Thursday, January 30, 2014

Use Your Phone As A Document Camera

    Teachers are always looking for ways to save money. In an astronomy class today, I wanted my students to draw a diagram of Hydrogen Fusion. I discovered that the copies I made for them didn't' come out as I planned. Mostly because I had my weekly conflict with the school copy machine. Anyway, I had a really great diagram illustrating deuterium and tritium fusing to make Helium, but I had no way to show my students. I took the diagram from a textbook, which I only have one copy of, and I couldn't find the same one online to project. And, just like that it hit me...Use Google Hangouts!

  I took out my phone, opened the hangout app, and called my school Google Apps user on my classroom desktop. (I had a really good hangout with myself.) And viola, I had a document camera. Maybe not the best solution all the time, but was a great save for the drawing, and was a great way to project the color illustration from the text for students to draw. It was not quite the same resolution and quality as a professional document camera, but with some tweaks it could be just as good, if it is a tool you use some of the time.

   So here is what I did, in more detail.
  1. I logged into Google hangouts on my android, to my personal Google account.
  2. I called my Google Apps For Education User on the desktop computer in the classroom, via Google Hangouts
  3. Being in a science room it was easy to find a tripod, I used a ring stand with a wire ring support, to prop my phone at the appropriate distance from the image. 
  4. The other end of the hangout was running through the classroom projector onto the SmartBoard
  5. Just like that,  students were able to see that illustration with ease. 
Sometimes it helps to have watched McGyver as a kid. 

No comments:

Post a Comment