Using Technology in Your Literacy Classroom

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Using Technology in Your Literacy Classroom

Posted on August 31, 2011

Using Technology in Your Literacy Classroom

Over the years, numerous teachers have asked about the tech tool used during Smekens presentations. It's called a document camera (a.k.a. visual presenter or an Elmo). The particular brand and model Kristina uses is the Epson DC-10s. Document cameras connect to any standard LCD projector, so whatever you put under the camera lens is then magnified onto a screen for your students to see.

Document Camera: Elmo

Regardless of the brand or model you have or have seen, a document camera is so versatile. It can function like a traditional overhead using transparencies. It can work like an opaque projector. And it can be connected to a computer to show a PowerPoint, an Internet website, or any digital document. There are so many creative ways to use it! Here are just a few literacy applications:

  • Slip a book under the camera lens to show your whole class the cover, the Table of Contents, a single page, or to read the entire text. (This is especially fabulous when the text is one that every student does NOT have a personal copy of.)
  • Provide a visual during Author's Chair; students can see each others' work as well as hear it during writer's workshop.
  • Use any overhead transparency, just slip a piece of paper under it first.
  • Show 3-D objects (e.g., toys, triggers, etc.) during your next mini-lesson.
  • Highlight an excerpt from a text to teach a specific grammar/convention skill.
  • Demonstrate how to create a spider leg or do story surgery while students watch it "live" on the big screen.
  • Dissect texts by placing a book or passage under the doc camera and putting a transparency over the text. Write on the transparency to highlight your teaching points, but never write on the book.
  • Share photographs from recent field trips or magazines as writing prompts.
  • Zoom in to magnify a specific section or detail of an illustration.