Teachers Create Awesome Doc Cams From Scratch!

18 Dec 2020


The recent months haven’t been easy for any of us, but among those who have certainly had it the hardest are teachers. When schools across the US closed due to COVID-19, and education was moved exclusively online, it left them scrambling for solutions. Boy, oh boy have they risen to the challenge, though! The passion and dedication of our nation’s educators was put on full display.

One of the ways it was most observable was in their ingenuity and resourcefulness. Everyone knows that teaching remotely is no easy task. It is even more of a challenge when you don’t have one of the essential tools of remote teaching — a document camera. Document cameras, like many other items, are proving tough to source during the pandemic. Not to be beaten, though, hosts of teachers quickly devised an abundance of creative solutions. A bunch of them shared ideas on Twitter. Check ’em out below!

link to Tweet

Ms. Robinzine used just a couple of cans of soup and her cell phone to make an incredibly simple doc cam. Super cool idea! Although I hope your new document camera arrives soon because your phone looks to be balancing a touch precariously!

Rob shared the ingenious idea of using a CD, a pencil, and a coin to fashion an ultra-simple, ultra-cheap, and ultra-useful doc cam! The shiny side of the CD reflects the laptop’s built-in webcam, allowing any documents laying on the keyboard to be easily shared. We all love this idea. Thanks for sharing, Rob!

This makeshift doc cam idea that Michelle shared using a cell phone, tripod, and a selfie stick looks super sturdy! I bet your students really benefit from it, Michelle! Fingers crossed you’re able to get your hands on the document camera of your dreams soon enough.

The idea Kristina shared uses only a compact mirror! If you’re a frequent makeup wearer, you’re probably more likely to have one of them hanging around. However, don’t worry if you haven’t got one because they can be easily found on Amazon for around $5. Working similarly to Rob’s CD solution, the compact mirror reflects the laptop’s in-built webcam. Great idea! Thank you Tricia Louis for sharing the idea originally!

What if you’ve got no equipment lying around the house to fashion into a doc cam? Grab your iPad and just hold it up like Jill! What’s better than teaching remotely and getting a workout in at the same time?

John has taken homemade doc cams to the next level! He designed his very own doc cam using the free 3D modeling program Tinkercad. Absolutely mind-blowingly cool, John! He even wrote a blog post on his document camera. You can find here.


Looking for something more?

There’s no doubt that the homemade doc cam ideas mentioned in this article are immensely creative and equally useful, but those of you who are looking for a more permanent solution (like the people above) will want to pick up an OKIOCAM — our 2-in-1 document camera and webcam! OKIOCAM is ideal for people who are looking for a high quality, affordable document camera. 


Have a cool makeshift doc cam idea of your own or seen anyone else’s? Let us know on Twitter (be sure to give us a follow!).