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

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Posted Under (Document Cameras in Education, VZ-1 VGA/USB Dual-Mode Document Camera, Point 2 View (P2V) USB Document Camera, Wishpool, APPLICATION, All Applications) by tracy_ipevo on 08-14-2014

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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