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!

Read more:

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How To Set Up Your iZiggi-HD Wireless Doc Cam

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Filed Under (iPad in Business, Document Cameras in Education, iPad in Education, iZiggi-HD Wireless Document Camera, APPLICATION, All Applications) by tracy_ipevo on 2014-06-29

The iZiggi-HD Wireless Document Camera gives you the freedom to capture documents and other material anywhere in the classroom. You can then stream images right to iPad, wirelessly, to open up even more teaching possibilities.

Here’s a quick step-by-step video for setting up your iZiggi-HD camera for the first time.

Intercultural Exchange – Travel With Your Students Without Leaving the Classroom

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Education, All Products, APPLICATION, All Applications, 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, All Products, APPLICATION, All Applications, 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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The Ziggi-HD Doc Cam – Helping Get the Bad Guys

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Business, All Products, APPLICATION, All Applications, Staff Picks) by tracy_ipevo on 2014-06-16

How is the Ziggi-HD USB Document Camera helping police put criminals behind bars? Ask Paul Crowley, president and founder of Infinadyne. Infinadyne is a Davenport, Iowa-based software company that specializes in retrieving data from discs. This crucial evidence might just make the difference in a criminal investigation.

The company’s CD/DVD Inspector software has a proven method for collecting the data from the discs themselves. But when 50 or 100 discs (or more) are gathered into evidence, it’s a big time-waster for a person to manually check each disc for potential incriminating evidence. Talk about a boring job! So, Infinadyne developed several robotic collection machines integrated with their software to automate that process.

“The 50-disc problem is a huge issue in law enforcement,” explained Paul. “All of the evidence may be on a CD or DVD but it goes unexamined because the manpower to examine the discs isn’t available. In this way a robotic system makes the difference between a conviction and nothing.”

A final important part of the forensics process is to properly capture and catalogue an image from the top of the discs. And it’s here where the Ziggi-HD doc cam went to work for Infinadyne.

“We work with a number of different machines for automating this collection and have been using our own cameras for this purpose,” said Paul. “Our cameras need some kind of support arm when standing out in the open like these machines are set up, so the IPEVO Ziggi-HD camera was mentioned as a possible alternative. And it looks like it is going to be very good for this purpose.”

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In addition to Ziggi-HD’s swing-arm, Paul also mentioned the 5 Megapixels resolution of the camera as a key factor in choosing the Ziggi-HD.

“With the Ziggi-HD being a 5MP camera we are getting a huge number of pixels for the disc surface which makes for a very clear image,” said Paul. “These pictures are used by law enforcement for documenting seized evidence, so having a clear picture is very important.”

Getting a focused and properly exposed disc image – as well as identifying and isolating the disc itself within the image – required some ingenuity on the part of Infinadyne’s engineers. A calibration target is used on top of the discs, and Ziggi-HD’s real-time video is used for the calibration process. Ziggi-HD’s Single focus mode is key for getting proper focus, and some other tweaks are done to the brightness and color saturation. Frames are then grabbed from Ziggi-HD’s video and filed with the software.

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So far, Ziggi-HD is being integrated with three of Infinadyne’s collection machines: the ADR AG, the LSK and the Nimbie. IPEVO continues to work with Paul and his team to ensure the camera works as seamlessly as possible for Infinadyne’s purposes.

We’re very pleased that Paul and Infinadyne have found yet another smart use for the Ziggi-HD USB Document Camera. Please visit Infinadyne’s site and check out the data retrieval products they offer for both consumers and forensics professionals.

Two Steps for Bigger and Better Text Using the VZ-1 Doc Cam

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Business, VZ-1 VGA/USB Dual-Mode Document Camera, All Products, APPLICATION, PRODUCT, Staff Picks) by tracy_ipevo on 2014-06-11

For children with vision problems, or for the elderly with visual impairments, there’s a simple way to magnify text so it’s easier to read. All you need is the IPEVO VZ-1 HD Dual-Mode Document Camera and a monitor or TV with a VGA input. Here’s what to do:
1. Hook the VZ-1 to your monitor using the VGA connection.  Make sure the resolution selector of the VZ-1 is set to “Auto. Res.” so the camera automatically finds the best resolution.

2. Place the reading material under the VZ-1. With the camera’s multi-jointed arm, you can position the camera just right and then adjust as needed.

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That’s it! Now you have a low-cost desktop magnifier. Even small text will appear nice and big on the monitor so you (or your child) can read and understand it easier.
Questions or comments about this setup? Please share.

