Tabletop Document Cameras

What is it?

Tabletop Document Cameras are digital video cameras mounted into a ceiling with a workspace below them to place media or objects on for projection purposes in a classroom setting. They are similar in function to overhead projectors, but with greatly improved capabilities such as zooming in or out, adjustable light levels (ideal for slides), and an easily controlled focus.

Key features
  • Same functions as an overhead projector.
  • Zoom function.
Who uses it?

Document Cameras are primarily used and are popular with instructors because they are easier to use, are more reliable, and more versatile than overhead projectors. A document camera is most useful for displaying media or objects that can not be otherwise copied effectively.

How does it work?

A camera is mounted into the ceiling that is then displayed onto a screen by the classroom projector. Unlike an overhead projector, document cameras make displaying various media easier because of the various settings available to users. Light adjustments can be made for showing film slides, for example, or you can zoom in on a portion of a text or image to draw specific attention to it. Overhead document cameras particularly excel for demonstrating processes such as dissection due to their larger view area.

Things to consider before using a document camera

  • Many usages common to standard overhead projectors are extensible to document cameras, so proficiency with overheads will make learning the various uses of document cameras easier.

Uses as an Instructional Technology

  • Present newspaper articles, magazines, art, slides, etc.
  • Zoom in on specific passages of a work to promote greater student engagement.
  • Demonstrate the key concepts of a process such as sculpting or painting technique or the performance of a process such as a dissection.

Resources at Wooster

  • A tabletop document camera is currently available in Mateer G01.
  • Instructional Technology provides training and support for document cameras upon request.