Using OKIOCAM in the Science Classroom

22 Dec 2020


Today’s guest writer is Isabella Liu. She is a Canadian grade 7–12 chemistry and science teacher, Apple Distinguished Educator, Google for Education Trainer & Educator, and the Education Integration Program Coordinator at her school. Naturally, she has a wealth of experience with educational technology and is an excellent source of information for what the current trends in EdTech are moving towards.


By Isabella Liu

With the emergence of document cameras, traditional projectors are now being replaced. Long gone are the days where the teacher has to roll in the traditional projector and use overhead projector sheets to print out or write out notes! Now with the Bring Your Own Device model in education, document cameras allow teachers to simply connect the camera to their laptops and project content to their students.

Document Cameras in the Science Classroom during the Pandemic

In science, students are often required to connect theoretical concepts to real-life scenarios through experiments or demonstrations. Document cameras allow teachers to provide a more authentic and tangible connection with the content that they are teaching. What I love about document cameras is that they allow me to seamlessly interchange between my course presentation and live demos to demonstrate further understanding, without having to pre-record or curate videos beforehand. This allows for more organic discussions — the lesson content can be driven by students’ curiosity, and learning is more of a collaborative effort rather than uni-directional.

Why do I prefer OKIOCAM?

In a climate where educational technology and tools are constantly emerging, teachers are overwhelmed by the number of options that are out there. To me, OKIOCAM immediately stands out amongst its competitors because of its price, how compact it is, and the easy integration between the camera and Google Workspace tools such as Google Slides.

Compact

Setting up OKIOCAM is easy — since the camera is light and small, there is no need to remove items on your teacher’s desk. With teaching in a hybrid model, I often have the OKIOCAM set up and ready to go when I need to show something to my students. This allows me to easily jump between my presentation, my notes, and my OKIOCAM.

The OKIOCAM is light and compact and similar in size to a TI-36X Texas Instruments calculator.

Price

OKIOCAM is the most affordable document camera when compared to similar devices on the market. The OKIOCAM ranges in price from $69.00 for the OKIOCAM S and $89.00 for the OKIOCAM T. The OKIOCAM S offers a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1440, whereas the OKIOCAM T’s maximum resolution is 2592 x 1944. OKIOCAM is the best choice for teachers who want a good document camera without the financial burden. Furthermore, its compact size allows teachers to take it between the home and the classroom effortlessly, further ensuring its ease of use.

Google Workspace Integration

The one thing that really attracted me to OKIOCAM is the seamless integration with Google Workspace. None of the other document cameras provide a seamless integration, which means that users would have to capture footage or images beforehand and import them into Google Workspace tools such as Google Slides or Google Docs.

How do I use OKIOCAM?

OKIOCAM provides teachers with a plethora of apps that best suit various needs depending on what type of videos the teacher wants to create. With a simple installation, I can easily plug and play without having to configure the camera or my computer.

For live-teaching, I find myself using the Snapshot and Recorder app. For previously created videos, both Time-Lapse and Stop Motion are fantastic tools to create videos for students.

Videos that Increase Student Engagement

Research has shown that digital images and videos can be powerful tools for student learning (Boster et al., 2002; Rochelle et al., 2000; Hieert et al. 2002). Images can capture students’ attention and spark curiosity. Videos can create engagement and help students form higher-level connections to concepts taught in class (Roschelle et al., 2000). Boster et al. (2002) demonstrated a positive correlation between student test scores and the use of video clips to supplement instruction. I too have seen an improvement in my students’ understanding of their experiments since I started demonstrating it using the Snapshot and Recorder app. Generally, I use the Snapshot and Recorder app to demonstrate an experiment set-up before starting. This has helped my students to visualize what they’re doing in an experiment, allowing them to manage their resources and time well.

How I use Snapshot and Recorder to provide students with a different perspective during an experiment.

Furthermore, the Snapshot and Recorder app allows for a more equitable learning experience as traditionally I would have students crowd around my teacher table, and there are always students who aren’t able to catch a glimpse of what’s happening. With the Snapshot and Recorder app, I’m able to project to the entire class and even share my screen so my remote students can tune in as well. This allows for a common starting ground that is helpful and conducive to my students’ learning. I have noticed an increase in better results in my students’ experiments and an increased sense of confidence in their lab skills since I have adapted to projecting my set-up to them.

OKIOCAM allows me to explain what the students should be expecting in their experiments without worrying that my online and in-person students have a different perspective.

OKIOCAM made a significant difference in my teaching. In a season of hybrid teaching where ingenuity is required and demanded from the teachers, OKIOCAM allowed me to seamlessly transition from in-person teaching to the hybrid model without impeding my students’ learning experience.


References

Boster, F., Meyer, G., Roberto, A., & Inge, C. (2002). A report on the effect of the unitedstreaming(TM) application on educational performance. Cometrika, Inc., Baseline Research, LLC., & Longwood University.

Hiebert, J., Gallimore, R., & Stigler, J. (2002). A knowledge base for the teaching profession: What would it look like and how can we get one? Educational Researcher 31(5), 3–15. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189×031005003

Roschelle, J., Pea, R., Hoadley, C., Gordin, D., & Means, B. (2000). Changing how and what children learn in school with computer-based technology. Children and Computer Technology, 10(2), 76–101. https://doi.org/10.2307/1602690