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3 Doc Cam Ideas & Alternatives for Remote Learning

Updated: Aug 9, 2020

I recently posted this picture as I was prepping for a workshop with my client, Pikes Peak BOCES, on Facebook and Instagram and got a few questions about doc cams. As math teachers, we’re going to need to do some pencil to paper modeling in our remote format so a doc cam is really helpful (not to mention familiar for many of us!).

#1) Traditional Document Camera

I hear GREAT things about this IPEVO one. Unfortunately because of the demand, they are on a 6-8 week backorder and amazon sellers are price gouging all doc cams to make more money 😞

#2) Phone/Tablet and Cans

Yup, cans. Ok this one is a little DIY, but it gets the job done! You can use the camera on your phone (or a tablet) suspended by cans.. yup like cans of beans.. to hover above your paper.

Here’s the basic overview of using this option:

  • Join your class zoom/meet on your computer AND your phone.

  • Mute zoom/meet on your phone

  • Open camera on phone

  • Suspend phone, camera pointing down toward table

  • When you’re ready to use it as a doc cam during class, mute zoom/meet on your computer and unmute zoom/meet on your phone (this will make your "doc cam" image the big image)

Here's a helpful tutorial to help you see come together.

#3) Tablet/Phone stand

Does that can thing seem a little precarious to you? You can purchase a tablet or phone stand to hold your phone or tablet above your paper. I haven’t tried either of these, but they seem like a good bet.

Option 1: Compatible with phone or tablet (although I wonder if a tablet would be too heavy)

Option 2: Tablet stand

In conclusion, I do like the tablet or phone option a little more than the traditional doc cam because when you are in your zoom/meet, your face will still be visible to your students. When you hook up the traditional doc cam to use during your zoom/meet you actually change the video to just be your doc cam and students will lose your visual.

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