Friday, March 8, 2013

Tickle Me Elmo

Ok, number one piece of educational equipment needed in a classroom for maximum visual access is.....a document camera!  If you do not already have one of these babies, please beg, borrow, or steal one as soon as you can.  But really, explain to your principal/administrator of choice how vital it is to have a document camera, especially if you have a deaf student in your class (but any student will do).

These cameras are sometimes known by the brand name "Elmo' (hence the title of this blog post), but the actual item is called a document camera.  Kind of like how we call tissue "Kleenex", or call the copy machine the "Xerox" machine...but I digress.  A document camera can cost anywhere from $300 upwards; oh yeah, you will need a projector as well, which involves more money, but is very worth it.

Why so worth it? you say....well, basically anything, and I do mean anything, you want to show to your students you can slap up on the Elmo and there it is for the world to see.  This could be documents, or math manipulatives, magazine articles, blueprints, cereal boxes, real-world items, or, or, creative.  Whatever your math lesson is for the day, you can present it visually.  And visual access is one of the keys to providing good math instruction.

Students discussing a math problem using a document camera & projector.

Good luck in your quest....after you get those items we can discuss getting an interactive display board such as an ActivBoard or SmartBoard, but we'll take it slowly...

50 Plus Ideas for Using Document Cameras in the Classroom


  1. Do you have a document camera in your classroom? If so, what do you use it for?

  2. We call ours EyeCamD :) The cheap way to make your own WebCam!!! Check it out: and

    I don't think I would be able to teach without my document cam "EyeCamD" and projector! My SmartBoard is icing on the cake :)

  3. Hi Jennifer - do you have any deaf students? Just curious. Thanks for your comment!

  4. If you do not have a document camera, but have an iPad that can be projected for the class (with Reflector, AirServer, an adaptor, or Apple TV), there is a free app that makes your iPad function as a document camera. It is Stage.
    A couple of affordable document cameras are available from ($69/$94).