In the 21st century, a modern classroom that is connected with technology allows teachers, students, and families to engage in collaborative and creative educational experiences. Technology takes away barriers of learning that once existed allowing classrooms to connect with their peers in different classrooms all over the world. A modern classroom will have a teacher laptop or desktop, three to five student laptops or Chromebooks, a document camera, and/or interactive whiteboard. Unfortunately due to budget cuts, limited funding, and 5-7 year upgrade/renewal cycles for laptops and often longer for secondary technologies, teachers are often relying on their own creativity, ambitions, and fundraising for their own educational technology.
A company that I really like is called IPEVO. IPEVO is an educational technology company provides low cost high quality educational hardware for the classroom including interactive whiteboards systems, small lightweight digital document cameras, and various accessories including USB chargers and tablet stands.
My personal experience with IPEVO started when I was searching through Twitter when someone mentioned them @IPEVO and how they were loving their new digital document camera. I began to investigating their site and couldn’t believe the price of their document cameras.
After talking with some Tweeps who owned them and their testimonies, I was very excited about upgrading my document camera. I wrote a DonorsChoose grant and successfully funded the project for an IW2 interactive whiteboard system and an iZiggi-HD wireless document camera.
My personal favorite is the iZiggi-HD wireless document camera for only $159. (They are about to launch a new version so it is currently off the site) The ability to take your document camera anywhere in the room and capture learning is like teaching magic. I love to provide my class with examples of amazing student work and learning by plopping down the iZiggi right on their desk. Being able to teach from anywhere in the room while still having access to projector create new opportunities for learning. We can captured screenshots, record with video capture tools, magnify a live specimen, and stream it all through a PC right to the projector. It’s truly magic.
The hardware is extremely lightweight and well built. You would be able to toss an iZiggi HD into your teaching bag or backpack to take with you if you teach in multiple classrooms or do training at different sites. (Try doing that with an Avermedia or Elmo) I have used the document camera for several months in the classroom with little wear and tear. Everything has held up great and great connectivity including the wireless network.
Besides the hardware, IPEVO has some wonderful software to support their technology including Presenter for the Ziggi camera series, and Annotator for the IW interactive whiteboard series devices. They also have compatible streaming and annotating apps for iOS and Android which allows to students to connect with what is being presented in new and exciting ways. Great way to app smash Seesaw, ClassDojo, or GsuiteEdu with classroom hardware.
The ability to do more in a classroom with less money is truly a great blessing for teachers. I highly recommend if you are looking to upgrade any classroom technology especially instructional document cameras check out IPEVO.
Teachers- If you like free edtech hardware, check out IPEVO Wishpool program. A part of their mission is to get educational technology into deserving classrooms. Each month, they offer a product in their lineup as a gift. All you have to do is sign up at http://www.ipevo.com/wishpool and fill out a Wish for the gift. IPEVO selects a few deserving teachers and that is all. If you share your story for others about how the gift impacts your classroom, you possibly have a chance for other rewards. It is a great program. Sign up today.