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, Point 2 View (P2V) USB Document Camera, Wishpool, APPLICATION, All Applications) 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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Creating a Technology-Rich Classroom on a Budget, Part 2

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Filed Under (Interactive Whiteboard Systems in Education, Wishpool, All Products, APPLICATION, Back To School, PRODUCT) by tracy_ipevo on 2014-08-14

In part 2 of our back to school series, we take a look at the IPEVO IS-01 Interactive Whiteboard System. We think it has a lot to offer teachers for a very low price – $149! – which is potentially thousands less than conventional interactive whiteboards.

IS-01  has the ability to turn your existing whiteboard surface, blank wall or projector screen into an interactive whiteboard. It comes with two small devices: the Sensor Cam and the Interactive Pen. Project your computer screen onto your surface with the classroom projector. Point the Sensor Cam at the screen and follow a couple of simple steps in the calibration app that comes with IS-01. Now you’ll be able to control the computer mouse with waves of the “magic wand” (i.e. Interactive Pen). You can control education apps, the Internet, drawing apps and so much more.

Here’s what teacher Beckie Nieman from Summit, Mississippi is doing with her IS-01:

“We love it!!! The students or myself have used it daily since we received it. We have used it to play games, practice our handwriting, write group stories, and they love to just create free drawings. If I don’t use it they remind me to use my ‘magic pen.’ It was so easy to install and put to use.”

Mrs. Nieman’s class making good use of the IS-01.

Educator Patty Sprenkel from Amboy, Washington used her IS-01 for interactive science presentations:

“By far, the ‘coolest’ way that we have used the Interactive Whiteboard System was when several of my students gave interactive science presentations to the rest of the class. Instead of standing in front of the classroom while struggling to read through their report, my students were able to incorporate a wide variety of multimedia supports (including recording their own voices) to create some wonderful presentations.”

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A student from Mrs. Sprenkel’s class shares a presentation about the gray wolf.

Teacher Lauren Veale from Negaunee, Michigan has even more ideas for how to use IS-01:

“The whiteboard makes it easy for us to list ideas, draw, and create together. It’s great to be able to start brainstorming together and instead of erasing the marker board, we can save what we put together and come back to it later. The kids love using the whiteboard to play math games on ‘the big screen’ and it really helps to keep them engaged.”

A student interacts with a math game in Mrs. Veale’s class.

And if that’s not enough inspiration, here are 39 Interesting Ways to Use IS-01. Whew!

Helpful IS-01 Accessories

Here are three quick accessories for the IS-01 Interactive Whiteboard System to tell you about:

  1. Replacement Interactive Pen – The Pen can and does get misplaced, particularly with younger learners. If you lose the Pen, don’t buy an entire new IS-01. Just get a replacement!
  2. IS-01 Extension Wand – This long tube snaps onto the end of the Interactive Pen to add nearly 16″ in reach. This is terrific for shorter, younger learners who might have trouble reaching the screen. It also allows users to stand to the side of the screen more easily so that everyone can see the screen.
  3. Projection Screen – These come in either the smaller 60″ or the larger 70″ depending on your needs. A unique coating gives these whiteboard surfaces better sharpness and contrast qualities. The result is a superior, glare-free viewing experience from any angle in the classroom. Plus, they can be easily rolled up and taken with you.

Up next is our third and final entry: document cameras!

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Creating a Technology-Rich Classroom on a Budget, Part 1

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Filed Under (iPad in Education, Wishpool, APPLICATION, All Applications, PRODUCT, Staff Picks) by tracy_ipevo on 2014-08-14

It’s that time of year again – back to school time! And if you’re a teacher looking to create a technology-rich classroom but you don’t have a lot of wiggle room in the budget, IPEVO has some smart solutions to add innovation to your curriculum with less money.

This first entry focuses on boosting learning with iPad. iPad is a tremendous tool for education, and IPEVO has a couple ways to maximize your use of tablets in the classroom.

iZiggi-HD – the All-Purpose Teaching Tool

First up is the iZiggi-HD Wireless Document Camera. It can communicate wirelessly with iPad to stream video of documents, objects, artwork, devices with screens, and all your other teaching material. And with the free IPEVO Whiteboard app, you can even annotate material – draw lines, add text boxes, highlight passages, etc. – in real time for the whole class to see.

Check out what teacher Bethany Piety from Saint Paul, Minnesota had to say about iZiggi-HD:

“We used the camera as a way for students to show off a project that they were working on in class. I was able to move the camera from group to group, and thus minimize the amount of distraction due to transitioning an entire group of middle school children from one part of the room to the other. The kids were able to share what they were working on as a group, garner feedback, and adjust their practices as needed. I especially loved when the kids were able to provide direction to groups in ‘real time,’ and the groups were able to take the feedback and then show the rest of the class how they were applying the information right away!”

One of the student projects shared with iZiggi-HD in Mrs. Piety’s classroom.

And for a “next level” application of iZiggi-HD, consider what tech blogger Brian Friedlander on his Assistive Technology blog suggests:

“Teachers who have access to a projector and an Apple TV can walk around the classroom displaying student work and have it come up on the screen. Likewise, it is possible to push out what is on the iPad and share it with other devices that are connected to the ad-hoc network utilizing the IPEVO Whiteboard app on the iPad. This will enable students to interact and annotate the contents that is under the iZiggi-HD Wireless Document Camera, which is ideal for small group work.”

Sharing student work while saving time, instantly receiving and applying student feedback, annotating your material in real-time, and increasing overall engagement and interactivity – it’s all possible with iZiggi-HD, IPEVO Whiteboard and your iPad. And since iZiggi-HD only costs $159, it’s an affordable way to significantly enrich your teaching.

USB SuperCharger – A Better Way to Charge Multiple iPads

This next IPEVO solution applies if you have multiple iPads in class. The USB SuperCharger allows you to charge up to four iPads at the same time using only one wall socket. And the best part is that each iPad charges just as fast as it would with the standard Apple charger.
Check out what teacher Elizabeth Eubanks from Boca Raton, Florida had to say about the SuperCharger:

“This charger has been an amazing tool for my students. We are in the electronic world and short on electric plugs! This SuperCharger enables many students to charge their iPads, phones and other devices while they work. Students have also stated that it seems to give a ‘super fast’ charge as well. Now there are no more excuses that ‘my iPad is not charged’! Thank you IPEVO!!!”

Nancy Hoatson from Sutherland Public School in Nebraska had this to add:

“I am astounded by the speed and versatility of the IPEVO USB SuperCharger. I am able to charge four of my iPads at the same time in a fraction of the time it takes to charge one device. I can charge any device that has a USB charger. I have 5 iPads and 25 students and this charger has changed my classroom, making all my resources accessible all day long.”

The USB SuperCharger in action in Mrs. Hoatson’s classroom.

For classrooms juggling multiple iPads, a dead or dying battery can really grind lessons to a halt. The USB SuperCharger changes that – for only $59 – and all without hogging up your wall sockets.
Stay tuned: in Part 2, we look at IPEVO’s affordable alternative for an interactive whiteboard.

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