IPEVO Products in Action for Visually-Impaired Students

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Education, VZ-1 VGA/USB Dual-Mode Document Camera, Ziggi-HD/Ziggi-HD Plus Document Cameras, iZiggi-HD Wireless Document Camera, APPLICATION, All Applications) by tracy_ipevo on 2016-09-29

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Using IPEVO Ziggi-HD Plus Document Camera and Presenter software to watch live video right on the laptop at the desk

Teachers, are you looking for smart solutions for the visually-impaired students in your class? Several IPEVO products can help students feel empowered by presenting teaching material better. And as you’ll see with the educators below, IPEVO products are already making a real difference for VI students.
For example, the VZ-1 Dual-Mode document camera can help present material on a laptop or monitor using either USB or VGA, depending on the existing tech in your classroom:


The iZiggi-HD Wireless Document Camera is our wireless doc cam and can go anywhere students go. From science class to art class and everywhere in between, iZiggi streams real-time video of teaching material to PC or Mac as well as iPad and Android tablets. Dedicated tablets are a great accessory for VI students, who can pinch-zoom the image for a closer look. And with our free Whiteboard App for tablets, a voice-over function provides an valuable audio component to accompany the images.


Also consider IPEVO’s IW2 Wireless Interactive Whiteboard System which provides a large, interactive image to engage VI students. All you need is a projector and a flat surface (usually the whiteboard will do). IW2 and your students’ curiosity will handle the rest as students directly control and explore material at the board.


And at the end of the day, in addition to providing better and larger views of material, there’s the simple issue of cost. As Tek-Ninja outlines in this helpful comparison article, so-called dedicated VI products can cost many hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Compare that to affordable IPEVO products doing many of the same things (or better), and the choice is easy for schools with tight budgets.
Want to learn more? Here’s a step-by-step “How To” guide for setting up IPEVO products for visually-impaired students. And here’s a handy video covering solutions for VI learners.
Already using IPEVO products? Tell us or tweet about it. We love seeing classrooms in action!

Making Science Wishes Come True, the IPEVO Way

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Education, Ziggi-HD/Ziggi-HD Plus Document Cameras, APPLICATION, All Applications, PRODUCT) by tracy_ipevo on 2016-05-17

Teachers! Do you know about IPEVO Wishpool? If you don’t, you will in a second, and you can thank me later! Wishpool is a pioneering program designed to get valuable teaching tools into the hands of more teachers. It’s pretty darn simple, and free to sign up for. All you need to do is make a wish — tell us how you could use one of IPEVO’s signature products in your classroom. You might just get your wish granted in the form of a complimentary IPEVO product.

Science class is a particularly ripe place for innovation and technology. And science teachers across the country and around the world have found plenty of uses for our document cameras. To get the inspiration flowing, let’s take a look at a few real-life science educators making use of IPEVO doc cams.

“It has made many practicals accessible to students, and stops the crush to get to the front bench to see the practical or instructions by the WHOLE class as those at the back can simply watch the screen. This saves my voice and limits the risk to students at the front.” (Wish story 319)

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Educator Jennifer Leigh in Arlington Heights, Illinois, uses her Ziggi-HD document camera to examine owl pellets. And the students really get excited about using the camera, too:

“I have really enjoyed having Ziggi in my classroom these past couple of years. I not only use Ziggi to display documents, but my students use it to look closely at owl pellets during science. They love the up close feature and like taking pictures of what they are seeing to put on their blog pages later.” (Wish story 624)

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Wendy Comstock from Stone Creek School in Roscoe, Illinois, shared her incredible story of watching a baby chick hatch with the help of Ziggi-HD:

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“Most recently we incubated chicken eggs in the classroom and we were so fortunate to be able to witness a baby chick hatch out of its egg WHILE we watched using the IPEVO Ziggi USB Document camera! It was unforgettable! It would have been absolutely impossible to have 25 students gather around an incubator and have the same view.” (Wish story 202)

Those are some cool stories. But we haven’t talked about one of our most popular doc cam accessories for science teachers: the Microscope Adapter. Designed for the Point 2 View doc cam, the Microscope Adapter lets you attach the Point 2 View camera head right onto the eyepiece of a microscope. You can then project the eyepiece view onto the big screen for everyone to see. It’s a great alternative to everyone taking turns at the microscope when there isn’t the time or the resources.

