Flipping the Assessment with a Doc Camera

When I was in school I often got papers back from my teachers, especially my English teachers, with lots of red marks all over them, a few comments, and a grade at the top.  Did I closely check each of them?  Did I carefully scrutinize all of the comments and make my papers better?  Often the answer is no.  But what if….

I got a recording of the teacher talking to me about my paper?  What if I got individualized feedback from my teacher where he or she is talking to me.  This idea came from a number of great English teachers and they report great results as they essentially flip the writing conference.  The problem with writing conferences is that they take up so much class time.  And when you are meeting with one student, what do you do with the rest of of your class?  Essentially, you record your writing conference at your convenience and the student gets an individualized video of the session.  This idea was not mine, but some of the English teachers in the Flipped Learning camp.


I have seen teachers doing this but have wondered how easy it would be if I could do this with a document camera. I was at a conference in December and got a chance to see a quick demo of the Simplicity Cam by RecordEx. (http://www.recordexusa.com/)   The thing that caught my eye was its ability to capture BOTH the document camera AND the built in webcam on my computer.   I told them how I thought this could be used and they sent me a demo unit.  I wanted to see how easy it would be to “do a writing conference” using their equipment.  I was surprised at how easy and seamless it was. Why do I think it is great to have both the webcam and the document camera working in tandem?  I believe that a good education starts with relationships with students.  And simply having your face in the picture humanizes the video for your student.  


Below is the “writing conference” video that I made.   

This was really easy to do.  After I have the video, it comes out as a mov file and I can upload this to a variety of places.  If you are a google school, I would upload it to my google drive and then share it with the appropriate student (And maybe their parents).  This was really easy, which I believe is important if we want teachers to implement this change.  


So, what do you think? Would flipping your writing conferences help your students become better writers?


13 Responses

  1. Interesting product, Jon.

    I think that the added face is great (really great) and important, as we know! I would think that this type of setup would also be good for using/demonstrating manipulatives or setting up a lab using the document camera.

    Although the quality doesn’t seem very high. Can you adjust the camera resolution? Are there many settings that you can adjust? or is it a simple doc camera (plug and play)?

    1. There were quite a few settings in the software.  I did play around with them a bit, and did wonder if there was a way to not have the video be so laggy.  I should try again and see if I can optimize it.

    2. Eric

      Great Question! This is a 5MP document camera with a robust software solution included. The resolution can be dropped below 2592 X 1944 for snappier video. Recordex provides no fee training on the included classroom annotation software suite http://recordexusa.com/xsight-hd-viewer.html . Please be in touch should you have any questions or would like a webinar demonstration on how to use this in a flipped classroom.

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  3. Jon,
    I use the Ipevo Ziggi doc cam and then just drag the Camtasia capture over what the doc cam is capturing. I can then have Camtasia add the web-cam, so it seems like we are doing similar things. Do you see any advantages to either method?

    1. Not sure there is any great advantage, but I want to see the workflow for the lower tech teacher to be crazy easy so that this is easy and addressable to all. I’m guessing that what you are doing has too many steps for many even though it gets the job done.

    2. I also use the iPevo, though I have the P2V, which is only $69. I use it mainly in the classroom (vs in videos) and it works well. I also will point out that I do not do the picture-in-picture in my videos to show my face. I’ve tried both methods and students don’t prefer “seeing” me. I do throw in little comments / jokes, etc. So here again, I think it just shows that different things work for different people! It might be that I spend so much of my time actually inking on my screen and pointing, so that’s where my students are focusing their attention.

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  5. I work as a consultant for Dukane( http://www.dukane.com/AV) . Dukane offers a new stand for the ipad called the “Dewey” that allows teacher to take advantage of the built in camera of he ipad and use it as a document camera. You can see the product sheet, along with an embedded video here : http://www.slideshare.net/WKMcIntosh/dewey-ipad-stand-20681482. The Dewey also allows teachers to make good use of the many “whiteboard” apps for the Ipad.

  6. Jessica Curry

    When I started reading this article the days of the red marked paper came back to me. I was one of those students who rarely went over the corrections on my paper. I do feel that if I had a personalized conference with my teacher I may have been more eager to see what was wrong with my paper and may have learned a little more from the corrections. Though not an English teacher I feel that this idea could be used for many different purposes. When flipping the classroom this could be used for various lessons. As a cooking teacher I see this concept being beneficial for demonstrations. I also think that when showing students how to complete a new process it would be helpful if they could actually see you. I recently did a flipped lesson on balancing a checkbook. I used a PowerPoint and Jing to present the information. Though I was happy with the result I didn’t like the fact that students could not actually see me. I am definitely going to try to implement this idea into my future classes.

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