Document Cameras

I’m currently in a session at our state music convention where a presenter is showing how to use a document camera throughout all the aspects of a middle school band rehearsal.

It isn’t the director’s “home” setup, but the image is really hard to see (blurry and dark), and I keep thinking of how I could do nearly everything with an iPad 2 (which will soon be outdated by the iPad 3).

You can use an iPad as a document camera (there are several YouTube videos out there on this matter), or you could take pictures and interact with any number of programs.

Video #1

Video #2

I think the main point is that the director leaves the document camera on his music stand all hour, every hour. That might be hard to do with an iPad on a ring stand, but if you scan your music in the first place, the resulting image is better than a document camera.

I’m not against the technology of document cameras, but they are a transitional technology between a digital and non-digital world.

Document cameras, a single use technology, typically “start” at $400. Isn’t a multi-purpose device like an iPad (combined with the Apple TV and a projector, and you need the projector in either case) a better expenditure? (If using the iPad’s camera feature, you could also make a video of your presentation).

I am absolutely iPad-biased. I admit that. But I am always trying to find the best overall solution for education or music education. Someday that might be another device–for now, the answer is the iPad.

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