Amanda Haskins at Oak Hill Elementary in Lowell, Indiana uses her Microscope Adapter and Point 2 View to provide a much better picture of compost and decomposition:

“We were learning about compost, the decomposers, and how composting is great for our Earth. This equipment helped my students better understand the whole concept. It helped the students to see how the decomposers move and function together too. This device enabled me to provide pictures and the actual microscopic live views of the compost.” (Wish story 293)

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Dan Gibson at Tri-Creek School got really creative and shared his favorite use of the Point 2 View:

“My favorite use of the P2V camera so far was when students used the IPEVO’s microscope image for the background of a plant video they created. The image provided here shows students in the middle of this report, which was filmed in front of a green screen and the P2V image was superimposed after filming.” (Wish story 398)

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And last but certainly not least, Nat Boyson at Budehaven Community School in the United Kingdom sent his students on a “CSI” journey into forensic science:

“Students in my groups were looking at fibre samples taken from a crime scene and attempting to match them with a fibre found on the victim of the crime. I was able to very simply show all of the students on the projector what it was they should be looking at and also what they should be looking for.” (Wish story 272)

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There are many more stories to share, but you get the picture. Educators around the world are making wishes and receiving free teaching tools for their classroom. Interested in making your own wish? Head over to Wishpool and sign up for free!

How Math Teachers are Using IPEVO Doc Cams Right Now

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Business, Interactive Whiteboard Systems in Education, iPad in Education, Point 2 View (P2V) USB Document Camera, Software and App, APPLICATION) by tracy_ipevo on 2015-12-17

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From handwritten formulas to line graphs and from geometrical shapes to protractors, math is a very visual medium. And in the classroom, sometimes it’s hard to share everyone’s work. But it becomes a lot easier with IPEVO’s signature doc cams. IPEVO has a document camera for every budget — from the ultra-affordable Point 2 View USB Doc Cam to the iZiggi-HD Wireless Doc Cam. Here’s how real math teachers have used IPEVO doc cams to engage and inspire their students by streaming real-time, high-resolution images of documents and objects.

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Here’s a tech-savvy teacher who uses his doc cam for “Past Paper Live” as he works out problems from the last quiz for the benefit of everyone:
“There has hardly been a week that’s gone by where I’ve not used the camera since I first received it. It was very easy to install and the picture quality is excellent. I have been preparing classes for their exams this month and students have enjoyed our ‘Past Paper Live’ lessons. The students attempt a question in a set time, followed by watching through the use of the camera linked to the laptop/projector the ‘perfect’ way of answering the question (modelled by myself + showing the exam mark scheme).”

Teacher Diana Marcus loves to use an IPEVO doc cam to demonstrate math games teaching specific concepts — in this case, equivalent fractions. Mrs. Marcus can demonstrate the rules of the game just one time with a doc cam, instead of using up valuable time teaching it over and over again to each small group of students.

This enterprising teacher used physical tiles to help students through a word problem about perimeters. With a doc cam, 3D objects like tiles can be easily shared with the class in real time.

Ms. Silverboard uses math journals in her class, and it’s a cinch to share each student’s journal with a doc cam. IPEVO’s lightweight doc cams can be moved around quite easily.

This teacher keeps everyone on the same page (literally) by displaying today’s lesson, concepts, formulas, and word problems.

In this classroom, the Point 2 View is hard at work sharing material for the Bridges in Mathematics program.


Here’s a teacher sharing tangram-style tiles to teach about shapes and to enrich critical thinking. With a doc cam, everyone can see a student puzzling out their own tiles.

Here is Miss Hotnisky’s 2nd grade class working through math problems as a group. Particularly for difficult concepts or when many students are stumped, it’s extremely helpful to turn individual work into a group activity.

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Second-grade math teacher Mrs. Godbout had this to say about her own doc cam, which she wirelessly streams to iPad for word problems:
“We received our Wireless Station for USB Document Camera and boy do we love it! The kids are solving math problems and correcting writing errors all with their finger and an ipad. They LOVE doing the same work that they avoid doing on paper. Thank you so much for making our learning FUN!!!!!”

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For “Pi Day,” Mr. Keltner used his IPEVO doc cam in a very fun and unusual way:
“We blew bubbles in dish soap and measured their diameter and circumference to assemble a line of best fit so students could see where the number value for Pi comes from. Students were able to watch one group’s example using the IPEVO P2V on the projector, rather than have all students huddle closely around one group and cause all sorts of interference. All in all, these IPEVO products increased the understanding, efficiency, and participation of my students and made this Pi Day lesson one they will remember.”