How to Set Up Your Own Online Classroom in 3 Easy Steps

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Education, Point 2 View (P2V) USB Document Camera, All Products, APPLICATION, PRODUCT, Staff Picks) by tracy_ipevo on 2014-06-03

What is an online Classroom? At its heart, it’s a cooperation between teachers, schools and students. Online classrooms help educators and their classrooms connect with one another in a way that enriches learning for everyone – despite geographical distances, and despite traditional learning boundaries.

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In three steps, you can set up your own online classroom quickly and easily.

What you’ll need:

1. Connect your Doc Cam to the computer
This includes the Point 2 View or Ziggi-HD USB Document Cameras. Both cameras are adept at capturing fine details (like text) and capturing people like a web camera. It’s simply plug-and-play; you won’t need a device driver.

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2. Connect your X1-N6 Conference Station to the computer
This provides high-quality audio to get both sides talking and listening. The X1-N6 receives and transmits clear audio in 360 degrees, meaning teachers and students can be anywhere around the Station (up to 5 meters away) and still be heard. Like the doc cam, it’s plug-and-play and you won’t need a driver.

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3. Tell Skype to Use Your Devices
Start up Skype and log in. You’ll first need to tell Skype to use your IPEVO devices for audio and video.

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FOR MAC: Click on “Skype” in the top menu, and select “Preferences.” In the window that pops up, choose “Audio/Video.” For both Microphone and Speakers, make sure to select X1-N6 from the drop-down options. Near the bottom of the same page, make sure to choose the name of your IPEVO doc camera under “Camera.” You’ll see the real-time video capture from your camera

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FOR PC: Click on “Tools” in the top menu, and select “Options.” In the window that pops up, choose “Audio Settings.” For both Microphone and Speakers, make sure to select X1-N6 from the drop-down options. Next, choose “Video Settings.” If you have a webcam connected, you may need to select your IPEVO doc camera by name. Otherwise, Skype often identifies and starts using your doc cam automatically. When correctly selected, you’ll see the real-time video capture from your camera.
Finally, hit Save to save your changes.

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That’s it! Connect with teachers and students by placing a call to their Skype username. You’ll transmit high-res video and high-quality audio in real time. Whether it’s delivering a webinar, conducting a cross-cultural exchange between classrooms in different countries, or holding a meeting between colleagues, you have the tools (and may we say, the talent) to host your own online classroom with Skype. Class is in session!

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7 Real Stories: Demo the iPad with USB Document cam

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Business, iPad in Education, Ziggi-HD/Ziggi-HD Plus Document Cameras, Point 2 View (P2V) USB Document Camera, APPLICATION, PRODUCT) by ipevoblog on 2013-04-26

Following stories are written by teachers, educators and other professionals. They provided the first hand experience on how the document cam assisted them on education and presentations using the iPad.

1. Kathy’s Story
Kathy Schrock, educational technologist, adjunct professor at Arcadia University. She chooses P2V to project iPad for the following reasons: easy to set up, low cost and compatible with smartphones, iPads, and other electronic devices.

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“Good things come in small (low-cost) packages! With so many of us trying to demo our smartphones, iPads, or other devices to an audience of educators, the IPEVO Point 2 View ($69) is something to consider for your toolbox! It easily connects to a computer to project to a large group using an LCD projector for real-time viewing of the screens of the electronic devices we are trying to show.”

Let Kathy tell you more:http://blog.kathyschrock.net/2010/08/point-2-view-document-camera-review.html

2. Paul’ Story
7stories_02Paul Yip, educational technologist at The Bishop Strachan School. He selects P2V to deliver a quick iPad demo in a conference room for these conveniences: handy, portability, plug-and-play USB, no power cable required, compatible with iPods, iPad and apps

“For those of us doing demos of iPods and iPads, it seems to be one of those “perfect things” as it gives you the ability to show a complete workflow of either device, without relying on one special video cable as well as any apps’ compatibility with video out. Removing it from the stand gets me thinking about poking it into different parts of science experiments, or using it as a “field” camera with a laptop on a stage, in a gym or outdoors. These types of uses are more or less impossible with the larger ones.”

Let Paul tell you more:http://themindofachildblog.blogspot.tw/2011/01/review-ipevos-p2v-80-document-camera.html

3. Steven’s Story
Steven Sande, Mac/iPad/iPhone guru, puts his iPad (or iPhone) on the big screen with P2V. Because P2V is low in cost, easy to set up, and compatible with every app.

“One of the things that was a bit frustrating for me after purchasing the iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter was finding out that it doesn’t work with every iPad app… So what if you want to teach an iPad class and show your students everything that’s going on your iPad? ……
There’s a less expensive and pretty cool little camera that seems like it was designed just for doing iPad demos. The IPEVO Point 2 View (P2V) USB camera is inexpensive, has remarkably good resolution, and comes with a stand that is perfect for doing demos.”

