Friday, February 3, 2017

Reset the Preset: iPad as a Doc Camera

In the keynote at The One Conference, Tony Vincent shared with us the concept of resetting the presets to make technology work better for us. In this spirit, I am sharing one way that teachers can re-purpose their iPad to serve as a document camera in any location. Tony mentioned this in his keynote address, so we are building off of that concept here.

Building a Doc Camera Stand

For the purpose of this demonstration, I need to say thank you to Jordan Leider at South. She provided me with a wire cooling rack that I used to hack together this VERY temporary (and unstable) document camera stand.

For my stand pictured, two paper box tops and a wire rack was all I needed to create a stand in five minutes or less. Look around your room. What is available to use to build a quick stand to give this quick hacked together tip a shot?

There are certainly professional versions of this tool you can buy to get started. Tony Vincent has an entire blog post on some of the tools that are available for this purpose. Maybe you can encourage the engineering souls in your classroom to build the best doc camera stand they can out of whatever supplies they find. Here are some inspirations in PVC or in wood.

If you get adventurous and try to make an iPad Doc Camera stand in your classroom, share the photos with us. We would love to see your (or your students') creations.

iPad Doc Camera Apps

Tony shared a very simple app that comes pre-loaded on every iPad - the camera app.  But there are others out there that are built with even more features that teachers could use to enhance their iPad Doc Camera experience.

iPevo Whiteboard App

This is a free app that is intended to be used with a separate doc camera, but it actually can serve as it's own doc camera app. You can get the app here. Use this app to write on a blank whiteboard, or use the on-board camera of your iPad to draw over what the camera sees, measure angles and lengths, or just use the digital pointer. Check out their tutorial video.

Board Cam App

For 1.99, you can get yourself an even better app! Board Cam is a great app for using your iPad as a document camera.  With the ability to point, have multiple touch points, draw, record, and switch between varying inputs (start by writing over a photo on your camera roll, then switch to live video for the objects under your iPad), this is such a versatile app.

Check out this quick tutorial video of Board Cam.