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Teacher James Wilmott in the United Kingdom talks about what he sees as the key benefit of a doc cam in the classroom:
“It is used most often, and I believe for me most effectively, to share examples of students work. The students really like seeing their work being displayed on the whiteboard and take great pride in this. It also provides us with an opportunity to discuss parts of the lesson that we found difficult or for other students to suggest ways in which it could be improved.”

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Math teacher Craig Kelly at Tiverton High School talks about some specific concepts he has had success presenting with a doc cam:
“Awesome!! I project students’ work and they can all celebrate a successful, well-presented example of written work. It gives the students something to aspire to. I have used the Ziggi Document Camera to demonstrate how to draw graphs and how to set up apparatus to investigate the laws of reflection and refraction. I have even used it to show the dispersion of light by a prism.”

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And finally, Stefanie Jakus at Brodnicki School in Justice, Illinois uses her doc cam to help visualize concepts, improve handwriting and notation, and even create a weather graph:
“During math we use the camera to project an example of the workpages we are completing as well as manipulatives so the entire class has a chance to visualize the concept. The camera helps in both literacy and math when showing correct letter and number formations. We used our camera yesterday to help reproduce our February weather graph!

As you can see, the possibilities of using a doc cam in the classroom are just about endless. Interested in learning more and exploring the possibilities for yourself? Check out IPEVO.com for stories, examples, tutorials, the doc cam product pages, and much more.

5 Ways to Take Document Cameras Beyond Documents

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Business, iPad in Education, Point 2 View (P2V) USB Document Camera, VZ-1 VGA/USB Dual-Mode Document Camera, APPLICATION, All Applications) by tracy_ipevo on 2015-08-13

Document cameras are shaking up education and becoming a next-gen accessory of choice for educators looking to share teaching material in fresh new ways. As the name implies, document cameras are ideal for capturing and sharing real-time video of documents, textbooks, handwritten notes, and similar. But can doc cams thrive in uses beyond the written word? To sum up the experience of these five users: absolutely.

(Not So Weird) Science and Blended Learning

Sally Webb, a language arts instructor at Mt. Mourne Middle School in Mooresville, North Carolina, developed a fresh take on science material using the inexpensive IPEVO Point 2 View USB Document Camera. A language arts instructor incorporating science lessons? It’s not so strange in the 21st-century classroom. “I am implementing differentiated and integrated learning stations in my language arts classroom,” said Sally. “It’s a way to incorporate blended learning into my instruction and promote student growth.”

Sally purchased a custom microscope adapter for her Point 2 View camera, and the results were immediate. “ I was able to set up an integrated science and language arts station,” explained Sally. “Students can visit the center, read about cells, and then respond to creative writing prompts related to the different types of cell images projected on the computer screen. This is a direct integration with our science curriculum, and I am able to help support the science teachers as they cover this topic in their curriculum.”

As for whether the students are thrown for a loop by this blended learning approach, Sally contends her students have actually embraced it. “They love using the microscope, and the enlarged projection of the cells is fascinating for my students, resulting in their ability to generate some strong descriptive writing samples while reviewing important science concepts.”

 

Intercultural Exchange — Travel without the Travel

Arlene Tucker is an art teacher based in Finland. She is also the creator of the Dear You art exchange program, which organizes classroom-to-classroom artwork sharing and cultural exchanges between countries. “It all started through letters and the exchange of pieces of art,” said Arlene. “Eventually, the project developed so fast and with so many more schools involved that we needed to add online meetings.”

Like Sally, Arlene has found a way to put the Point 2 View USB Doc Cam to good use. Through Skype, Arlene was able to use the Point 2 View like a web cam to create invaluable “face time” for students in classrooms half a world away (such as Finland to Vietnam). And because the Point 2 View features a detachable camera, Arlene was able to easily re-orient the camera and focus in for nice, close-up views of particular students or their works of art. Dear You can thus share not only flat drawings and paintings, but three-dimensional sculptures.

Overall, the simple but powerful notion of providing a digital window into another classroom has given Arlene a high degree of professional satisfaction. “The cultural exchange has opened the minds of my little students,” she said. “Through simple questions, they begin to understand things many children their age know nothing about, like time zones, different languages, and traditions for specific holidays around the world. My students may be small, but their minds are anything but!”

