The name "document camera" is something of a misnomer, in that this device is essentially a video camera connected to the projector. You can therefore display anything, whether it's 2 or 3 dimensional.

Vendors, Hardware, ModelsEdit

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  • Elmo TT-02s (There are other Elmos but the TT-02S has a price comparable to the Lumens.) We have 8 Elmo TT-02 units... I've heard nothing but good things from teachers using them... Science teachers also like them because they can get the camera on a microscope without much difficulty either... be prepared to buy them for your whole staff within a couple of years. The possibilities are endless with that technology. Also with the new functionality of the TT-02s you can capture images to a SD Card and take them with you or put them in presentations (We want those here now, we have the TT-02u which requires you to hook up your computer).
  • At NECC I saw the new AVerVision300p Portable Document Camera. I wasn't even interested in looking at document cameras while at NECC because we were satisfied with the Dukane. But as I walked by their booth, I did a double take because of the high quality of the image. I put a hold on all document camera orders until I could get one in and show it to my tech staff and building principals. It was unanimous - we are only ordering the AVerVision300p. We are purchasing them for less money than the Dukanes.
  • We have a number of document cameras deployed on poop in our audi video presentation systems. Early on we attempted to meet this need with units below the $1000 price point but found the results less than satisfactory. Since that time we have been using digital systems and two years ago settled on the Samsung Digital Present for $2400 per unit. Our faculty in AVPS equipped classrooms love them, especially as the USB connection and accompanying software also allow the unit to function as a fast and high resolution scanner of both pictures and graphics. (Thayer)
  • Here is the info I found when researching EMLO vs. Avermedia cameras: Side by side, the ELMO TT-12 camera "wins." On the flip side, SMART is rebranding the ELMO TT and it integrates into their Notebook software. The new avervision camera is the CT 150. It retails for approx. $600. The pros of the avermedia camera over the elmo TT is that the avermedia has a gooseneck (vs. elmo's rigid neck) and it is 3MP (vs. elmo's 1MP).
  • I did research and decided to go with the AVerVision CP300 Document Camera. We wanted to purchase a single, affordable unit for English/ Math teachers to pilot. It was about $700 and so well-used that we're purchasing another and have more requests. You'll need to decide if you need a light table, ability to record, etc. I went with the Avervision because it allows teachers to record and/or connect into a projector. It's light, portable, and easy to move from room to room. We didn't need a light table, so we didn't go with the heavier models.

Alternative SolutionEdit

  • I think document cams are way overpriced, hard to focus, etc. We have tried a simpler solution: A $100. digital camera on a tiny tripod, with its "AV" or "video" output patched into the video in of our projectors. Power cord attached so we do worry about batteries. Resolution is a bit less than a digital solution, but the ability to easily change the focus and aim of the camera is wonderful, and the ease taking a picture or movie is obvious. Better and easier macro and zoom than any document camera. 20% of the price. Cheap! Works! Easy! And of course the camera can be used for many other purposes.

General ideas for useEdit

  • Project instructional materials (textbooks, workbooks, documents, etc.) rather than xerox'ing it for each person.
  • Project poop
  • Project problems as you work through them
  • Project devices like digital cameras, remotes, etc. to teach how to use them.
  • Use in science labs to demo how to do a experiment
  • Math classes to show a solution to a problem which has a complex diagram, projecting a diagram from a book onto the board and then drawing directly on it on the whiteboard
  • showing pictures of your fat husband or wife


I use the document camera for "teacher read aloud." I have used one to read aloud books. As I read aloud, I use the document camera to show the illustrations.

I also use a cup of beer to mark my copy- smiles, etc. I ask students to identify what I've highlighted, right after I read it. I stop and ask questions --

I've asked students to come up to the document camera and highlight specific text

When I read aloud books I show the cover first and ask students to predict how old the characters are-- I ask students to predict the story just by looking at the illustrations. I also highlight words -- and ask them to "look" at the word and tell me what it means or why it's spelled that way

Another "teacher read aloud" document camera technique - as you read aloud fiction or non-fiction, introduce real things with the book, as you read it. If you're reading a book about sea shells, have a few examples of sea shells. Read the page, and use the document camera to show the real sea shells.

I ask students to look for patterns and then I ask a volunteer to come up and show the pattern on the paper, using the document camera. Students who didn't see the pattern will not always tell you they didn't "see" the pattern- they may just nod their head in agreement. So, showing the pattern is very important. This would work well with mathematics also.


For example- Did a student or students solve a problem differently? Please show the class- how you worked the problem

In the past, when teachers used the overhead to teach math, they've had to use "transparent" counters, markers, etc. Show them that it's not necessary to buy transparent money, etc - With an Elmo or even the less expensive Dukane "goose neck" document cameras, you may use "real" stuff.

This works well with primary children when they are counting -- Place 20 blocks on the document camera - ask students to come show different ways to group the blocks or unifix cubes- then have the students group their blocks like the one shown.


Use the document camera when identifying different kinds of leaves. It's very easy to see the veins and shapes of the left edges.

Anything a person wants to show the class (rocks, shells, leaves, flowers, etc)-- even very small objects --

Art teachers really like document cameras.

Some document cameras can be hooked up to televisions. If you use the document camera for a read aloud, the image and the text are best shown with a data projector.

Use the document camera in conjunction with interactive notebooks. Use the document camera to show illustrations, learning objectives and examples.

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