I love my document camera in my classroom. I state the date and the objective for the day and the learning devices that the students will need at the beginning of class. I then place the warm up under the document camera. We correct homework under the document camera, next. As we transition to the lesson I move from illustrating math problems under the document camera to showing online tutorials through the document camera. This device has been extremely useful in a middle level math class.
Looking back to when I was in school, the use of the overhead projector was common in all of my classes. Whether we were learning math or grammar, lights were off, and Vis-a-Vis markers were a must. But for the students of today, they will remember document cameras or ELMOs as we call them.
The first time I used this new technology, or new to me, I was hooked. It took me a few minutes to get use to it and at times I had to make adjustments mid lesson, but all in all, it’s a very simple and effective tool in my classroom.
The normal classroom has just one teacher and a room full of students. But by using the ELMO, the possibility of one-on-one, is more of a possibility. When I am using the ELMO I am showing each of my students, visually, what I am asking of them. It is different than just explaining to the whole class, it is showing whole class, and for many students that is so vital to their style of learning.
I am lucky to be in a school that grants me access to the ELMO, which I know not every school has. But I personally recommend this piece of technology for every teacher, no matter the grade or subject you teach. You might be thinking that technology is not your strong suite, but be assured that I too had that thought. I have only been using the ELMO for about 7 months and I use it to stream video from my computer, to project images onto the television, and the more basic use of projecting an image onto the big screen. It doesn’t take a technology wizard, just someone with a few minutes and the desire to learn this technology.
Enjoy using the ELMO and have your students use it too, they would love it!
The ELMO in my math classroom is a lifesaver! I create the answer key for the homework ahead of time and use the ELMO to project the key. This way students have a visual to compare their answers to as well as hear me announce them. I use the ELMO constantly when referring to the book or a worksheet. Students are able to understand easier what I mean when I have a visual to refer to. I also encourage teachers to allow their students to use the document camera. Its a good way to encourage student participation while allowing them the opportunity to become familiar with new technology!
I loved having the ELMO in my classroom! The year before I got my document camera, I spent so much time and effort transporting the shared overhead projector back and forth all over campus, preparing and copying overhead transparencies, and shifting furniture in my classroom to find the right spot for the projector in order to get a clear projection on the board. What a hassle!
The document camera is so easy. I can show the whole class at the same time whatever I need – non-documents included! We use this technology to build documents together, to provide examples of how to use manipulatives during math class (no more crowding around a table), to review homework together, to display student work as we discuss it during a lesson, and more!
Not only is the document camera convenient, but it is so easy to use! It is straightforward and takes nothing more than common sense to operate. I can bring documents in and out of focus, zoom in and out, etc. Even the kids can use it and really enjoy doing so. If you can get the funding, I highly recommend the document camera as an essential classroom technology that no teacher – no matter the grade or discipline – should be without.
-- Elizabeth Lange