 

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High-Tech Birdwatching and Field-Tripping

One nice thing about the new-gen lightweight doc cams is that they’re ready to hit the road. Fold them down and they can travel most everywhere teachers do. And in some cases, they can even go where teachers can’t — like, say, into the middle of a tree.

Vin Hsieh of the National Pingtung University of Education in Taipei, Taiwan developed a rather unique approach to birdwatching. He took the Point 2 View doc cam, plugged it into a Febon WiFi AP router (which takes a USB input and allows streaming over WiFi) and then attached a 6-meter aluminum pole. With this innovative contraption, Mr. Hsieh was able to take his students on a nature-themed fieldtrip, thrusting the doc cam into trees to capture a nest full of chicks among other natural wonders. The live view was then streamed for the benefit of his students.

Even for those who aren’t inclined to Mr. Hsieh’s “arts and crafts” approach, there are plenty of extra-curricular activities where a plain old doc cam will see plenty of use. From hiking trails to history museums, the ability for doc cams to both capture and stream material will be useful if not crucial.

 

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Devices with Screens and Live User Testing

Perhaps unsurprisingly, most modern doc cams are also adept at capturing devices with screens such as smartphones and tablets. With more and more classes becoming “wired” (or wireless, as the case may be) with iPads and similar, it’s easy to think of examples where the doc cam might shine.

But let’s take a specific example. Brenden Mulligan, a co-founder and designer at Cluster, describes on the TechCrunch blog how he used the IPEVO Ziggi-HD High-Def USB Doc Cam to capture live user testing:

“We were testing a mobile app, so it was important to record the user actually using the app. Although you can do this by plugging the app in and watching a screencast on the computer, it’s much better to actually see them touching their phone. We purchased a $100 camera for this [the Ziggi-HD Doc Cam], and it’s well worth the investment.”

For testing, tutorials, or anything that could benefit from actually seeing the hands of the user, doc cams are a smart choice to capture devices with screens. And even if it’s just for pure presentation purposes, a doc cam is still poised to help out. If your classroom only has one or two iPads, it’s much nicer to project that iPad for the whole class rather than have everyone crowd around the actual device.

 

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Mathematics — the Formula for Success

Math teacher Lindsay Coren at the St. Luke’s Science & Sports College in Exeter, UK, has enjoyed using his doc cam in an regular exercise he calls “Past Paper Live.” “The students attempt a question in a set time,” explained Lindsay, “followed by watching — through the use of the camera linked to the laptop/projector — the ‘perfect’ way of answering the question (modeled by myself + showing the exam mark scheme).”

The hands-on, real-time nature of doc cam capture cannot be overstated. Real-time video brings the sort of interactivity and dynamism that static presentations can’t muster. The step-by-step process of working out algebra equations or word problems really foregrounds this advantage, and Lindsay can certainly attest to the success of his live demonstrations. “It has proved much easier and quicker than trying to do certain topics on the whiteboard (e.g. constructions, using a protractor, etc.) and students love having their work shown on screen (when they bring their work to my desk).”

Document cameras may have first been designed to capture documents, but it’s clear they’re equally adept at capturing everything from human faces to birds in a tree to cells in a Petri dish. Perhaps they should call them the Everything Cameras. But on second thought, doc cam has a slighter nicer ring to it.

4 Reasons Why Document Cameras Are Shining in Education

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Business, Point 2 View (P2V) USB Document Camera, VZ-1 VGA/USB Dual-Mode Document Camera, Ziggi-HD/Ziggi-HD Plus Document Cameras, APPLICATION, All Applications) by tracy_ipevo on 2015-07-23

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More and more educators are embracing the document camera as part of their ed tech arsenal. Here’s why.
There are a dizzying array of options for educators looking to embrace ed tech. But with budgets only stretching so far, teachers and IT administrators have to be choosy about which devices are right for them. Here are four reasons why many educators are choosing document cameras as the “go to” tech in their classrooms.

The Master of Multitasking

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For the uninitiated, document cameras capture documents, textbooks, 3D objects, artwork, and devices with screens (like a phone or iPad), and then stream real-time video to a computer or other device. With a computer-projector or computer-TV combo, teaching material can be presented for an entire classroom.

We already touched on the wide range of media a doc cam can capture — everything from handwritten math equations to science experiments to paintings to phone app tutorials. This feature alone vaults doc cams into official “versatile” status. But outside of the different media, just consider a doc cam’s multitude of uses in a classroom/educational setting.

