I have been looking into getting a document camera, but I'm having a tough time seeing how to apply it in a math classroom. I already have a SmartBoard, so anything that I can save on my computer can be projected and manipulated. What use might I have for a document camera?

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The document camera helps in several ways for math. First, if you use any kinds of manipulatives for demonstrating math principles, a document camera is a great tool. Also, when you send math home, you typically will dedicate some time in class to some group review where students will demonstrate a problem in the assignment. With a board, students come up and transcribe their work to the board and then the group discusses. Any notes taken on the problem stays with the board and it's up to you to capture it and post it for the student to recollect. With a document camera, you skip the transcribing step as the student just places his/her notebook under the camera and the work begins. Any notes the student makes as part of the discussion stays in the notebook meaning the student has it when he/she walks away. And you can snap an image of the work for posting just like a board... and the penmanship is of course better on paper than on a board. Finally, the document camera allows you to bring anything to group work without preparation. If you have a workbook, a text, a newspaper clipping or anything... you can throw it under the document camera and analyze it with all the students with same clarity they would have if they were sitting right with you at your desk.

After that, you can get into podcasting and digital capture of any kind of student work for online posting.

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