The new things that I learned from watching the video is how to capture pictures, capture time lapsed images, and how to playback my saved images. The doc cam is so beneficial in the classroom because it can be used to show science experiements, books that every student may not have, use math manipulatives, display student work, and so much more. I have only used a document camera to read books and teach how to solve math problems. But now that I learned how to use it, I can use it for so much more for my teaching. After I have mastered the simple tasks of using a document cam, I want to learn more advanced options. Thank you so much for the videos on how to use the document camera. I have learned so much and I can’t wait to put it to use in my classroom! The students will really enjoy me using it.
    Thank you

  26. The time-lapse video was very cool! As many others have commented, I also never thought of using the doc cam in that way. In the future, I would like to use the move tool on the doc cam to have students categorize things like the characteristics of myths, fables, and parables. We could also use it with various types of literature and poetry.

    Previously, when doing writing workshops in my classroom, I have given students sticky notes or 3×5 cards to write down a hook for an essay topic. I then collected them, showing them on the doc cam. From there, the class chose the sentence(s) they liked best, and we moved on to do the same process with a thesis statement, then filled in the background information between. Using the visual to share student work allowed me to model how to write an essay using their ideas right there in class without having to re-write everything they wrote down on their own papers. It ended up being a cool activity, seeing how the students could collaborate to create a piece of written work. The visual of being able to see the sentences was a huge help in the process and lessened the stress and time constraints for me as the teacher.

    • Katy,
      I really like your idea of using the move tool to have students categorize things. I think this would be a very engaging way to assess what the students know.
      Like you, I thought that the time lapse video feature was really cool. Do you have any ideas on how you might use that in your class?

    • Like the previous comment,I would love to use that time lapse video feature in the future and look forward to experimenting with it.

      One question I have for you, is when you do these types of activities, do you have students place their names on the cards? and do you correct structural mistakes in the process? and how does that occur?class or teacher lead?


      • Good question, Tomas! I know that if this occurred in Sandy’s HS Sci classroom, she’d have students discuss whether they agreed or disagreed, and support their statements with why. That way, the teacher’s role as facilitator is to get students to analyze and assess themselves (and lead to self correction).

  27. I have had a doc cam in my room since I started at AJUSD. It wasn’t until today when I watched the tutorial videos that I realized it had so many more advance features. Up until now I have used just the basics. The main thing I have used it for is to project things such as close reading with my class or showing math manipulatives. The more advanced options that I learned about was the laser pointing and the video time lapse. I think it would be really neat to create a video time lapse of all the projects done the previous year to show to incoming students. The video time lapse could also be used to show
    The goals I am setting for the doc cam is to become more familiar with the advance features, especially the video time lapse and allowing students to participate in more activities using the doc cam.
    I believe that by knowing these new features that the doc cam will be beneficial because it is one more tool in the tool belt to make learning more engaging for students.

    • I also agree with your comment, I’ve had a doc cam in my room since I got here and thought that it was merely like the older projectors we all remember!It was refreshing to learn how much more you can do with the technology. The time lapse thing was interesting. I was wondering if anyone knew how long the doc cam can be used for the time lapse option? Using that feature for a week, month or even a quarter would be neat to see for students and the teacher was well. I’m glad we have this technology at our disposal for the benefit of our students!

  28. Hi Tracy,

    I never knew the doc cam had some of the features presented to me during the videos and I definitely can utilize mine in a better fashion going forward. I can image performing a dissection while taking a video or picture captures to give students a detailed view of what and how they are expected to proceed through a lab.

    I think going forward the Doc Cam could also be used to capture student
    presentations or to record teacher lessons for posting online. This may be a way to post short videos on important content to help students revisit what was taught and or learning objectives or to serve as a resources for students that are not present in class on a particular day.

    Tomas Navarro

  29. Doc Cams:
    Doc Cams are a tool that I knew little about other than just to project a image or items on the projector screen. However, I had no idea that they could be useful for many other things in the classroom. The only way I had used them was to put a document on the screen and have the students follow along during close reading activities. After watching the videos I learned that they can be useful in many other ways. For example on the site that listed ways to use them it mentioned that they could be used for modeling of paragraphs and sentence structure, this would be useful to get everyone on the same page at the beginning of the year. In social studies a lot of maps are used and not all of them are found online and some really good ones are in books. Using the doc cam to project the image could help students see the necessary material. Overall the videos and the 50 ideas site were very helpful. My goal is to use the list and find new ways to use the doc cam in the future, it is great to know that there are more ways to utilize this technology for the benefit of the students.


    David McQuilkin

  30. Goals:
    I have personal used the Doc Cam a lot during my lessons, but I want to find a way that my student could interact with it more. I want to give more chances for my students to use it. Since I do not have a SmartBoard, I could use my white board and Doc Cam to create lessons going over key vocabulary words.

    I could like to use my video taping part where the student could demo their own art project to the classroom. This will give the students a chance to show a variety of different techniques in my art classroom.

  31. One day last year, a Doc Cam magically appeared on my desk. There was no explanation, no training, or anything else. I spent several days after school experimenting with it in order to just get a basic projection on the board with it…mainly because I was told that that was what it was for. In the meantime, my overhead projector was taken away, so it was of utmost importance to see how the Doc Cam would work. I learned to use it by trial and error–more error than trial, I might add. I am able to get the projection on and enlarge it as needed. I learned the highlight feature on my own, too, which I really like. With these videos, I learned about the “Move” feature, which I will definitely work on learning so that I can use it. The example they depicted with the two circles and placing adjectives and adverbs in the circles would be an excellent activity for my 6th graders. I also learned about the Zoom feature from the video, which will come in handy for different size texts. Now I know about the Automatic Focus, which I was not aware of before. Another thing I learned was how to retrieve the Tool Bar, which was a source of frustration in the past because I often lost it. Now I know to just double click to lose or get it back. I can’t wait to try out the Infinite Clone icon-that has all kinds of possibilities! The time-lapse videos look interesting, but I don’t see that as a priority at this time. All in all, I should have had this information over a year ago, but I didn’t know it was available. Obviously I have much to learn still, but this course helped tremendously. My goal is to work even more with the Doc Cam and try out these things that I have just talked about.

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