Doc cams can be used like web cameras for distance learning, tutoring, cross-cultural exchanges, and e-learning videos. They can be outfitted with a microscope adapter for science class. They can enlarge text for the visually impaired. They can act as surveillance cameras for long-term classroom projects, like incubating eggs and waiting for them to hatch. And they can be used for edutainment — everything from Jeopardy!-style trivia to picture games for preschoolers. The doc cam’s multitasking capability makes it an attractive fit for teachers at all different levels of education.

The Price is Right

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The era of the bulky and expensive overhead projectors is gone, and a new generation of affordable document cameras has made this technology very accessible for teachers with tight budgets. The IPEVO-brand line of document cameras, for example, range from a mere $69 for the Point 2 View USB doc cam to $159 for the wireless iZiggi-HD doc cam. That’s a far cry from the hundreds of even thousands of dollars you could spend on overhead projectors or the older generation of doc cams. Considering the uses described above, the “bang for the buck” factor is off the charts.

Ease of Use

On a related note, many modern doc cams are extremely simple to use, and they certainly don’t need special training like the ed tech devices of yesteryear. They also don’t need expensive software (and expensive upgrades to that software), and they don’t require regular maintenance. This out-of-the-box simplicity means that there are no hidden costs of ownership. It also means that even younger students can use these doc cams just as readily as their teachers.

Teachers have long been tempted by “the next new thing” which turns out to be frustratingly difficult to use or too limited for any kind of real-world application. Education technology is only worth it when it can be used, quickly and effectively. Otherwise, it just gathers dust on a shelf! And that is certainly not the case for document cameras, which see regular use — day in and day out.

Portability and Mobility

The stereotypical image of a teacher glued to the chalkboard and lecturing with a pointer — as his or her students passively look on — is becoming a relic of the past. We now know that both teachers and students benefit from “breaking the mold” and finding new ways to interact, both with each other and with the material. One-on-one sessions, breaking off into small groups, sharing student work with the class, and active student participation at the board are just a few of the ways educators are innovating in order to increase engagement.

Given this emerging trend toward a fluid and mobile learning environment, ed tech devices need to be similarly nimble. And again, the new-gen doc cams are equipped to shine. These doc cams are portable and lightweight, and are intended to be easy to carry and transport. In the IPEVO Point 2 View’s case, the camera and stand together weigh only a little more than one pound! So whether it’s swapping desks, swapping classrooms, or taking a field trip, most doc cams are more than up to the task.

Naturally, the document camera is best as one tool in a teacher’s toolkit, and educators always need to weigh their needs against the available budget. But as we’ve seen, there are several good reasons why teachers are utilizing the document camera as an essential piece of tech for the modern classroom.

How to Think Outside the Box with IPEVO Doc Cams

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Business, Point 2 View (P2V) USB Document Camera, iZiggi-HD Wireless Document Camera, APPLICATION, All Products, PRODUCT) by tracy_ipevo on 2015-04-01

If your classroom curriculum has become stale, a document camera might be just the thing to reinvigorate your lessons, increase student engagement, and deliver new perspectives on conventional subject matters. IPEVO has several affordable doc cams to choose from, including the nimble and ultra-affordable Point 2 View USB Document Camera at only $69, or the wireless wonder iZiggi-HD at $159 which connects to PC, Mac and iPad without a wired connection. Let’s explore the Twitterverse and see what other educators have been up to with their IPEVO doc cams.

The user-friendly Point 2 View is perfectly at home with younger learners. Shapes, measurements, colors, picture books, parts of speech – most everything can come alive with projected real-time video.

Here’s something that’s totally out-of-the-box (literally) — a LEGO stop-motion art project. How much fun would that be to involve everyone with such an ambitious undertaking?

But don’t think that the Point 2 View is just for our youngest learners. Here, some serious stuff is being projected and collaborated upon with a doc cam and MS OneNote:

And on the topic of pairing doc cams with other technology, check out this innovator who used a GoPro camera with WiFi and mirroring software to project his work.

Of course, using doc cams can be as simple or as complicated as you like. Let’s get back down to basics by sharing the simple written page for everyone’s benefit:

And remember: whether it’s the $69 Point 2 View USB Doc Cam or the $159 iZiggi-HD Wireless Doc Cam, educators are the real difference-makers. Technology, like other tools, just helps you do your thing!

IPEVO is One of CIO Review’s “20 Most Promising Education Technology Providers”

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Filed Under (IS-01 Interactive Whiteboard System, All Applications, All Products) by tracy_ipevo on 2014-12-15

CIO Review, a Fremont-based technology magazine focused on business innovators, has included IPEVO in its list of the 20 most promising ed tech service providers. We are very humbled to be included with so many tech pioneers and innovators.

