Document camera projecting 3-d object
Document camera projecting 3-d object
Document Cameras in the Classroom

The overhead projector is gone the way of the dinosaur. Document cameras, coupled with a projector found in many classrooms, can perform the same functions and so much more.
Some advantages:
  • No more transparencies - use the actual page/document
  • No more melted transparencies in the photocopy machine!
  • Save on photocopying, as all can see the document projected
  • Demonstrate using 3-d objects
  • Take snapshots of a model, specimen, diagram, etc. and store for later use or review
  • Spontaneous projection of documents & resources
Some types include features such as: recording images (still and video), playing back recordings, access memory (SD cards, compact flash) or flash drives to save presentations or for uploading, saving images to a computer, connecting to microscopes, direct interface with interactive whiteboards

Read more about what a document camera is and how it may be used, visit ELMO's What is a Document Camera page


  • Document cameras project in a horizontal (landscape) format, so if you want to view a page without having to zoom out so far, create the document in landscape mode.
  • You need a LCD/DLP projector (or a TV) in order to show your image.
  • Use like a video camera - turn camera head to face student when presenting
  • Get used to the zoom function, how to connect to your projector before class starts
  • Encourage students to come up and use the document camera for solving problems, math manipulatives, etc.
  • Project a worksheet onto a whiteboard. Have students come up to the whiteboard and fill in the answers with a marker
  • Project the page/worksheet students are to be working on. Highlight the questions they are to be answering, etc.
  • Use to showcase exemplars - both good and bad. Especially useful for portfolio selections.
  • Use the document camera to take a snapshot of your notes - reuse in future classes or for review.

Ideas for Use:


  • Show to whole class small objects that would otherwise require a magnifying glass to see
    • Some document cameras even have microscope adapters, allowing viewing of really tiny items
    • Use in conjunction with an interactive whiteboard. Label the parts of the insect, flower, etc. on the Whiteboard
  • Show processes such as beans sprouting. Some document cameras allow you to take snapshots or even short videos, enabling recording of growth, etc.
  • Class dissections
  • Demonstrate procedures such as pouring liquids. May need to point camera at an angle
  • Use bar magnets & metal filings to show magnetic field patterns
  • Model how to read a thermometer, ruler, or other meters
  • Place packaging under doc cam to model reading of ingredients, dietary information
  • Demonstrate which buttons to use on a stopwatch, calculator, data logger, etc.
  • Set up simple electric circuits (battery & light bulb), each with something wrong with it, and have the students fix the problem.
  • Article ""


  • Project math manipulatives for class viewing
  • Demonstrate processes such as creating tessellations
  • Demonstrate how to use a ruler, calculator, or protractor
  • Display details of coins - zoom in
  • Work out math problems - can document process through taking stills or videos. Save for review, absent student
  • If your document camera has a video recording feature, use it to record you working through/explaining a math problem. Save and replay for review or for students if they need repetition.

Language Arts

  • Place books under the camera, enabling students to read along and see the illustrations. Turns a regular book into a big book all can see.
    • Zoom in on the images for discussions on the illustrations
  • Use as part of book reports
  • Students can rearrange ABC tiles to form words
  • Model sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, editing, writing process
  • Project lined writing paper onto a regular whiteboard to assist with handwriting
  • Demonstrate how to form letters (handwriting)
  • Project Daily Oral Language assignment
  • Class critique of student writing exemplars (i.e. for 6 traits)

Social Studies

  • Demonstrate skills such as reading a map or using a map key
    • No more pull-down maps needed!
  • Display fragile items or real artifacts


  • Demonstrate processes such as building a coil pot, linoleum cutting, etc.
  • Ask a student do demonstrate or model a step, skill, or technique
  • Take quick shots of procedural step projects such as origami, enabling the steps to be played back later
  • Create stop-motion animations (i.e. modeling clay, felt, drawn) and take a photo after moving object(s) slightly. Assemble.
  • Project reproductions found in books for all to see
    • Zoom in on details to see brush strokes, patterns, etc.
  • Place sheet music under camera for students to follow along, to teach music reading or theory


  • Project student work (writing, art, etc.) and seek peer comments. Can also do this with tests (obscure names) and point out what teacher was looking for (and not) in their answers
  • Get more ideas in the Visualizer Forum
  • Thirteen Interesting Ways to use a Visualizer in the Classroom
  • 101 Ways Teachers can use Document Cameras
  • - gathered by Brenna
  • Pair your document camera with an interactive whiteboard - Connect your Document camera to your computer via USB and with the software included with your document camera, go in Full Screen mode and use the SmartBoard pens to write directly over what you have appearing under the doc cam - more info:.
  • Use for viewing Show and Tell items
  • Place objects under the camera, hit the freeze button, remove one or two, unfreeze it, and ask the students to identify the missing object
  • Place respective icon of picture schedule under camera when it's time to transition to new activity
  • Demonstrate filling out of worksheet for all to see
  • Project a test for grading or for student grading of tests, quizzes
  • Use the image capture feature to keep a record (self or parents) of what you did that day when using the document camera - perhaps post on class blog or website. Can even assemble saved images into a video or slide show for culminating events
  • Showcase exemplars. Take snapshots of the exemplar and then retrieve for later use.
  • Use as a quick digitizer of student work for portfolio, etc.
  • Place textbook under device, so students can see page number, demonstrate how to "read" different parts of the content (graphs, subheadings, etc.).
  • Model note-taking, outlining, graphic organizer skills
  • Place timer underneath to help all keep track of time
  • Use the annotation tools of the software to write on images, highlight text
  • Record your lesson and make it available for review, for a sub to use

Teachers' TV: Better Learning with Visualizers - This 15-minute video takes you into a classroom showcasing how the different features of document cameras are used within teaching. Includes lesson plans and case studies.
AverVision 300+AF training videos
Find videos on the 300+AF as well as general demonstration videos, ideas for elementary use on the Videos on Demand site.
Document Camera Basics - focuses on the AverVision 300+AF. Includes videos, tips, links.
- 12-page handout on the AverVision (150) document camera. Goes through the functions of the different buttons and tips.
AverVision 300AF+