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 “zoom 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.

IPEVO’s Back to School Special, Part 1

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Education, IS-01 Interactive Whiteboard System, Point 2 View (P2V) USB Document Camera, VZ-1 VGA/USB Dual-Mode Document Camera, APPLICATION, All Applications, PRODUCT) by ipevoblog on 2013-08-26

Back to School

Summer’s about over, and that means school’s ready to begin. If you’re a parent or a teacher, you probably have lots of items on your back-to-school list, and we’d like to remind you that IPEVO has a choice selection of highly useful, highly affordable tech products and accessories that will help start the year off right. Here are some of the highlights:

Save hundreds of dollars — literally
Before you buy that $600 document camera or $1000 interactive whiteboard on another website, check out our home page and see if you can accomplish most or all of the same things at just a fraction of the price. We know money can be tight this time of year, and IPEVO is all about stretching your dollar and making your school budget work harder.

New items, just in time for school!
We have three new products slated for September release that we’re excited to share. The IS-01 Interactive Whiteboard System turns any screen or blank wall into an interactive whiteboard.

IS-01

IS-01 Interactive Whiteboard System

The VZ-1 HD VGA/USB Dual-Mode Document Camera continues the IPEVO doc cam tradition of sharing documents quickly and easily, and comes with the ability to directly connect to your VGA projector.

VZ-1

VZ-1 VGA/USB Dual-Mode Document Camera

And the Height Extension Stand for Ziggi-HD gives the Ziggi doc cam a height boost so you can capture larger documents easier than ever before. Please, check them out! We know you’ll find multiple uses for each of them in your classroom.

Height Extension Stand for Ziggi

Height Extension Stand for Ziggi USB Document Cam

Point 2 View is the king of back to school
One particularly hot seller continues to be our iconic Point 2 View USB Document Camera. There are literally hundreds of uses for this document camera in the classroom, and that’s not an exaggeration. Several accessories have been developed around the Point 2 View for even more versatility.

Point 2 View

Point 2 View USB Document Camera

This includes the Magnifying Lens as well as the Microscope Adapter Set, both of which are quite popular with science teachers.

P2V accessories

Part 2 of our Back to School Special is coming tomorrow, so stay tuned for even more.

How to Build an iPad-Enabled Wireless Microscope Camera

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Education, Point 2 View (P2V) USB Document Camera, iZiggi-HD Wireless Document Camera, APPLICATION, PRODUCT, Staff Picks) by ipevoblog on 2013-08-14

IPEVO

Using a microscope in science class is a classic. But with schools tightening their belts when it comes to budgets, a pricey item like a microscope might be in short supply. So the question becomes: how do you give an entire class the microscope experience when there might be only a handful (or even just one!) to go around? IPEVO has a couple of affordable items for science educators faced with this challenge. It starts with the Point 2 View USB Document Camera and Microscope Adapter Set. For around $90, you can attach a camera directly to a wide range of microscopes — including straight and angled eyepieces — and capture real-time video of what a viewer looking through the eyepiece would see.

microscope adapter

What you do with that video is up to you. You can send it to a computer for projection, but if your school has iPads and all the learning potential that comes with them, we suggest one final item: the WS-01 Wireless Station for iPad. What the Wireless Station can do is send the Point 2 View’s video to not just one but multiple iPads. And — you guessed it — it does this wirelessly. So, if you as the teacher are demonstrating with a microscope at the front of the class, with this setup you can wirelessly stream the microscope video in real time to iPads throughout the class. Students will benefit from an up-close, crystal-clear image as you give your lesson.

WS-01 outline

And just when you thought we couldn’t pack any more innovation into this setup, it gets better. With the free IPEVO Whiteboard app for iPad, students as well as the teacher can make notes and draw on the microscope image, and can then save these “whiteboards” for later.

IPEVO Whiteboard_app

This entire setup costs only about $160. How’s that for innovation on a budget?! Compare that to some iPad microscope setups out there costing around $600. And when you figure that the Point 2 View can do a whole lot more than capture a microscope image (check out our Top 50 Ways to use Document Cameras for just a taste), and the choice is pretty easy for budget-conscious educators. Science teachers: how would you use the WS-01 and Point 2 View setup? Let us know!

Buy Point 2 Viewbuy_adapter_190px

TechEd 2010 – Report from the Convention Floor #1

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Education, All Applications, All Products, PRODUCT) by ipevoblog on 2010-04-13

Hello all. A few folks from IPEVO are currently busy at the TechEd convention in Pasadena, California. This is a gathering of educators—teachers, professors, administrators, principals—interested in seeing what’s new and hot (and useful) in tech.

At the IPEVO booth, we’ve been busy demonstrating the Point 2 View USB Camera to educators hungry for an inexpensive yet powerful camera for projecting documents and close-up demonstrations of all kinds. Our participation at TechEd is a culmination of the positive feedback we’ve received from educators about the Point 2 View, which we talked about in a previous entry.

It’s been fun, and the response has been enthusiastic. Educators are responding to the camera’s razor-sharp clarity (even as close as 2 inches), its versatility, and its inexpensive price (currently only $69!). That last point has probably been the source of the most surprise (and delight) in those we’ve talked to. Literally one aisle away, another company (which shall remain nameless) is demonstrating a very large, very bulky contraption that does pretty much the same thing the Point 2 View does, for nearly $7000. $7000! The vast difference in price is kind of staggering to think about.

Anyway, we’d like to share with you some of the great ideas for the Point 2 View that educators have talked to us about at TechEd. Maybe one will strike a chord with you!

  • One gentleman purchased a camera for a family member who is legally blind. With the Point 2 View’s excellent macro mode, as well as 3x digital zoom, text can be displayed very large and clear on a projection screen for those with vision problems.
  • One teacher was excited about the Point 2 View for its portability, considering she conducts mobile teaching sessions for organizations like the Boy Scouts of America and the National Park Service in remote wilderness areas. Instead of lugging around the usual huge document reader, she can carry the featherweight Point 2 View instead.
  • On a related note, we heard from many teachers about the possibilities for the Point 2 View in e-learning and remote teaching environments. One educator purchased a camera for joint teaching sessions she conducts with a sister school in South America.
  • A professor of electrical engineering loved the Point 2 View for its potential to capture the intricacies of circuit boards, transistors, and other tiny details that are otherwise a challenge to share with students.

We’ll keep providing more ideas as TechEd continues, but as you can see there is a ton of possibility here for the Point 2 View to help teachers. Be sure to check back soon!

To learn more about how the Point 2 View can help education, click here to download the education flyer in PDF format.

To visit the Point 2 View USB Camera’s product page: http://www.ipevo.com/Point-2-View-USB-Camera_p_70.html

* Prices are subject to change, please visit www.ipevo.com for the latest price infomation.
* Find more tips and stories about P2V at www.ipevo.com/p2v.