Friday, April 3, 2009

Get Rid of That Overhead Projector You Have Been Using for 20 Years!

Embrace the document camera or the visual presenter as it is sometimes called. It’s your new friend. It is a digital video camera that you can use to project documents, books, student work and 3 dimensional objects. You can even take a picture of an image you are projecting and save it. You can zoom in on an area to show it in greater detail or to help your visually impaired students. This is much, much more than the overhead projector your teacher use to use when you were in school! No More messy overhead markers. No more erasing the writing on overhead transparencies to reuse them again. It will decrease your preparation time because you won’t have to make the overheads.
Here are some of the many things you can do with this wonderful classroom tool:
  • show a page from a book with pictures to the entire class.
  • show off student work!
  • enlarge text or pictures for students that are visually impaired.
  • show students how to read and use a ruler, compass or calculator.
  • have students use the document camera to show how they solve a math problem.
  • display pictures in color.
  • show 3 dimensional objects.
  • display, analyze and edit student work.
  • demonstrate how to do hands on projects in science or any other subject.
  • go over tests with students to show them the correct answers.
  • let students use the document camera to be the teacher.
  • show the many different types of math manipulatives.
  • model note-taking!
  • walk your students through the steps of an assignment.
  • use it as a microscope.
  • use the document camera to project a countdown timer to keep your students on task.
  • use it to display maps on a book for geography class. This will cut down on the costs of large maps.
  • tilt the camera so your students can see the side of a measuring cup to show them how to measure accurately.
  • have students draw the image of background scenery for a play and project it on the wall.
  • project the pages of a book that you read in class so that the students can read with you. Leave out words or phrases so that the students can all say the missing word or phrase. This will help the students read fluently.
  • randomly grade student work using the document camera and ask for student input. The quality of student work would increase significantly.
  • model how to properly use a dictionary.
  • model proper writing skills.

So forget that big old overhead projector and use the new document camera. It will enable your students to be much more involved in your lessons. It will help them to see much more clearly the things you want them to see, learn and be a part of.

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