What Is A Classroom Document Camera Used For?

Have you been curious about what is a classroom document camera used for?

A document camera is the descendant of the traditional overhead projector coming with more advanced technology. Teachers can use the device to magnify objects and texts for everyone in the classroom to see. Doc cams have easy-to-use features and software that supports webcams making them a perfect presentation tool.

image of a classroom document camera

This camera is not only adaptable and functional but it can also work remotely across an internet connection. This allows you to work with more people than just those in the room with you.

The quality of recorded video footage is very important to make online learning effective. In this sense, document cameras have such ability to bring objects into the online classroom.


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Now, let’s see what is a classroom document camera used for

Also known as a doc cam, this device is a downward-pointing camera propped up on a highly flexible and elevated stand that projects enlarged high-quality images of whatever is positioned directly in front of the lens. The projected image is then displayed on a clear projection panel or an LCD monitor that is connected to the doc cam.

It is basically a digital visual presenter or visualizer that makes presentations and discussions a lot more engaging and visually entertaining for a broad spectrum of audiences. Having a document camera could make classes and lectures ten times more interactive and exciting. It can be a great tool for a class that’s quite tough to please.

You can make this tool to make lectures and presentations. You’ll love how easy it is to convey to a fairly large number of people. It is also one of the quickest ways to hold the attention of a disinterested or inattentive demographic. Regardless of what subject or lesson, a doc cam is extremely helpful for you and your students.

There are many different uses for this doc cam and here are FIVE of the most common ones in the classroom setting:

1) Enlarge Documents, Textbooks, and Articles

If enlarging documents is the main feature of traditional projectors, then enlarging and projecting articles along with syncing up any kinds of two-dimensional printed materials is the main function of a document camera. What is even better is how quick and easy you can set up the device without difficulties – you will not need any kind of assistance.

With a device like this around, both teachers and students will no longer worry about not having enough handouts or textbooks. Simply prop the document camera up and you’ll have your materials on full display for everyone to follow along with. All you have to do is discuss it.

making presentation for the class

2) Clear Illustration of Maps & Diagrams

A document camera is designed with an optical zoom lens feature to purposely layout maps and diagrams. It is particularly helpful with documents that have a lot of small details. The zoom lens is capable of zeroing in on fine prints without complications. In short, you can use it to integrate physical objects into the lessons.

Not only that, it even showcases a globe, whose concept may arguably be easier to grasp than a 2D outline of a geographic area. If you’re a Science teacher, it would be possible to demonstrate a science experiment live with students over a remote internet connection.

Now you can smoothly demonstrate in front of the class how diagrams such as charts, graphs, and schematics work. The clear, well-illustrated visual representation is what students need to learn and understand some of the most tedious to analyze concepts. It makes everything easier for the teacher to prepare and for the students to take in.

3) Present Math Manipulatives Better

One selling point that comes with this device is its ability to project high-quality images of two-dimensional objects. It acts as a camera and recorder so you can display a video of three-dimensional stuff on the big screen where every student in a class can properly see.

A doc cam is an extremely useful tool for Math subjects, especially, when using Math manipulatives. Teachers know how Math topics can require a considerable amount of visual presentation when it comes to mathematical fundamentals like pattern recognition, arithmetic, and, of course, the basics of counting.

There are tons of math manipulatives to choose from and a document camera is here to help make these tools more interactive. That way, even the most inattentive student in the class would be able to watch, learn, and catch up. If you can trick children using this device, then it makes an interesting brain teaser.

4) Demonstrate Science Experiments Excitingly

I am sure no one will deny that a Science class can become one of the most exciting classes to attend to. Laboratory experiments are sessions where the majority of the topics require demonstrations and observations and a doc cam would make everything so full of life.

For example, use it to project the whole step-by-step process of dissections, metamorphoses, and experiments. Another is labeling the parts of the human body, mastering the different species of birds and their colors, or zooming in on nature are among the best examples of how a document camera is used when teaching science.

Along with that, you can also use your doc cam for data recording and documentation. It will be convenient to review any topic over and over with the whole class. This is perfect for inquisitive students. If you’re tricky, you can utilize stills from these demos that you can put into an exercise or quiz. Now that’s a great way to evaluate students.

teacher having a lecture

5) Better Classroom Dynamics & Management

This device literally has a variety of purpose that not only makes the classroom experience more engaging, but it also bring together both students and teachers as one.

Did you know that a doc cam can be used as a webcam to record actual presentations, speeches, and show-and-tells for students to showcase their creative sides in front of the class? Try it!

With video conferencing applications like Skype, you can use the document camera to talk to and see other classrooms or virtual guest speakers anywhere in the world. Be your class’s own movie director – let there be lights, camera, and then action. Whatever is recorded you can then post it to a classroom website. Many parents will thank you for making it easy for them to see what their children are learning throughout the day.

You can even use it to project a timer and to-do lists on the big screen to facilitate time management within the student body. So from demonstrating how to use practical and manual things to explaining the use of calculators, clocks, radios, and anything else used every day – a document camera is a lifesaver.

Learn how to be creative with your document camera. An active learning video shared by Dr. Cristina Bonaccorsi (Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, Iowa State University)


A Document Camera Is An Earth-Friendly Device

On top of all its fun and friendly uses, the idea of a document camera is an environment supporter. The way it encourages paperless discussions or stacking up of files and notes very much cut down on cost which in turn saves trees, too. It can do the jobs of multiple tools in an absolutely efficient way which makes it quite a big progress in recent technology and a rather positive effect on the consumers.

It helps your class appreciate the beauty of all things on earth both living and non-living things. When students see the details of any object that they position under the document camera, it zooms up very small details that are worth discussing. Imagine how this aspect of learning can help them understand many objects.

I would say a document camera is worth investing in. You will be happy and your students will be amazed to see all the details you want them to see properly and completely. It becomes a part of your success as a teacher seeing them develop their observation and comprehension skills by encouraging critical thinking.

Now that you know what is a classroom document camera used for, do you have something specific for your kind of doc cam? Share your thoughts in the comments below.