Saturday, July 30, 2011

Turn Your iPad or iTouch into a Document Camera

I just LOVE saving people and schools money and here's another way to do it.  If you have an access to an iPad or iTouch you also have a document camera you can use in your classroom.  Simply connect the device to the projector and balance it on something in camera mode, then wah-la! A document camera.  You don't need any fancy or extra equipment.  So simple and so cool.

We used it in a workshop where people had iTouches and iPads and we were trying to figure out a very easy way for everyone to share their work without having to upload, email, etc.  All we needed to do is turn one iTouch or iPad into a document camera then everyone just took their device.  Placed it under the document camera -designated device and we were able to share!  It also worked well when we were trying to share how we did something on a particular device.

This video made by Chris Bell features Lainie Rowell showing us how at Alan November's Building Learning Communities conference.


  1. There are also some good apps that do this, including a "bubble" balance scale to get it centered, and then turn the pic into a pdf.


  2. eyeTransport lets you have a portable document camera by connecting two iOS devices via Bluetooth....

  3. I dont have an ipad, unfortunately, but I am thinking if I can do the same with my netbook, and in which other way I can use this idea.
    Because I think.. wouldnt it be better and easier to just scan the text and show it on a presentation?

  4. I do have an iPad for use in my classroom, and had no idea that it could be used as a document camera. What a great AT resource that I am sure all of my students will benefit from! Thanks for the information.

  5. Can someone clarify what versions of the iPod Touch and iPad, what iOS version, and what cables, are needed for this to work? There is some confusion online when it comes to using the VGA and/or HD adapter with the iOS devices. Some claim it doesn't show everything on the device, some say only Keynote, ...

  6. @Brian,
    You can use any device with a camera and then a cable from the device to the projector.

  7. I think they were using it for other people to demonstrate apps and not to show paper documents.

  8. The setup in the video is great and I can recommend you an app that will improve it even more. When Apple announced the iPad 2 I had the same idea: why not use the iPad 2 in my electronics class to show in detail resistors, circuits and so on? I also realized that if I could also write over the video or have some pointers it would be very handy.

    Then I wrote an app named Board Cam that allows you to draw, use pointers and stick labels on top of the video image. Also you can record video and audio of what you are doing. I think that it might very useful to you.

    Please, visit to learn more about Board Cam app or visit it's App Store page:

    Best regards,


  9. Check out the new Cobra SnakeClamp! Great for using your iPad as a document camera: Cobra SnakeClamp

  10. KenAvision has released an iPad and Android AP for their line of document cameras and digital microscopes.

    This AP will share and annotate the images from their products among a classroom set of hand held devices.

    The AP is FREE, BUT, it only works with KenAVision products!

    John J Caprice