Last September, Ruth Carter, a third-grade teacher at Scenic Hill Elementary School in Kent, Wash., opened a box that had been sitting in the school’s workroom for two weeks. What she found changed the way she had been teaching her students for more than eight years. Inside the box was an ELMO HV-110XG visual presenter, which had been given to the school’s principal for his perfect attendance record at the Kent School District principals’ meetings.

“I knew it was some kind of computer equipment, but I hadn’t ever seen anything like it before,” said Carter. “Then I realized that it was a document camera, but I wasn’t too sure of what to expect.” She put it on a desk and connected it to a laptop and projector.

“It was very easy to set up. All I needed was the manual that came with camera,” she said. Then she placed a textbook on the stage and used a projector to display the image onto a screen. “Once I saw how bright and clear the image appeared on the screen, I knew that I had an excellent teaching tool for all of the subjects we teach.”

Carter said the presenter dramatically has changed her reading lessons from a teacher read-aloud time to a shared reading time during which students can see the text on the screen: “Students are more engaged with my lessons and can actively participate in reading the text from a single book.” She said she also uses the camera to teach math, science, and writing. “Students are able to share their examples of written responses to math story problems and science investigation,” she noted.

Other Scenic Hill Elementary School teachers quickly became interested in the visual presenter that Carter was using and began to borrow it for their classes. This presented a problem, because the school had 550 students and only one camera. Furthermore, the school did not have the funds to purchase a second instrument.

After researching various document cameras on the web, Carter realized she wanted the exact same model she had, because she knew from experience that despite its small size the HV-110XG had the features she needed to meet her needs. The presenter folds down to the size of book and weighs just over three pounds, which makes it easy to carry and use practically anywhere. Teachers can change from presenter to PC screen with just one switch. And the auto-focus feature reportedly provides perfect focus every time. In addition, the tiny presenter provides 2X mechanical zoom and up to 4X digital zoom to allow teachers to show close-up images of small objects and tiny details.

Carter contacted Howard Winch at ELMO, who arranged for her to purchase the HV-110XG at a special price through Micro Computing Systems, a dealer located in Lynnwood, Wash., just north of Seattle. Winch explained, “The HV-110XG is a progressive-scan CCD camera that is ideal for displaying text. Because it’s so small and lightweight, it is very popular among teachers, attorneys, and other professionals who carry it to make presentations.”

Carter’s students use it to share assignments and home projects with the rest of the class while she sits to the side. “We used to have one teacher in this classroom–but with the presenter, we now have 23 teachers,” she said. “My students’ effort and pride are evident as they display their work to each other. They are learning so much from each other. It’s amazing how attentive the entire class is when the presenter is being used. The images can be seen clearly even by children in the back of the room.”

Links:

Scenic Hill Elementary School
http://www.kent.k12.wa.us/KSD/SH

ELMO USA
http://www.elmousa.com

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