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Using a Document Camera as a Whiteboard Replacement with Zoom

If you are using Zoom in a classroom, it may be difficult for remote students to see what you write on a whiteboard.  One way to address this is to use the document camera instead of the whiteboard.  This way, you stay at the podium and project the image from the document camera in the classroom as well as over Zoom.  This method allows you to write, diagram and draw on a piece of paper in a way that is similar to using the whiteboard.

Want to see it in action? Take a look at this quick video (4:12):

What You Will Need #

  • A UMW Zoom account. This guide tells you how to setup your account.
  • A basic understanding of Zoom. These guides provide a good overview.
  • Knowledge of what to do if you encounter a Zoombomber.
  • Paper, pencils/markers and/or pens for writing and drawing.
  • Practice time to get comfortable with this technique.

The Steps to Follow #

The steps outlined here utilize the computer, webcam, and document camera already installed in a classroom. Using your own laptop would be a different process that would require other steps or equipment not covered here.

Starting a Zoom Meeting in a Classroom

  1. Turn on the AV system and select the computer source using the touch panel.
  2. Log into the computer using your NetID and password (this will save some settings for Zoom and the document camera so you don’t have to reset them every time).
  3. Launch Zoom using the icon on the desktop.
  4. Sign in to your Zoom account using the SSO (Single Sign On) option, NOT the email option. If Zoom asks you for the SSO domain, enter “umw-sso”
Image of Zoom login screen with arrow pointing to the "Sign In with SSO" button.
  1. Open your Zoom meeting and check these settings:
    Video: Choose the VDO360 2SEE camera. This is the webcam on top of the monitor in most classrooms. If your classroom is different and/or you can’t get an image of yourself for Zoom, contact the Help Desk at 540-654-2255 for assistance.
Image showing a screenshot of the Video menu in Zoom with the VDO360 2SEE option selected

Audio: Choose the VDO360 2SEE microphone. You can leave the speaker setting as-is.

Image showing a screenshot of the Audio menu in Zoom with the VDO360 2SEE option selected

Starting the Hovercam Document Camera

  1. Use the “Launch Hovercam Flex 11” icon on your desktop to start the Hovercam document camera.
  2. Once the camera starts, you should see the image from the document camera on the screen. If you don’t see an image, double check that the USB and power cables are completely connected on the base of the Hovercam.
  3. Use the Hovercam buttons on the base of the camera to adjust the image.
    • Auto Focus – push and the camera will continually adjust the focus to whatever is in front of it.
    • Auto Focus Lock – push and the camera will adjust the focus ONCE to whatever is in front if it and then stop. Push again if you need to refocus. This is a good choice to use if you are writing on paper or pointing at the object – that way the camera doesn’t keep trying to focus on the back of your hand.
    • Rotate Image 180 degrees – if your image is upside down, push this button to fix it!

Using the Hovercam with Zoom as a Whiteboard Replacement

  1. Share the Hovercam screen in Zoom and project the computer in the classroom. This way, everyone in the classroom as well as on Zoom can see the Hovercam image.
  2. Put a piece of blank paper under the Hovercam and center the paper on the screen.
  3. Use pencils, pens, and markers on the paper to write notes, math formulas, diagrams, graphs. etc.

Tips for Success

  • Keep an eye on the computer monitor to be sure your notes centered in the camera so everyone can see them.
  • Check that you are not writing or drawing too small for everyone to see.
  • Number your pages so that if you want to go back and show any of them again, you know the order you created them.
  • If helpful, prepare diagrams or notes ahead of time, then illustrate or highlight on top of them.
  • Practice doing this a bit so you are comfortable in class.
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