Check out the full article and see what our CEO and head designer Royce Hong had to say about IPEVO’s affordable tech solutions – including his explanation of IPEVO’s “only what’s necessary” philosophy that helps teachers focus on teaching instead of on complicated devices.

Creating Interactive Classrooms in a Cost Effective Way

Interactive whiteboards, digital document cameras and interactive classroom accessories are drastically changing the ways how students learn in classrooms. Right at the center of this change is IPEVO, a CA based company that provides interactive classroom equipments which are simple, powerful, and affordable.

Royce Hong, CEO and head or design at IFEVO is a man of difference. “We believe how schools and teachers benefit from using our products are much more valuable than the cold hard cash from a single transaction,” he begins. The reflection of this thought is visible from the company’s products that carry extremely disruptive pricing. “The existing interactive teaching tools are very costly and require professional installation and extensive training to properly integrate into the daily curriculum,” says Hong. “This cuts off educational institutions with limited budgets, and more often than not we see teachers struggle to master the complex technology while trying to teach at the same time,” he adds. Here is where the aesthetically designed tools from IPEVO make a difference.

IPEVO’s wide range of products including document cameras, internet conference stations, and interactive whiteboard systems are aimed at equipping all the classrooms—about 3 million in the U.S.—interactive and productive. The highlight of their product line would be the IS-01 Interactive Whiteboard System priced at just $149, while a conventional interactive whiteboard costs more than $2000. Adding to it, the Document Cameras Visualizers that starts from just $69 enable teachers to document and project everything, Finally, the company’s interactive classroom accessories aid the use of computers and smart devices in the classroom, “Our affordable tools make sure that no one is left out of the dream because of budget constraints,” says Hong.

For educators with truly limited resources, IPEVO has started the “Wishpool” program, where teachers write in and inform them on how the product can benefit their class. The company will then send the featured EdTech product free and the teachers are encouraged to share their stories and pictures of the product in action. “Wishpool not only supports teachers with the technology needed for their classrooms, it also helps IPEVO to better design products based on the hundreds of direct feedbacks from real classrooms,” says Hong. This “Experience-driven Design Process” ensures that IPEVO products are easy and intuitive to use so teachers can focus on educating and not on explaining how equipments work.

“Not only that, we edit our technology to ‘only what’s necessary’ configurations, using the least amount of technology to enable teachers to maximize their teaching goals,” says Hong. IPEVO also sells directly to schools and school districts, enabling them to price the products highly competitive.

In the short span of time, IPEVO has become a trusted partner to K-12 schools all over the U.S. In an effort to improve the interactive classroom experience, Randall G. Black, Technology Integration Specialist of Huntington Middle School in Huntington, WV, distributed 21 IPEVO P2V USB cameras to the teaching staff in late 2013. After a month, the survey documented that 74 percent of the teachers had installed the P2V, 79 percent had no problem installing the accompanying software, and 58 percent had implemented the P2V in their classroom instructions. This resulted in the school purchasing additional cameras.

With success stories like the above, the future seems bright for IPEVO, as they are developing new products that work seamlessly with iPads and other smart devices, unleashing the potentials of these devices for the classroom learning environment. With over 35 percent of K-12 schools in the U.S.—public and private—currently using I PEVO’s technology, the company is strongly inching towards making every single classroom engaging and productive.

Creating a Technology-Rich Classroom on a Budget, Part 3

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Education, VZ-1 VGA/USB Dual-Mode Document Camera, Ziggi-HD/Ziggi-HD Plus Document Cameras, APPLICATION, All Products, Back To School) by tracy_ipevo on 2014-08-14

Our final entry in the back to school series features a device synonymous with IPEVO: the document camera. If you’re not familiar, IPEVO doc cams capture documents, artwork, 3D objects and devices with screens. Real-time video can then be shared and/or projected for the class. It’s an effective (and affordable) way to present teaching material.

Doc Cams under $100

Even when your budget is tight, you can still nab a great doc cam. The first option is Ziggi-HD at $94. Like all IPEVO doc cams, Ziggi-HD features a versatile swing-arm that allows you to place the camera at most any height and angle, quickly and easily. Ziggi-HD features a 5.0 Megapixel camera for amazing high-def images, and it can be positioned high enough to capture an entire sheet of paper. You get professional-level capture for a fraction of the price of conventional doc cams.

