Document cameras are a classroom feature from a bygone era. Well, a transitional era. Teachers had computers, but projectors will still way too expensive and creative tools weren't cheap enough to do everything digitally. I still can't quite do everything digitally, though I'm getting close. So in the few settings where you could get a projector, a document camera lets you show off something you typed, student work, etc. They are large, very expensive, and require that you dedicate the projector solely to it while presenting.
I rigged up a cheaper version that lets me open a video window on my computer for a live look and whatever is under the lens. Combine that with annotation software, and now I can scribble on top of video. Just how I want to use it is still in testing. But like most of the new things I've come up with, I have to know it's there subconciously so that somewhere down the road I can cash in on random ideas. Ideas that used to stop short at "but I don't have a way to DO that."
- cheap lamp
- cheap table
- spare ringstand (make friends in the chemistry department)
- Logitech C910 Webcam
The latest version of QuickTime allows you to do simple movie recordings which means you can see what the camera sees at any given time. I needed the lamp because my projector is a little dim and gets used in a well-lit room, so a little backlighting helps. Having the video window open is a tad processor intensive, so I try not to do a lot while using it. The video quality is nuts, and could make for a good recording tool down the line. Most of my ideas involve show and tell situations where normally I'd hold something up that maybe the kids in the back can see, maybe not. Throwing it under the camera should help that.