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Indiana Wesleyan University Support Knowledge Base

Document Camera (Visual Presenter)


This document discusses the educational tool referred to as a Document Camera. This input device is also sometimes called a Digital Presenter, Visual Presenter or Video Presenter. Much of this docment's contents are covered in this short instructional video


For an introduction to the use of Document Cameras at IWU, please view this short instructional video.[broken link]

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to use this tool which allows viewers a large, illuminated image of any object that can be viewed, including transparencies, pages from books, 3D objects, or loose-leaf paper. The camera is mounted at the top of an arm, and can be rotated up to point at the instructor or the class, or the whiteboard. The base of the device contains the control buttons to turn it on and off, change settings, and select additional options. The arm also contains an LED to further illuminate the device, but this is an option that can be turned on or off with a button, based on the user's preference.

What are the benefits of Document Cameras?

Much like a traditional overhead projector was used to enlarge a transparency sheet for multiple viewers, a document camera enlarges transparencies, text on paper, and other physical objects, projecting them via the LCD projector onto the installed projection screen. This allows participants at all positions in the classroom or meeting room to view a bright, vivid representation of any object. For instance, a No.2 pencil can now appear 10 feet long (if your screen is that wide). Another benefit is the ability to capture photos of the displayed objects, and save them as jpeg files on internal memory or SD card for later display, or for posting to BrightSpace.

Where can I find a Document Camera?

These Document Cameras are installed in many classrooms on the Marion campus of IWU, and in all of IWU's regional education centers. They will usually be positioned on a side shelf of the teaching station, close enough for easy accessibility.

You might need to lift the camera arm to its full height and make sure it's aimed correctly toward the table surface, or toward the people in the room if you intend to use it as a webcam for video conferencing.

How can I use the Document Camera?

To use the Document Camera, locate and press the "Doc Cam" button on the teaching station control panel. The button will illuminate to show that it is selected. Turn on the projector or flat panel display, by pressing the "On" button on the teaching station control panel. Then press the Document Camera's power button, which will illuminate or turn from red to blue. Remove the lens cap from the bottom of the overhead camera, if necessary. Aim the camera at the image you want to magnify. You may need to focus, zoom, or correct the white-balance on the camera to provide better image quality. These buttons are located on the base of the device. If using a transparency sheet (acetate), place a bright solid colored paper beneath it.

What kinds of Document Cameras are available in IWU classrooms?

Samsung SDP-860    Beard Art Center, Elder Hall, Noggle Christian Ministries Center, South Hall 135, Recreation Wellness Center, and select N&G classrooms which have been designated for web-conferencing or distance learning. These are sometimes paired with a wireless microphone system, and function as a webcam when using Zoom, or Teams on the teaching station's desktop computer.

Samsung UF-80DX    Center Hall, N&G Regional Education Center. These cannot be used as a webcam.

HoverCam Solo    Burns Hall, JLB 17, and coming soon to Ott Hall 2nd and 3rd floors,

AverVision W30 (wireless)    Wesley Seminary

What can I do if my room doesn't have a Document Camera installed?

If you would like to use a Document Camera in your classroom or conference room please let us know by contacting the Support Center. While we don't have these devices in all classrooms yet, it is quite helpful to know the demand for this and other educational technology equipment. If a device isn't being used in one room, it may be available for installation in a room where the demand is greatest.

The Media Services desk, in the lower level of the Jackson Library has a few document cameras that can be checked out for a short duration of time, for use in your classroom or meeting space. You may want to examine the video signal connections available in the room where you wish to use it, since there are some document cameras that only output video signal on VGA or DVI while others output the standard HDMI.

Why a Document Camera? Can I use an Overhead Projector instead?

The office of Institutional Media Technologies, part of University Information Technologies, has established June 30th, 2015, as the sunset of overhead projector support at IWU. After this date, all classrooms and conference rooms should have ceiling mounted digital projectors or wall mounted flat panel displays, to which a document camera can be connected. For the few remaining rooms that do not have this equipment installed, faculty may check out similar equipment from the Jackson Library Media Services desk.

Most of the functions that can be accomplished by a traditional overhead projector can be done with a document camera, tablet PC, or other technology. The primary purpose of this shift in support is to emphasize the superior image quality that document cameras and projectors provide to a larger audience, over that of overhead projectors. We understand that there are still occasional functions which only an overhead projector can fulfill. These will be classified as lab equipment, and will therefore become the responsibility of the department to purchase, maintain and replace lamps. Media Services in the Jackson Library has an opaque projector for use in the Production Room. Beyond that, please contact the office of Institutional Media Technologies (x2209) to see what options may be available to meet your needs.

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