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Tech Tools: Doc Cams

The Latest Look at Document Cameras for the Classroom.

By Ken Royal | November/December 2008


Quick Guide Document Cameras
Price: In most cases, a price tag under $1,000 fits all classroom technology budgets.
Training: Very little training needed, if any, which saves on professional development.
Class Sharing: Annotate, record video, capture images, present text, and show 3-D objects.
Whiteboards: Software allows integration with whiteboards. District tech specialists can help.

Samsung SDP-850DX
The SDP-850DX digital presenter offers full-motion display and full-screen high resolution. Teachers can easily capture images and create movies—and project and connect to whiteboards, too. $999

Display everything from lab dissections to pond-water organisms using this doc cam’s 3-D and high-power zoom capabilities. With the QD700, two-dimensional or poorly drawn geometry board images become obsolete. It also fully integrates with projectors, whiteboards, and computers. Save captured images for further sharing. Ask about education pricing. $1,485

SMART Camera.
The SMART document camera allows teachers to zoom in or out, write over images, and capture stills directly into SMART’s Notebook software. Student presenters can save presentations to a Notebook file. $849

Lumens DC260
Teachers can record presentations and play back a slideshow to an HDTV, monitor, or projection screen. The DC260’s book mode toggles between page views, while Picture-by-Picture compares images. $999

AVerVision CP300
The CP300 has 3.2-megapixel camera resolution, 24 fps frame rate, 720p HD output resolution, and easy, clear annotation software and networking capability. It can be remotely controlled. For example, it is possible for other classrooms to observe a science lab using the live doc cam presentation. Even zoom or annotate, if the host classroom enables it. $699

Elmo TT-02S.
The camera rotates to line up with a microscope eyepiece, so science teachers can display slides. The removable shooting stage becomes a portable writing tablet; teachers can move around the classroom and add notes, photos, and save to an SD card or computer. $692


Quick Guide: Projectors
Text must be readable in a regular classroom setting.
Users shouldn’t have to turn out the lights to see what’s projected.
Whether filtered or filterless, dust can degrade color, brightness, and lamp life.
Factor in costs for bulb replacement and upkeep.
Vivitek D825MX.
This filter-free DLP projector has a lower-wattage Eco-Mode, vertical digital keystone correction, full video capabilities, communication port, and instant shutdown. $799
Epson EX100.
The EX100 supports HD video, has an instant on/off, projects at long- or short-throw distances, and has auto-keystone. $999
BenQ MP512ST
Great for tight spaces, the MP512ST can project a 60-inch diagonal image from less than 4 feet. It’s equipped with
an energy-efficient long-life lamp for fewer bulb replacements and low-power consumption. $699

Tech Software

This software by Faronics puts all the classroom or lab computers in the hands of the teacher. Monitor all the screens and running applications, and even easily check Internet history. The best part is that educators can launch websites and applications on student machines from the teacher station. Beyond being an absolute time saver, it allows classroom computers to be configured so that teachers don’t have to view the actual screens to see if students are on task. Education pricing is available online.
Bottom Line: Enjoy being able to monitor and control all computer activity from one screen in any classroom setting.

Total Traffic Control
Lightspeed Systems’ program combines all the networking security a district needs into one solution to keep networks safe and prevent problems before they start. It is easy to use, and allows for comprehensive internal and external network traffic monitoring of every user. TTC reports give immediate notification of inappropriate behavior and downloads. $10 per workstation license.
Bottom Line: TTC has packaged the most solutions—from filtering content to monitoring security and bandwidth.

PD 360
PD 360 by School Improvement Network is a professional development tool that gives educators a place to gain continued education credits and do it in a 24/7 way. Administrators and teachers will find this best-practices portal invaluable for new personnel and veterans alike. Educators can see what effective teaching looks like, hear from some of the top education experts, and do it all without taking a professional day. PD 360 is searchable, it archives your viewing history, and it allows staff to work as a community to discuss vital district goals in a forum, without having to gather for a faculty meeting, where time is the enemy. Check online for solution pricing.
Bottom Line
: If you don't want professional development options to be confined to a day or less a few times a year, get with this program!

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