3 Easy Mobile Document Camera Ideas

Terry VanNoy
PD Specialist
Blog on November 04 2021

For those classrooms with a document camera or even without one, consider these ideas for a “mobile document camera” setup using a phone or iPad and your teacher computer (laptop or desktop).

Let’s say that you are wandering around your classroom, monitoring the work that your students are doing. You see one student who has done a great job on their paper, model, or project. You’d like to show the class and have your student talk about their work. It’s time to turn on your “mobile document camera.” Now, you can send your iPhone or iPad’s camera image up to your classroom board for everyone to see and enjoy.

Setting it up

There are several ways of mirroring the content on your device to your classroom board. In this article, I’ll refer to a teacher’s Phone/iPad, but an Android phone or tablet would be similar. Here, I will focus on either using the screen share feature from a SMART Board or using a paid software program from Splashtop called Mirroring360.

1. Screen Share from a SMART Board:

  • Make sure your board and your teacher device are on the same network.
  • From the tools panel on the bottom of the screen, tap on “Screen Share”.  Depending on your SMART Board model, the icon from the home screen dashboard will probably look something like this:

Screencast logo

  • Note the board name/number.
  • Swipe from the top edge down on your device to get to the Control Center.  Tap on “Screen Mirroring” and choose your board from the list.
  • You are now mirroring your phone/iPad to your board.  Turn on your device’s camera and focus on a student document or project.
  • As you move about the room, you can turn your camera app on or off and choose which images to send up to your classroom board.


2. Mirroring360:

  • On the computer you are using to connect to your board, go to www.mirroring360.com/downloads. Download the FREE version (7 day trial) on your teacher computer.  This software acts as the receiver.  If you like how it works, come back to this web site and pay for the Standard Version for $11.99.
  • On your teacher iPhone/iPad, download the companion app called “Mirroring Assist”. This software acts as the sender, and it is free.
  • Connect your classroom computer and your device to the same network.
  • On the teacher’s computer, open the Mirroring360 program.  On the iPhone/iPad device, open the Mirroring Assist app.
  • Follow the instructions on the app to pair the device with the computer.  Then swipe down on the iPhone/iPad and go to AirPlay mirroring.
  • Using the Mirroring360 program and app makes the connection process similar to having a connected Apple TV box.  Select the name of the teacher computer on the upcoming list.
  • Turn the device’s camera on and focus on the object or student document you want to show the class.


Classroom strategies

Given the capability of showing objects or documents on the board from anywhere in the classroom, consider the following ideas:

  • While students are working on homework at their desks, show how a certain person worked out a math problem in a unique or interesting way.  By projecting an image of the student’s work, the student does not have to rewrite or recreate things at the board in the front of the class, but can talk aloud about their thinking and process as the work is displayed on the classroom board.
  • If the teacher uses QR codes posted around the room for student iPads to scan (i.e. a scavenger hunt), the teacher can model the process by turning on the QR scanning app and show how to do it or explain the process.
  • For younger grades, model how they can find shapes or words around the room to reinforce what is being taught: examples of triangles, rectangles, or pictures of famous people. On student iPads, they can take pictures of shapes and then display their camera roll on the board.
  • If students are working on handwritten pieces, the teacher can display all or part of the writing to the class for discussion or they can take a picture of it and display it on the board later.  Use the SMART Board inking tools to annotate over the image.
  • Use the mobile document camera idea to show 3D objects on the screen or what is happening in an experiment or lab.  This way, the class does not have to hover over or gather around in a small space.

If you want to learn about these apps and other types of instructional technology for your classroom, try signing up for a trial of Online Professional Development at http://otis.teq.com.

I hope you try this and let us know your ideas for using your mobile document camera.  Do you have any that you like to use in your teaching? 


For more tips, tricks, and tools for teaching in and out of the classroom, check out more articles on the Teq Talk blog.

We also offer virtual professional development, training, and remote learning support for educators with OTIS for educators. Explore the technology, tools, and strategies that can spark student success — no matter where teaching or learning are happening.

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