Not too long ago I participated in a very insightful conversation about document cameras in one of my LinkedIn groups, which I am beginning to enjoy using as a viable educational technology networking source, and I was amazed and the information given. The initial questions was centered around finding the best document camera to use on a modest budget. I didn’t know that there are thousands of document cameras being marketed as the supreme educational tool for the classroom. However, the overwhelming response were that many people, teachers and schools are going away from document cameras and are beginning to use iPads as a replacement. So, I begin to do some research and with the help from one of the contributors to the conversation, I found two new tools that would make this not only possible, but a ton of fun.
One of the challenges of using iPads in the classroom so far is displaying content from the teacher’s iPad directly to the projector screen. Many are using Apple TV and using AirPlay to mirror the content directly to the screen. AirPlay lets you show exactly what’s on your iPhone 4S or iPad screen to everyone in the room. You can display webpages, games, photos, videos, documents and even Skype using your iPad and display it on the big board. All this works wirelessly allowing the teacher to roam around the room and keep the students engaged.
At the fraction of the cost, a great alternative is the Reflection App. This app is adding to your laptop or desktop attached to your projector and uses AirPlay to mirror not only your projector, but you can also mirror your desktop onto your ipad. What’s even cooler is you can screen capture your ipad as your a demonstrating a cool concept or game. Now you have an instructional video that can be loaded to YouTube, Vimeo, Viddler, etc. for future educational reference.
The problem is, holding the darn thing in order to use it as a document camera. Where here lies this neet tool called Justand. Justand is a simple yet powerful tool that adds functionality to your ipad as a document camera. As a matter of fact, that what it marketed as, the iPad Document Camera. The following video gives you a brief overview of how Justand can be used with the iPad and the Reflection App.