Document Camera Ideas

As we are out and about presenting and training, the question of document camera ideas for use often comes up when folks question what that tool is that we are using in place of an overhead.

Many people see right away that the doc cam can be used in place of the overhead projector without the mess, lamp, and monstrous size! However, many are amazed when we tell them about all the other things doc cams can be used for in the classroom.

Have fun with some of our favorite resources and document camera ideas below.

document camera ideas - displaying dice on screen

Don't be scared to use your doc cam for more than just displaying books and papers. 

With time-lapse photography on her document camera, one of our customers was able to capture the hatching of chicks that happened during the night while no one was in the classroom!

Think Out of the Box With These Document Camera Ideas

  • Skype with students at another school, scientists within the community, or artists around the globe. 
  • Put student writing under the doc cam to have students point out the good points, the points that need work, or to practice proofreading.
  • Ditch the messy overhead projector and say goodbye to transparencies!
  • Turn your flex head doc cam up to use as a web cam to record student-created speeches, news broadcasts, and more. 
  • Record a lab that is too expensive or time consuming to repeat but that absent students would benefit from watching. 
  • Give every student a front row seat as you use math manipulatives together and then allow them to work with their own manipulatives at their desk. 
  • Show a timer under the doc cam to assist students with time management
  • Take periodic images of things done under the doc cam to share with absent students or create a daily history of your classwork. 
  • Make show-and-tell easy by allowing students to share under the doc cam.  
  • Easily demonstrate how to use a calculator, iTouch, or iPad. 
  • The expensive book that is too big and too expensive to purchase for every student?  Share it under your doc cam! 
  • Use the doc cam with science dissections so that students always know what you are referring to when your description doesn't quite make sense.  You can document the dissection with pictures to use on tests or reviews. 
  • Document chicks hatching or plants growing - anything that shows progress - with time lapse photography. This is perfect for science fair projects! 
  • Teach dictionary skills under the doc cam and annotate to teach this skills when only one is available. 
  • Don't have an interactive whiteboard?  Use your doc cam to project writing paper, graph paper, or any kind of template onto your dry erase board to serve as a background for exercises that require it.

Compilations of Document Camera Ideas

Document Camera Magic: Eleven Dozen Ways to Transform Teaching - From Lumens
One of our favorite resources! This 9-page PDF contains 18 sections each with many ways to use document cameras. Sections include by subject (Math, Science, Language Arts, Music, etc.) and also Get Students Involved in Class, Offer Meaningful Assessment and Guidance, Leverage Audio/Video Recording Capabilities, Use Image Capture, Do Visual Comparison and Examination, Illustration/Diagramming/Charting, Sharing, Elementary Education Basics, Non-Traditional Uses Throughout the School, Play Games, Modeling and Demonstration, Mastering Classroom Management and Teacher/Parent Communication, Leverage the Internet, and Transform School Administration.

101 Ways to Use Document Cameras from the Kennewick, WA School District
This extensive list of ideas was created by K-12 teachers in the Kennewick, Washington school district following a district-wide adoption of document cameras. The presentation is put together by Georgia Talbert, Technology Coordinator for the Kennewick School District.

Ditch That Overhead Projector for a Document Camera
This 40-page PDF includes detailed ideas for 25 projects and activities that use document cameras. Each one page project/idea includes subject area(s), description, ISTE standards, and web resources.

50 Plus Ideas for Using Document Cameras in the Classroom
These 50+ ideas are classified by grade level: Preschool – Primary, Intermediate/Middle School, and High School.

More Document Camera Ideas

Give every student a front row seat.