How to Think Outside the Box with IPEVO Doc Cams

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Business, iZiggi-HD Wireless Document Camera, Point 2 View (P2V) USB Document Camera, All Products, All Applications, 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!

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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Ziggi-HD Doc Cam — A Race Car Engineer’s Best Friend

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Business, All Products, APPLICATION, All Applications, Staff Picks, Ziggi) by tracy_ipevo on 2014-05-14

Azizi Tucker from California has a dream job: he designs and engineers race cars. But don’t be fooled: it takes endless hours of hard work to create custom-designed pieces of art on four wheels. Recently, Azizi shared the behind-the-scenes secrets of bringing one of his race cars to life. And it involves the Ziggi-HD Document Camera — another fine-tuned piece of art, if we do say so ourselves.

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Azizi often deals with one-of-a-kind models, leading to a real scavenger hunt of car parts from multiple manufacturers. The time and money involved in buying dozens of similar parts and seeing if they fit was an investment Azizi couldn’t afford to make. Instead, he used Ziggi-HD in a way we never anticipated.

Using Ziggi-HD’s high-def camera, swing-arm and swiveling head, Azizi captured every aspect of the potential part he needed. He then exported that image into Solidworks, a 3D design program. This allowed him to calculate, resize and create the piece — cheaply and quickly — with a 3D printer. After some trial and error installing these prototypes, he knew exactly what he needed, and he ordered the precise part from the manufacturer. Pretty cool, huh?

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But the fun doesn’t stop there. Azizi also needed a clutch alignment tool. This small tool is only needed once every couple of years, so it tends to get lost in the garage. Azizi could have ordered it, but he had a better idea. He used Ziggi-HD to capture the clutch —going so far as to use a mirror to ensure the camera was perfectly square to the tabletop. How’s that for ingenuity? He then 3D-printed the tool from the image.

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Last but not least, Ziggi-HD was used a bit like a microscope when it came time to solder two tubes for the chassis of the car. Such soldering needs to be very precise. By focusing in to the soldering “scar,” Azizi and his workers could ensure the work was up to their high standards.

What a ride. Azizi’s clever use of Ziggi-HD proves that doc cams are perfectly at home in the garage. So what do you say — care to take the Ziggi-HD Document Camera out for a spin?

How to Project Teaching Material without a Computer

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Filed Under (Document Cameras in Business, Ziggi-HD/Ziggi-HD Plus Document Cameras, VZ-1 VGA/USB Dual-Mode Document Camera, Point 2 View (P2V) USB Document Camera, APPLICATION, All Applications, Staff Picks, Ziggi, Ziggi-HD) by tracy_ipevo on 2014-03-02

Need a way to project text and other content in the classroom or conference room without a computer? Here are three setups you can try that don’t require a computer.

1. Using Just a VGA/USB Document Camera

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What you’ll need:

Steps:

  1. Connect the VZ-1 HD to your VGA display device using a VGA cable.
  2. Plug in the power adapter for both VZ-1 HD and your VGA display device and turn them on.
  3. Use the Resolution Selector to find an optimal resolution if it did not automatically switched to one.

2. Using a Document Camera With an iPad and Apple TV

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What you’ll need:

Steps:

  1. Power on the WS-01 Wireless Station.
  2. Connect Ziggi-HD’s USB cable to the WS-01’s USB port. The WS-01 will power the camera.
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  3. Connect the HDMI to VGA Converter to Apple TV using the Converter’s built-in HDMI connector.IPEVO_How_to_Project_Teaching_Material_without_a_Computer_08
  4. Connect your VGA display device to the Converter with a VGA cable.
  5. Click on “Settings” on your iPad and browse your available WiFi networks. Select the network with the phrase “IPEVO WS-01” in it. Now your iPad is connected to WS-01.
  6. Access the App Store on your iPad. Search for and download the free “IPEVO Whiteboard” app.
  7. Power up the Apple TV and your display device. Apple TV will help you find and connect to a wireless network. Select the network labeled with IPEVO WS-01. Now Apple TV is communicating with the WS-01.
  8. If using iOS 6 or earlier for iPad: Double tap the Home button on your iPad to bring up the Multitasking Bar. Swipe to move to the left of the Multitasking Bar, tap the Airplay button, and select Apple TV in the pop-up menu. Turn on the Mirror switch to enable Mirror mode. Content on iPad will now appear on Apple TV’s display device.
  9. If using iOS 7 for iPad: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the Control Center. Tap the Airplay button. In the resulting screen, select your Apple TV and then turn the Mirroring switch on to enable Mirror mode. Content on iPad will now appear on Apple TV’s display device.
  10. Start IPEVO Whiteboard on your iPad. A live image from the document camera should now appear within Whiteboard, and thus on your monitor or projection screen.

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Real-time Annotation: With this setup, not only can you wirelessly stream live image capture from your document camera (like textbooks, handwriting, math equations, 3D objects, artwork, or anything else). You can also annotate the image capture using the simple drawing tools in Whiteboard. These annotations will appear on the monitor or television in real time, allowing you to place proper emphasis on your material with shapes, lines, text boxes and more.

3. Using an iPad and Apple TV

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What you’ll need:

Steps:

  1. Connect the HDMI to VGA Converter to Apple TV using the Converter’s built-in HDMI connector.
  2. Connect your VGA display device to the Converter with a VGA cable.IPEVO_How_to_Project_Teaching_Material_without_a_Computer_05
  3. Ensure iPad is connected to your existing WiFi network. Access the App Store on your iPad. Search for and download the free “IPEVO Whiteboard” app from the App Store.
  4. Power up the Apple TV and your display device. Apple TV will help you find and connect to a wireless network. Select the same existing WiFi network.
  5. If using iOS 6 or earlier for iPad: Double tap the Home button on your iPad to bring up the Multitasking Bar. Swipe to move to the left of the Multitasking Bar, tap the Airplay button, and select Apple TV in the pop-up menu. Turn on the Mirror switch to enable Mirror mode. Content on iPad will now appear on Apple TV’s display device.
  6. If using iOS 7 for iPad: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the Control Center. Tap the Airplay button. In the resulting screen, select Apple TV and then turn the Mirroring switch on to enable Mirror mode. Content on iPad will now appear on Apple TV’s display device.
  7. Start IPEVO Whiteboard on your iPad. Tap the Camera icon near the top of the screen. Whiteboard will display real-time video from iPad’s built-in camera, which will be mirrored to your display device.


Real-time Annotation:
Like the first setup, you can use Whiteboard’s drawing toolkit to annotate on top of whatever’s being captured by the iPad’s camera. In Whiteboard, you can also choose to create a blank (white) board to draw on. Whatever you draw or capture will be displayed in real time on your VGA display device, whether it’s a monitor or a big-screen projection.