Document Camera

Discussion in 'General Education' started by LetsDoSomeMath, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. LetsDoSomeMath

    LetsDoSomeMath Rookie

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    When I was student teaching, I used the document camera a lot. I really like using it. The school I will be teaching this year doesn't use document cameras---- So, I've been searching for some and found some very inexpensive. Does anyone know anything about them? Is there a decent camera I should look for? Any features I need to find? Anything??
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I would hold off for a while.

    For starters, do they have a screen? That's another whole issue to be considered. And you may very well travel from one room to another; last year I taught in 4 different classrooms, in addition to my study hall in the cafeteria.

    See what the teachers there have been doing all along. You may find that their system makes as much sense as what you're thinking.
     
  4. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I bought a used one on Ebay for really cheap. It just needed new bulbs. It was $150 shipped and in amazing condition. It was just an older model, though the specs on it were WAY nicer than what I could buy new for that amount of money. I love mine and use it constantly.
     
  5. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I have a portable document camera and love it. It is sad to say but I can put it away so it does not grow legs and walk to another classroom. I really could not imagine teaching without my document camera and my tablet laptop. There is no more turning my back on my students. This is the camera that I have.

    http://www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/product?id=6602
     
  6. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    There's this old fashioned thing called an overhead projector. Many schools still have them, and they are an acceptable stand-in for a document camera for schools with limited budgets for technology.

    Like Alice said, you don't know yet what exactly your teaching situation will be like, so hold off on spending too much money on things you might not be able to use.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I used a Smart Camera this year- made by the company that makes Smart Boards. Easy to use, I projected it on my Smart Board. There was a switch on the camera so you could toggle between the laptop and whatever was under the document camera. I loved using it.
    That said, if you are a first year teacher there are other things to spend your limited classroom funds on.
     
  8. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Personally, I wouldn't go out and purchase one. I also love document cameras, but my school doesn't have them. I actually like my overhead now - sure, it's a pain in the butt sometimes, but it gets the job done.

    It's entirely possible that your school may be due for a technology upgrade soon... why don't you wait and see what's going on before committing to purchasing one?
     
  9. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    A couple of years ago in my room at my old school I had one that was horrible - shaky, dark. It made me sick to use it.

    I have one now that is wonderful, so not all document camera are made the same. I'd be careful.
     
  10. LetsDoSomeMath

    LetsDoSomeMath Rookie

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    Yes, I have a screen and projector in my room. I really HATE using a overhead projector--- let me clarify, I really HATE using the overhead projector. I really did LOVE the document camera.... it's easy and convenient to use.

    I found some on ebay for around $100---- I don't mind spending $100 for something I would use as much as I would use it.

    As for the technology upgrade--- I think we are slowly getting smartboards. We have a few already so I think they are trying to get more. I will assume I'd get a smartboard before a doc. camera. I'd be in heaven if I had both!

    MissCeliaB-- What kind did you buy?
     
  11. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    When I taught middle school I loved loved loved my document camera. It was so much easier to use then an overhead and I didn't have to get up and write on the white board. I didn't use a screen I just used the white board.
     
  12. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I really do not blame you for buying one. I understand about the overhead. I will never teach again without a document camera. I gave up my Promethean Board and took a document camera. The other technology tool that I have and will never do without again is a tablet laptop. I love that teachers are using more and more technology in the classroom.
     
  13. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Ultimately, though, technology is just a tool, just as an overhead is a tool and a whiteboard is a tool. We <should> be able to do our jobs well without them. To say I would never teach again without a doc camera is a bit melodramatic. I LOVE my doc camera, it makes my life easier, yes, but my skills as an educator are what make me a good teacher.
     
  14. LetsDoSomeMath

    LetsDoSomeMath Rookie

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    Your right-- it's all tools-- but I feel it's important that we incorporate these tools into our teaching. Using a document camera while I teach my math lessons is great. I'm not standing at the board writing examples and standing in the kids way so they can't see what I'm writing. Then once I erase an example, it's gone--- Plus, when I use the doc. camera, I keep my notes (I re-write them for each class) that I wrote on the doc. camera and if a student is struggling, a parent needs help to help their child, or if a student is absent-- I have a copy of exactly what I taught in the class to give to them to use.

    I also believe that my skills as an educator is what makes me a good teacher, but by integrating technology into my lessons, that makes me a great teacher.
     
  15. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I do not think it is melodramatic, we need more teachers incorporating technology in the workplace. I am saying that if I had to teach at a school that would not buy me a document camera or a tablet laptop, then I would purchase them myself. I could teach without them but I would not teach without them. Different teachers depend on different supplies, my supplies happen to be a little more expensive than your supplies. It does not make me a better teacher but it makes my job easier and I would not give up that luxury.
     
  16. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    Last year, I didn't have an overhead (no space in my room and no accessible plugs for it anyway), and I was constantly wishing for either an overhead or a doc cam.

    My whiteboard was small and the projector screen (I did have a projecter for my laptop mounted to the ceiling) took up a HUGE chunk of the board. I always felt like I was in the way of at least one kid while I was writing. I would love either a doc cam or an overhead for this year. I've never used either in my class, so I would be over the moon if I could have either one of them.

    I hated that when I erased my board, the work for that problem was gone. There was always one kid who would wait too late to ask me what was going on, and by that point, the whole problem and process had been erased.

    If the school doesn't provide one of these options for me, I might ask for the portable doc cam for Christmas. I think that's how you know you're getting old.
     
  17. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Maybe try to get one through DC before purchasing one with your own money... I know I spend tons of money on materials for my classroom, but I can't afford something like that! I have had a few out of reach projects funded on there. You might be able to get a nicer one funded than you would be able to purchase online. Plus, buying it online always has the possibility that it may not work properly.
     
  18. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I don't really care for my document camera.

    The only times I've ever used it was when my scanner wasn't working for me to scan in a document and when my computer was down so I couldn't use my SmartBoard.

    There are some online resources that explain how to make a cheap document camera using a web cam.

    I would hold off on such a large purchase.
     
  19. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    document camera are WONDERFUL for primary grades to do read alouds with. I love love love it for doing read alouds - especially ones with little details in the pics.
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oh, I used mine in high school math. Graphing is SO MUCH EASIER when you can project a piece of graph paper up and write on it. Yes, very possible on an overhead, but much easier on a document camera.

    But I would still wait and see how practical it is. I know that, last year, it would NOT have been worth the trouble to schlep one from room 107, through the courtyard (yes, even in rain and snow) to room 235.

    At the very least, if I had my heart set on buying one now, I would make sure that the return policy made it possible to get my money back if the logistics didn't work.

    (Something else to consider: even if you're not traveling, who else may be teaching in your homeroom with access to your camera. If your private property breaks while someone else is using it, how will you handle that?)
     
  21. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Mine belongs to my school so anyone in school can use it but if I were to have to buy one, it would be like the one that I have. It folds up and is smaller than my textbook and is very portable. It cost around $500 but is well worth every penny.
     
  22. LetsDoSomeMath

    LetsDoSomeMath Rookie

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    I don't change rooms and no one would be using my room. Of course, I would purchase one that I can fold up and lock away every night. I know how things can just grow legs and walk away.

    I'm so excited about getting a doc. camera. I used one when I student taught and it was great to use. The kids loved to come up to the board to show their work when they got to do it over the camera. Plus, being able to show other things over the doc camera--- books and stuff-- its great too.
     

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