Using a SMART Document camera

I am very interested at the moment in the use of the SMART Document camera in various curriculum areas. In the first of what hopefully will be a number of posts over the next term related to the use of the SMART Document camera (essentially a visualiser which integrates with ease with SMART Notebook on the SMART IWB range),  I will start by looking at what a SMART Document Camera is and think about just some of the possible uses of one in a classroom situation.

What is a SMART Document Camera?
The SMART document camera is basically a visualiser – it will show anything that is put underneath it. Unlike an old style OHP, the document camera provides a digital image and therefore anything put under it can be seen, including 3D objects, it can also be used for demonstrations.

How does it work and how simple is it to use?

Very simple and integrates easily with SMART notebook, whilst I don’t have experience of other visualisers, I know that one of the benefits of the SMART document camera is its ‘plug and play’ ease! As long as the computer has SMART notebook installed the camera, which connects via a USB port can quickly and easily be set up, making it very user friendly in lessons and for sharing between classrooms / departments.

The camera has a good zoom and an auto-focus function, giving a good quality image for using in teaching and learning opportunities. When used in conjunction with the many SMART notebook tools, such as the magic pen, highlighter, pen tools, camera tools etc.. it has great potential as an interactive teaching and learning tool.

Incorporating the SMART Document Camera in lessons:

There is a useful little video clip here from SMART Training and Professional Development with lots of little examples:

Some other ideas….

Excellent opportunities for AFL, including:

  • modelling exam answers / technique; including the ability to de-construct / annotate answers clearly in front of a class
  • share student work – student work can be put under the camera and peer assessment undertaken (been successfully used during exam time) – good for promoting collaborative learning.
  • share good work / used to show examples of good presentation / re-work draft answer / comment on student answers.
  • manipulate and reposition sentences / paragraphs / objects from a variety of manuscripts / documents / students work using the SMART notebook camera tools.
Other uses:
  • projecting worksheets
  • projecting images that can be captured and re-arranged using the board – e.g. for composition work in art and design
  • can be used in conjunction with microscopes in science to project images for the whole class
  • used to show demonstrations to the whole class, e.g. scientific experiments (enabling stills to be captured which can then be analysed and annotated (and used in revision!)
  • project resources – e.g. textbooks for whole class scrutiny.
Some useful links and documents related to the use of visualisers in the classroom:
Why would I use a classroom document camera? (many ideas for using a document camera in school settings)
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Ideas to Inspire

Ideas_to_Inspire

Today I came across this superb site relevant to most curriculum areas and it certainly does what it says on the tin – it has many  “Ideas to Inspire“! The site has been put together by Mark Warner and is a collaborative project including a series of presentations giving short overviews of creative ideas for use in the classroom. The presentations have been put together using ideas contributed by classroom practitioners and provide real inspiration for engaging students.

The site is divided into 3 areas:

(i) Curriculum Ideas – specific ideas and resources for areas across the curriculum (e.g. Maths, Science, Geography etc.)

Inter_Maths

(ii) Interesting ways to use ICT in the classroom – one of my favourite sections – this takes particular ICT tools such as the IWB, Visualisers etc. and looks at creative ways of making the most of these to enhance the teaching and learning experience.

Ideas_IWB

(iii) Other Collaborative presentations – such as this superb one on “Techy” tips for not so “Techy” teachers!

Techy_Tools

The site is rapidly increasing and Mark has reported 500 ideas already and 50 new ideas on the site just this week!! A brilliant site – well worth frequently returning to (I have added it to the Professional Development links) – a huge thanks to Mark and all the other collaborators for sharing such a wealth of ideas.

Classpress.net – Daily news feeds for Curriculum Subjects

ClassPress.net

A great new free tool called classpress.net has been launched courtesy of Russel Tarr of Class Tools.net and ActiveHistory. It involves a generator which does an hourly run through web services looking for topic keywords associated with different subject areas. This creates an uptodate summary of key news articles for different subject areas and is worth a look. You can even sign up for an email newsletter version if you want! Worth a look!

Wordle – Using ICT to support literacy across the curriculum

Wordle is a free online tool that creates “word clouds” using text that you input. Words that appear most in your text are given greatest prominence within the Word Cloud. You are also given the freedom to change layout, colour, font etc. The Word Clouds produced can be used in a variety of ways. This a free and useful tool which enables you to quickly produce something which could be put to good use in developing vocabulary and spelling skills right across curriculum subjects.

There are some excellent ideas for using Wordle in the classroom here (see also the presentation at the end of this post for more ideas and simple instructions for how to use it!).

I have had a go at producing some “Word Clouds” for science, geography and languages below. They can be far more complex depending on the amount of text entered though.

Science Wordle

science

Geography Wordle

geography

French Verbs Wordle

frenchverbs

The following presentation has some ideas for using Wordle in the classroom, as well as simple instructions on how to use it.