Let Steven tell you more:http://www.tuaw.com/2010/05/27/frustrated-by-no-universal-video-out-for-ipad-ipevo-p2v-can-hel/

4. Nathan’s Story
Nathan Curtis, founder/principal of EightShapes, told us how P2V solve many challenging aspects of sharing sketches in real time, and the benefits using P2V to demonstrate a device:

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“I often throw a device (notably, my iPhone or iPad) under the IPEVO camera to demonstrate an experience with actual gestures, responsiveness and more, which feels more real that using an application like iOS Simulator on the Mac.”

Let Nathan tell you more: http://www.eightshapes.com/

5. Deborah’s Story
Deborah Highfill, art teacher at Cannon Elementary, shared how the Ziggi changed the way she teach and the learning atmosphere.

“I’ve used document cameras before but never have I seen a document camera display such clear, crisp, high quality images on the screen like this one. It can even display images from an iPad, which was something the document camera I had before could not do. “

Let Deborah tell you more: http://www.ipevo.com/wishpool/story/142

6. Alicia’s Story
Alicia Elrod, teacher at Lakeshore Elementary School, uses P2V to project iPad for its easiness to setup, image quality, and compatibility to all apps.

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“I started using my document camera as soon as it arrived! It was very easy to set up and the quality is excellent! So far, I have used it to model graphing, share photos related to our science topic, and to show science videos from an app on my iPad. “

Let Alicia tell you more: http://www.ipevo.com/wishpool/story/97

7. Phil’s Story
Phil Goodman, Apple Certified Trainer, told us why he used IPEVO’s Point 2 View USB Document Camera to conduct iPad training for members of LAPUG: low cost, portability, and image quality.

“After using many different products to view the iPad, I settled on the Point 2 View, because it appeared to be an inexpensive yet flexible method to demonstrate the products we’re discussing…The P2V has much higher resolution and is much lighter and more flexible to set up and carry around.”

Let Phil tell you more: https://blog.ipevo.com/?p=2322

25 Ways for Students to Use IPEVO Document Cameras

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Business, Ziggi-HD/Ziggi-HD Plus Document Cameras, iZiggi-HD Wireless Document Camera, VZ-1 VGA/USB Dual-Mode Document Camera, All Products, APPLICATION, PRODUCT) by ipevoblog on 2012-01-24

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IPEVO’s Ziggi and Point 2 View USB document cameras offer teachers some great opportunities for interactive, multimedia learning in the classroom that can engage and excite students. And we have tons of ideas to share with educators.

But for now, let’s flip the script, turn the tables, put the shoe on the other foot, and take a look at Ziggi and Point 2 View from a student’s perspective. How can students — whether it’s elementary school, middle school, high school, or college — use document cameras to take their own learning to the next level?

We’ve brainstormed plenty of ideas, and maybe you can add some of your own.

So without further ado, here are 25 ways students can use Ziggi and/or Point 2 View document cameras in the classroom. (And parents, this will give you lots of ideas, too.) Plenty more ideas for educators will be on the way in future entries!

