Experience sharing by a senior educator
Document cameras are a great tool for teachers. They allow teachers to take what used to be individual assignments and turn them into class assignments, creating more discussion, interaction, and maintaining students' attention. I highly recommend purchasing of a document camera for your teachers or departments.
After two years of helping teachers utilize a document camera and providing ideas for how they could use them, it became my turn when I got back into the classroom. Unfortunately the classroom setup is a little odd, but utilizing other tools, I am able to use the camera in an effective manner with my students.
Below are some of the ways that I have been using the document camera in my classroom:
I had students graph data related to population growth in the United States. I was able to easily go through the procedures on how to label the graph by placing it under the document camera. I also was able to take graphs from previous classes and showcase them so that students had a good idea of what I was looking for. Using the image capture, I took pictures of them so that I have them for later.
Students are always asking "What page is that on?" Using the document camera, I am able to easily show the page to the students, and highlight the area where they should be looking. It has been great when discussing images and charts that are in the book, something that was much more difficult when I did not have one.
Test Review Tool
I gave a test. When I was done grading the test, I was able to share the various levels of responses with the classes and obscure the name of whose test it was. Students were then able to see what I was and was not looking for in their answers. With transparencies that was possible to do, but it was time consuming.
Every handout that I use I now easily display a copy on the board for my students to utilize.
Instead of having students answer questions aloud, I have students come to the board as they are working and "write" responses to questions that they have completed and then as a class we can discuss them.
I have realized that the best aspect of a document camera is the ability to have a larger scaled view of what my students are also looking at. It makes discussing topics much easier and more beneficial in engaging my students.