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Top Five Uses of a Document Camera

Document cameras are a functional replacement to overhead projectors, but instead of relying on transparent sheets, they project an image digitally. Anything that’s small enough to fit in front of the camera can be captured via video, and this video can be sent to any networked display. It can also be streamed so that remote participants can see what's going on. Because there aren’t many limitations on what document cameras can present, they're effective in an array of applications. Here, we've included five of the most impactful.

In the Classroom: Go Over Tough Test and Quiz Questions

Document cameras are a powerful educational tool and can be featured throughout K-12 Houston schools. This includes classrooms, where document cameras can be used to review student work and deliver lesson content. Here's just one example - use the document camera to review the questions from recent tests or a quiz. There's always a couple of questions that trip up some of the students, and a document camera is ideal for reviewing these. If it's a math quiz, the teacher could do the work for everyone to see. If it's an English exam, teachers can use a document camera to open up the book and point out important passages. In this way, a document camera functions much like an overhead projector, only the image is higher quality, and the video feed can be viewed by remote students as well.

In the Science Lab: Provide an Up Close Look of Exhibits

Document cameras are also valuable in science and technology labs. Here, educators can use the camera to show how to use lab tools and how to run experiments. Many teachers do this at the beginning of the lesson to give students a guide to go by. As the lab lesson continues, the teacher can use the document camera to present the results of each group's experiment, pointing out interesting results and reinforcing the lesson with the help of relevant objects. Document cameras can also be used in larger educational spaces like makerspaces, where multiple displays may be present. Students can be grouped into pods around each display, and the instructor can use the document camera to deliver video to every display.

In the Auditorium: Run a Presentation for Hundreds of People

Because document cameras can be networked to multiple digital displays, they can be used to provide visual support during a large presentation. Guest presentations, for example, are a perfect opportunity for K-12 Houston schools to bring in the document camera. For instance, if someone from the local zoo is coming by, a document camera can provide a close look at small reptiles or insects. A local museum could bring some of their exhibits to show off. If there are any science experiments, we've already shown how document cameras can help with those. A local visiting artist could demonstrate their skills to students with the help of the camera. In short, a document camera can make for more creative assemblies and presentations.

In the Training Room: Present Important Technologies and Concepts to New Hires

Document cameras can play a role in professional settings, too. Training rooms are a natural choice for document cameras and can be used for demonstrations, presenting documents, or showing how certain tools are used. Tie the camera to the room's displays, and you'll ensure everyone in the room can follow the lessons. Whether training materials consist of paper only or physical objects, trainers can use the camera to make training sessions more interesting than stand-and-deliver lecturing. Document cameras are particularly helpful if your trainees are expected to follow along with materials of their own. For example, during a safety training session, the instructor can use the camera to present safety equipment and point out essential features with each piece of equipment. This is highly effective if your trainees have their own equipment, tools, objects, or whatever is being introduced, and can follow along with what the instructor is doing. With expanded digital displays and a document camera, your training sessions can teach hundreds of people at once.

In the Courtroom: Give Jurors a Closer Look at the Evidence

Document camera applications also extend beyond education. In courtrooms, for instance, document cameras are becoming a valuable technology for court proceedings. Most notably, they can be used to present evidence to jurors and the court. It's common for sightline issues to interfere with evidence presentation, as the presenting attorney is usually well away from the jurors. If jurors are having trouble seeing evidence exhibits, court proceedings either grind to a halt to accommodate the jurors, or the jurors aren't able to do their job as well. Both outcomes are undesirable. To solve this common problem, courtrooms can use document cameras tied to displays in the courtroom. Instead of straining to see what the attorney is holding and talking about, the jury can watch from their own small screen mounted at the jury stand. If there are oversized displays inside the courtroom, everyone in the room can follow along through the camera's feed.

Document Cameras are Versatile Teaching and Presentation Technologies

Document cameras can be used in many ways, in a variety of settings. While you'll normally find them in K-12 Houston schools and classrooms, you'll also spot them in professional and governmental settings. In short, anywhere presentations, meetings or lessons are likely to occur, document cameras are a valuable visual support.