For just a taste of what Ziggi-HD can do, here’s educator Jessica Pilgreen from Wesclin High School in Trenton, Illinois:

I was so excited when my Ziggi arrived in the mail! I began using it right away. I even set up a document camera station in my classroom where I can project images from my iPad, share student work samples, demonstrate/guide students through activities, and take videos and photos. This week, I used the Ziggi to screencast lesson plans for my substitute teacher and my students absolutely loved being able to hear my voice as I went through the day’s assignments.”

A second option for you at this price range is the Point 2 View USB Doc Cam. At only $69, it’s an amazing value. This camera is 2.0 Megapixels which still delivers a nice, crisp image. It can even be taken off the stand and operated by hand for hard-to-reach places. The possibilities are endless, but here’s a fresh idea from Allison Teeter in Mooresville, North Carolina:

“I have loved my document camera! I have been using it to show my Teen Living students up close several sewing techniques and parts of the sewing machine!”

Mrs. Teeter uses the Point 2 View to capture her sewing techniques.

And here’s Jean Benassi from Roscoe, Illinois with some other cool uses:

“I love my IPEVO Point 2 View Document Camera! I have used this inside my second grade classroom displaying documents, maps, books and other paper type images. I have also used it when we started our ant farm. This enabled the whole class to watch the ants building their tunnels. No one was complaining about not being able to see! I also used my camera the day our chicks begin to hatch.”

Science projects are a great fit for the Point 2 View.

Also keep in mind that the Point 2 View has a number of accessories to add even more utility. Examples include the Magnifying Lens and the Scan Kit, an integrated scanning station.

VZ-1 – The Dual-Mode Doc Cam

Finally, the VZ-1 Dual Mode Document Camera at $139 gives you the added ability to connect to a monitor or projector to share your material. No computer is required, though you can always elect to connect to a computer via USB.

Educator Zachary C. Kindt wrote up an excellent and thorough review of the VZ-1 on Amazon, so we’ll let him do most of the talking on this one:

“The direct to LCD projector capability is absolutely necessary! If your computer goes down for the day, no worries–your document camera is not connected through your computer. If you are looking for technology that is “disaster proof” in your lesson planning, this is about as sure of a thing as there is.”

And here’s more from Zachary:

“It makes for great instruction. Anything can go under–textbooks, novels, 3-D models, artwork. When a student asks a question about solving an equation, just grab their paper and put it under the camera for the whole class to see–everyone can be engaged in the discussion instead of just the two of you. […] Teaching students how to measure an angle on a chalkboard with a big clunky protractor: difficult. Grabbing the same paper your students have, and the same protractor your students have, and showing them EXACTLY what to do in real time on the big screen: effective and efficient.”

Questions on any products we’ve discussed? Head on over to the IPEVO How-To page for tips, videos, real stories and more. And of course, friendly IPEVO folks are always ready to help. Just email cs@ipevo.com.

The beginning of the school year is the perfect time to try new things, and we hope we’ve inspired you to try out a little tech to make your lessons faster, easier, more interactive, and more fun. Have a great year and remember: IPEVO is here to help teachers!

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Intercultural Exchange – Travel With Your Students Without Leaving the Classroom

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Education, APPLICATION, All Applications, All Products, Staff Picks, Web Conferencing) by tracy_ipevo on 2014-06-25

Arlene Tucker, an art teacher based in Finland and the creator of the Dear You international art exchange program, recently shared her experiences as an IPEVO product user.

“You set up a camera, and that’s it,” said Arlene, with respect to starting a foreign exchange class under the Dear You program she created. “It could not be easier.” Arlene explained that it’s been beneficial for her students to exchange so many ideas, homework and pieces of art with students in foreign countries.

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“The cultural exchange has opened the minds of my little students,” said Arlene. “Through simple questions, they begin to understand things many children their age know nothing about, like time zones, different languages, and traditions for specific holidays around the world. My students may be small, but their minds are anything but, if you know what I mean!”

As for Arlene’s pioneering program, Dear You is an art exchange project that includes schools from different countries, including Finland, the Czech Republic, Taiwan, United States, and now Vietnam. Skype connects users in different countries through a simple video call, but Arlene discovered two items that really enhance the basic Skype experience for her Dear You community: the Point 2 View USB Document Camera and the X1-N6 Internet Conference Station.

