Monday, May 7, 2012

Document Camera Advice...and a Giveaway!

(no, I'm not giving away a document camera! I'm sorry! I wish I could! I wish I had one for myself! I wish...I wish...but read on for the actual story.)

So, my school is very limited in the technology we have. For example, I technically have a computer for student use...but it sometimes boots up past the Windows start screen. It sometimes connects to the internet. There's a touch screen attached to it, but the touch screen hasn't worked for 4 years. We have switches to hook up to it, but the computer can't really handle that, so it freezes when we attempt. Yeah, we're tech-impaired. Which is pretty sad, especially for an all-special ed school. Money, and all that! We are an urban, high-poverty district, with all that that implies.

But, my school has recently gotten an extremely significant donation in the form of an estate...and we're able to look seriously at investing a lot, and spending just some on tech (among other pressing needs). I'm on a committee to decide what to do with "The Money," as we term it...We're getting some iPads, laptops (see: non-working student computer)...and we've been talking a lot about document cameras. Our school has one Elmo, but it's hoarded by one teacher and no one other than her has really been able to use it (don't get me started on that whole mess!).

I'd love to come to my committee with some real-teacher recommendations of different document cameras and projectors. So, here's my request: Give me recommendations! Give me anti-recommendations! What do you use in your classroom, what do you wish you had to use in your classroom...What are the pros and cons of the specific document camera and/or projector you have currently?

And for those of you who do help me and my committee and my school out...yeah, there's a little giveaway involved. I'm planning a bigger giveaway for my 100th follower celebration (I'm at 87 now, so getting closer!), but this is just a little something to say "thank you" - if you comment to let me know about the doc camera/projector system you use, you can enter to win a $10 gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers! The giveaway is open for one week.

There are a few other ways to enter, too - this is my first time using the Rafflecopter, so I hope I'm doing this right!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

10 comments:

  1. I teach in a similar school, but we are lucky that we have several teachers who have written grants that have allowed us to purchase major technology for every teacher in our building. We all have smartboards, projectors, and document cameras. I have an ELMO document camera and love it. It is so easy to use. Basically, install software and connect to computer with a usb cord and presto, it works. (My kind of technology.) If I had to pick one thing I couldn't live without, it would be my projector and smartboard. The kids love the smartbaord and will do anything to got to come up and touch the screen. It has greatly improved behavior of my students. It increases attention and focus during lessons. The kids love, love, love it! Even if you don't have a smartboard, you can still do so much with your computer and a projector. Good luck with your "money" I hope you get some great technology that your kids can actually use.


    LifeInSpecialEducation

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    1. Thanks, Karla - that's really helpful! We have several teachers who have written grants, too, but the grants that get awarded have all been for one classroom at a time. I am planning on writing a grant for some tech in my classroom next year - probably depends on what we do and don't end up getting with the money!

      Kara

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  2. We have the Document Camera that is affiliated with the SMARTBoard. I think it's called the SMARTcamera maybe? I LOVE it! It's so much better to show my kids what their final product should look like up close as opposed to from far away or writing on the SMARTboard. I used to have an ELMO at my old school and I loved that too! They are SO useful :) Hope this helps.

    Bonnie
    Living A Wonderful Life

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    1. Thanks, Bonnie! That is helpful. I'm not as familiar with the SMARTboard stuff, only what I've heard on blogs, so I'll have to look more into that.

      Kara

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  3. Gosh, I have a document camera that I use with my smartboard....the only negative thing I can say is that I don't know how to use all the features yet! It is an awesome tool and I love it when I get to use it!

    kellybrown28021@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks for weighing in, Kelly! I'm glad you love your document camera so much - hope you're able to get to know all its features better soon!

      Kara

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  4. I love using the document cameras in our school. In our school we have several different kinds, but the one I use is the Elmo. I love how you can allow all students to see what you are working on. I am still not very coordinated with moving the papers around underneath it, but I will get the hang of it. The only downfall is that the Promethean Board doesn't always work properly so it is hard to use the Active Inspire software with the document camera.

    (Also, thanks for the follow. I stopped in and followed you. I love your blog. I am happy to find more blogs where the authors have a special ed background because I can always use more help with those students. Thanks)

    Heidi
    My (Not So) Elementary Life

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    1. Heidi, thanks so much for the info! It's really helpful!

      Kara

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  5. It was my first time using an ELMO this year! It was super easy to figure out and so many possibilities!

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    1. Thanks, Nellie! That's great the ELMO is so easy to figure out - I need that! ;)

      If you want to enter the giveaway, can you please enter using the Rafflecopter to indicate you commented? I'd love for your comment to be counted :) Thanks!

      Kara

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