Cheap Document Camera {IPEVO}

October 14, 2011

Cheap Document Camera {IPEVO}

October 14, 2011
Sooo…I posted last winter about my lovely little IPEVO document camera. This is one of the most incredible tools we have in our classroom. And it was only $69.00!! For a document camera!

This evening I wanted to share some photos of how I set it up, how it looks on the whiteboard, and…

how to make it focus well–which took me awhile to figure out (I’m notoriously bad at reading directions…I’m kind of a rip-it-out-of-the-package-and-start-using kinda girl!!!).

Tiny backstory: I first learned about this camera over at Proteacher and I am so grateful to those fabulous teachers for sharing this! The IPEVO has completely changed my teaching! We have a few Elmo’s at our school, but they are in very high demand and they are one of those tech tools that you want to use ALL of the time, not just on some lessons.

On to the pictures (those are always the best part, right?). The first photo is of my newest (as in today) setup for the camera, projector, and laptop:
I kept trying to keep the computer near the IPEVO, but would always run out of space for the book/paper.

Today (sometimes it takes me awhile) I finally figured out that the computer could be away from the camera and still work out (haha)–I’ve been a little stressed lately and this was the first calm day to think this through! So I used my trapezoid table for the tech items shown above (the cords are tucked under the projector and fed around the back of the table, so they are hidden).

Back to the IPEVO. It’s really easy to maneuver. The neck can be lowered for a closeup…

Or raised up for a whole-page view:

The image shows up really nicely on the whiteboard (or really any surface…I used a white sheet on a wall last year):

I always select the Full Screen view on the computer and, if you click the Auto Focus button on the computer screen, it focuses really nicely for the rest of the time:
The Auto Focus feature also keeps it really clear and focused for any demos. Today I did a watercolor modeling and it looked very nice (not my watercolor, the resolution, you don’t want to see my artwork!!).

Oooo…and semi-related, I also found a spot for my computer speakers:

They’re tucked behind the projector, facing the students. I love my new setup!

Well, I hope this was of help to anyone seeking an affordable document camera. I can’t say enough how wonderful it is to have this technology for my ELL students!

Do you have an IPEVO? Or a favorite tech tool that has made a big difference in your class (please don’t say a Smartboard, I know I’ll never get one and I tear up every so often—joking! Kind of!). I’d love to hear about your tech!


  • Pat's Paper Passion October 14, 2011 at 1:14 am

    I love my ipevo…mostly because of the price. I use to be an 'overhead' teacher, but with my ipevo, projector, and computer, the overhead is just sitting in the storage closet.

  • Lori Faas October 14, 2011 at 2:00 am

    Our district got us document cameras this year and I am wondering how I ever taught without it????

  • Teach Love October 14, 2011 at 2:16 am

    Great share! I have never heard of these! Thanks ^_^

  • Dual Kinder Teacher October 14, 2011 at 2:32 am

    May seem silly Kristen, but where do you stand/sit in relation to the rest of your class? My laptop, speakers and camera are beside my Smartboard (sorry :/) and when I use my camera my back is to the kids.

    Even sillier, how do view your camera on your computer, we have Avacam to open and it keeps refocussing with any little movement. I can't seem to find an autofocus πŸ™

    I would appreciate any input πŸ™‚
    Dual Kinder Teacher

  • Hallie October 14, 2011 at 4:31 am

    I really want one of those for my classroom. The price is really good. Did you already have a projector or did you buy that too? I only have an overhead projector and it kills me because I LOVE technology.

  • Kristen October 15, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Hi Libby! The laptop, camera, and speakers are on that table and it faces the whiteboard. I have the laptop screen facing the whiteboard, which makes it possible for me to stand facing my students while using it. Same with the camera. Since they are on separate ends of the table, I have a student that gets to be "in charge" of each (whether it's a demo or turning a page on the the camera) and focusing the computer.

    The IPEVO plugs into the computer to work…I'm not sure about focusing the Avacam, I'm sorry! And congrats on your Smartboard, I won't begrudge you!!! πŸ™‚

    Hallie, we have some projectors in the school that we can sign out. The projectors are pretty expensive, maybe it could be a Donors Choose proposal?? Thanks for stopping by!

  • Susan Prabulos October 16, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    I also love my IPEVO camera!

    I use the mirroring feature so the camera can be placed above the object instead of under it. I mirror horizontal and vertical to do this.

    Previously, the software wouldn't save the mirroring settings so you had to change it every time…There is now a software update if you are running Mac OS X 6!
    πŸ™‚ Susan
    The Digital Scoop

  • ARowland October 16, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Do you think this could work with a projector that is mounted to the ceiling?

    I am VERY interested in purchasing!

    Thanks πŸ™‚

  • Kristen October 18, 2011 at 1:51 am

    Hi Amanda…I think it could work fine. The camera just needs to plug into the laptop, so I think it should work ok πŸ™‚

  • Jennifer Wilson November 10, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Nice blog on Document cameras.
    Document cameras provide powerful and affordable technology solutions for teachers to create high impact lessons and many more….

  • Heather December 3, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    I was inspired by this blog to go out and buy one of my own. I've also given a nod to your post on document cameras in my own blog. Thanks for all your help!

  • Lisa Dyer March 22, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    I have a IPEVO and I use it daily. Several teachers in my school have Elmo's which cost several hundred dollars and I must say that I like the IPEVO better. It's small, portable, and very easy to use. I wish I had purchased this a long time ago!

  • Mahesh P Gowda May 27, 2013 at 9:31 am

    I love to bargain.. I can only bargain at where else?

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