Why I Love My IPEVO Document Camera

This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.

This post also includes one Amazon affiliate link.

What Happened (Why a New Doc Cam?)

On March 13, 2020, I frantically threw items from my classroom into a big bag, preparing to face the unknown of distance learning. One of the things I grabbed was my document camera.

Imagine my dismay when I took the doc camera home and it didn't work.

My trusty 8-year-old doc camera had been slowly dying without my knowing it; it worked at school when I plugged it in directly to a projector via HDMI cable, but at home, it could NOT communicate with my laptop at all. The primitive features it supposedly had - like being able to record videos - were impossible. During spring distance learning, I stacked canned goods on a counter and tried to record with my phone, with messy results. 

My Solution

Thus, my tech-y husband researched all the current options, and he decided that what I needed was an IPEVO VZ-X. It was literally 25% of the cost to buy my old document camera. It had free software (called Visualizer) that I could use on my laptop to take images or video, and I could use Google Meets overtop of the Visualizer window and show students what I wanted to display. 

I was able to get my VZ-X before they became backordered, and I loved it. The VZ-X is easy for the teacher to use, and I've had no complaints of image quality from students at home or in the classroom. (I've been teaching both this fall.)

The best part? IT DOESN'T NEED A POWER CORD! I can put it on a desk or cart anywhere in the classroom without worrying about proximity to an outlet. (It charges while plugged in directly to my laptop via USB.) 

Plan B Strikes Again

I loved my document camera so much that I suggested it to everyone else in my school... but we wouldn't be able to get them right away (again, they were backordered, like every other brand ALSO was in summer 2020). 

So I reached out to the friendly people of IPEVO on Instagram, and they showed me their iDocCam app. It can turn any cell phone or iPad into a document camera (through WiFi). It's a free download, and then it's $0.99 per month to continue using, but that's obviously way cheaper than your typical $800+ document camera with other brands. 

My co-teachers and I quickly grabbed a school iPad, bought a cheap iPad stand, and tested out the iPad-as-Document-Camera. (Check out my setup below.) 

It took us a minute to get the laptop to "find" the iPad through the WiFi for the very first time, but then this became a very sustainable, affordable option for all the teachers in my building who were waiting on backordered cameras (or whose older document cameras also died). 

The Bottom Line

If any teacher needs a DIY document camera in a hurry, I strongly recommend the iDocCam app as a workaround. Anyone in the market for an actual document camera would love the flexibility of the VZ-X model, especially if you do a lot of video recording, streaming to online learners, or want your laptop as a middle man between the doc camera and a projector or TV. 

Technology is great... until it doesn't work... and IPEVO has given me about six months of reliable help in the weirdest year of teaching ever! 

Do you have questions or opinions? 

Tell me in the comments!

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