“It all started through letters and the exchange of pieces of art,” explained Arlene. “Eventually, the project developed so fast and with so many more schools involved that we needed to add online meetings.”

The Point 2 View doc cam, Arlene indicated, has been very helpful for this purpose. Cameras which attach to monitors have no mobility, a situation which just won’t cut it when it comes to sharing artwork on the table for the other party. By contrast, the Point 2 View camera mounts on the monitor but can be taken off just as easily. In seconds, Arlene and her students are able to transition from face-to-face video conferencing to sharing sketches, drawings and other art objects.

Another feature the Dear You community found useful was the one-touch snapshot feature of the camera. Whenever they need a permanent record of the artwork under the camera, they can take a snapshot. From there, Arlene or her students can immediately upload the picture to the Dear You Facebook page.

So, Dear You had the video covered, but what about the sound? Sometimes it’s hard to understand with only two people conversing, but imagine the computer’s built-in microphone trying to capture 6 or 7 rambunctious kids speaking at the same time. That’s a headache! But the X1-N6 Internet Conference Station solved that problem.

Arlene talked about the X1-N6’s ability to capture sound in 360 degrees, or to restrict the sound capture to a narrower section of the room. “I can limit the sound capture to specific spots, all while eliminating background noise. I mean, they are kids, after all. They get very excited when the camera is on, and so it’s completely normal for them to get a little rowdy when they have the spotlight. The X1-N6 filters out the chatter and makes our sessions clear and understandable.”

Today’s technology has helped Arlene teach her art class in a way she never could have dreamed of before. “The classes are more interactive,” she said. “The kids get to see, listen and talk to students their age from different places all over the world. It’s like we have the chance to take an international trip twice every month without leaving the classroom. Maybe that’s why the students are more committed to the class now. Their curiosity to see what is happening on the other side of the world has only increased their focus and their excitement.”

Arlene summarized Dear You’s experience in this way: “We are like a huge family, and the kids love to learn this way. The classes are very enriching and I am really proud of the development of my students through our positive use of technology.”

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Nurturing Knowledge – Share a Garden with the Point 2 View Doc Cam

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Education, APPLICATION, All Applications, All Products, Staff Picks, Web Conferencing) by tracy_ipevo on 2014-06-23

Want to maximize your use of an IPEVO doc cam? Take a page from art class teacher Arlene Tucker and share a classroom garden with the world.

A Field Trip
Spring is a great time to start a garden if you’re an educator looking for a special activity that will get students interacting and out of their chairs. Arlene shared her class’ own garden in Helsinki, Finland with students in different countries using the Point 2 View USB Document Camera, Skype and Facebook. Along the way, Arlene’s students learned about plant species and growing techniques. Plus, they got the chance to see many different plants in other parts of the world. This was particularly true when interacting with classrooms in the United States, given the country’s diverse ecosystems.

How’d She Do It?
Arlene heads Dear You, a foreign exchange initiative which helps students share art projects online. She gathered all the members of Dear You together and explained her new idea: each participating class would plant seeds inside of a box. From there, students would be put in charge of taking care of the garden and sharing it with other classrooms.

Recording Progress
Every couple of weeks, Arlene and the schools involved would call each other through Skype to share their progress. The Point 2 View was used as Skype’s camera, and students moved the camera around the garden to capture plants from any height and angle. Whether it’s flowers in full bloom or the tiniest sprouts, the Point 2 View has the resolution and image quality to capture it all.

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Everyone Participates, Everyone Shares
Whenever a milestone was reached or another important event occurred, teams across the Dear You community could see it as it happened. The Point 2 View on its multi-jointed stand could be moved around and positioned to capture all the newest developments. Plus, students used the snapshot button on the camera to snap pictures just like a camera or cell phone. Snapped pictures are saved to a computer’s hard drive, and from there can be shared on Facebook, in emails, or on something like a Picasa album.

Pair the X1-N6 Internet Conference Station with the P2V USB Document Camera for remote teaching.

The Learning Continues to Grow
Arlene reports that the garden experiment was a success, and that the knowledge acquired was impressive. The students were not only introduced to plant species from different countries, but they also got to grow their own! Dear You students continue to use Skype and the Point 2 View camera to document and share their progress as the gardens continue to flourish. And remember: gardens aren’t the only things you can share. Consider bacteria cultures, the development of fruits, or even an ant farm, to name a few examples. Teachers everywhere are enriching their classrooms through technology. Do you have an idea like Arlene’s? Share it with your fellow educators!

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