  1. Save math formulas — Use the one-touch snapshot feature and Review mode to capture useful formulas from your math textbook to save for later.
  2. Study with a friend — Have a remote study session with a classmate and share test materials, class notes, or textbooks. But no copying, and no cheating!
  3. Tutor time — Ziggi and Point 2 View make it possible to work with your teacher or tutor from anywhere.
  4. Show and tell — For younger students (and teachers, you can show them how), show and tell is taken up a notch when everyone can see details on the big projector screen. No more complaints that students can’t see.
  5. Better class notes — Enhance the notes you take in class by capturing small text passages, graphs, maps, data, or anything else from the textbook, and adding it to your notes.
  6. Book report —Take your book report from good to great by presenting a sample page from the book and reading it for the class so they can follow along.
  7. Play scene — Students acting out a scene from a play in class can display the scene in text form on the screen so the audience has two ways of understanding the play.
  8. Art appreciation — Collect a semester’s worth of your favorite images from an art textbook or photo book using the snapshot feature and Review mode.
  9. Diorama — Have you built a diorama? Give the class a close-up view of the diorama’s details.
  10. All-subject essay helper — Students in upper grades and college need to cite and quote sources, data, and other texts in their essays. Use the doc cam to display the info on screen for easy reference and copying.
  11. Help for the visually-impaired — Visually-impaired students can benefit from Ziggi and Point 2 View’s Macro mode for making text readable.
  12. Science fair project — Lots of science experiment ideas could benefit from some real-time video or snapshots, whether you’re presenting for the class or testing your hypothesis.
  13. Help! — Stuck on a homework problem? Take a snapshot and email your teacher for help. Or, post the image to Facebook to get your classmates’ help.
  14. Multimedia presentations — Save images from the doc cam and use them in PowerPoint, Windows Movie Maker, iMovie, and more.
  15. Art class — Proud students can show off their latest painting, sketch, mixed media piece or sculpture for the whole class.
  16. Side by side copying — Need to type up text from a worksheet or textbook? Use the doc cam to project it onto your computer to save time.
  17. Web chats — Did you know both Ziggi and Point 2 View can be angled up and used like web cams? You never know when students will benefit from some face to face time.
  18. Restricted texts — Take a snapshot of text you might not be able to take with you, like books in the library, a friend’s class notes, or books reserved for classroom use only.
  19. Give your eyes a break — Hours of studying tiny text can result in eye strain and fatigue. Give yourself a break by displaying tiny text on the computer to make them bigger.
  20. Quality, not quantity — Posters, graphs, and charts are often made so they are large enough for the class to see. By projecting these items for presentations, they don’t have to be so large, saving time and material.
  21. Add visuals to an oral presentation — Every student has to deliver an oral presentation. Give it some visual punch with accompanying images or text using the doc cam.
  22. English literature — Need to analyze a passage from a text you’re writing about? Use the doc cam to put the text side by side with your word processor doc on the screen.
  23. Nature “microscope” — Leaves, insects, dissections… you can learn more about anything complex and intricate by getting a closer view that’s still nice and sharp.
  24. Cram for the exam — Host a study session with several classmates, and display test materials, flash cards, sample questions, etc., onscreen so everyone can have a look and participate.
  25. Student becomes teacher — Use the doc cam as a presentational tool to teach other students how to solve math problems, construct something, or proofread a paper.

What ways can YOU think of for students to use Ziggi and Point 2 View? Let us know. And remember, many ideas for educators are on their way soon.

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Point 2 View Super Tips: Shooting in Low-Light Situations

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Business, All Products, APPLICATION, All Applications) by ipevoblog on 2011-01-06

One of the advantages of the Point 2 View USB Document Camera is that it does not need its own light source, unlike overhead projectors or certain types of other document cameras. However, there may be times when you need to operate in a low-light environment. These scenarios include a darkened presentation room when visibility of the viewing screen is most important, or demonstrations of devices with LCD screens, such as smartphones or the iPad.

In the special situation of the LCD screen, the star of your show is the screen itself, so any additional lighting may or may not be helpful. It’s important to understand that your Point 2 View is constantly adjusting itself to arrive at what its computer brain thinks is the best exposure for the image. And it’s pretty darn good with even just a little light. In the case of most LCD screens, your Point 2 View will be smart enough to adjust exposure accordingly for the best image quality.

Ratcheting down the brightness level on your demonstration device, for example, will cause the Point 2 View to “open up” and let more light in, resulting in an image that’s just about the same either way. Similarly, the Point 2 View will respond to increased brightness by letting in less light, and again the image is about the same. In any case, make sure your device fills up as much of the Point 2 View’s screen as possible. The bigger your device appears, the better your Point 2 View will be able to “guess” at the proper exposure.

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Next, let’s tackle three-dimensional objects and text. We mentioned that the Point 2 View is very good at picking up your subject with even a little light. But it can’t make something from nothing, and if there’s too little light, it will lose details. In a darkened room, consider using a separate, portable, directional light source. An ideal source is a pharmacy table lamp featuring multiple joints for maximum flexibility in placement—much like the Point 2 View’s stand itself.

Low-light situation

Your goal is bright, even coverage, but not too bright; remember, cameras don’t have the dynamic range of the human eye, and something that looks great to your eye might look blown out on the screen. For that reason, a lower-watt bulb is recommended, something like a 40W or 60W incandescent bulb (9W or 13W if you’re using fluorescent bulbs).

As for the position of the lamp, you’ll want to place the bulb at a high angle above the object or text. This minimizes shadows and gives you nice, even coverage. However, don’t place the camera body between the bulb and subject, as it will create a nasty shadow.

One more tool you have at your disposal is the exposure adjustment in the Point 2 View‘s interface. The second tab on the interface is for exposure, and you can darken the image (by selecting -1 or -2) and brighten the image (by selecting +1 or +2), with Exposure 0 meaning there is no artificial exposure change. This is a good option for fine tuning.

P2V exposure function

In any case, trial and error is your best friend. Experiment with different light placements, light strengths, and brightness/exposure settings prior to your presentation. It’s always better to figure out the optimal setup beforehand. Remember, don’t trust your eyes: trust what everybody is going to be looking at, the projector screen!

Trust your eyes, not the screen

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