Using a Visualiser

I ran a training day last week for a college where we looked at Visualisers (sometimes called Document Cameras). Through the day we tried out some different things that you could do and I took some screen grabs.

I have put the screengrabs, and a few photographs from the day into a short presentation. Hopefully it will help to illustrate some of the ways that you could use your Visualiser in conjunction with your interactive whiteboard. (Warning, if you’re squeamish – it does contain close up photos of an animal heart….)


View more presentations from dannynic.

If you do have a Visualiser then make sure that you have it installed so that is connected to your computer, rather than just connected to your projector. This means you can then use the desktop annotation tools of your interactive whiteboard to draw and write over the top of the images. You can also use the camera tools to snapshot images into your IWB software (e.g. Smart Notebook or ActivStudio)

Here are a few ideas for using your Visualiser

  • Display good examples of students work.
  • Show pages from books – save photocopying
  • Model examination questions – write answers on the paper – work through as a class.
  • Dissections – heart, kidney, plants, flowers, fruits etc.
  • Display intricate models / objects
  • Show parts of a circuit
  • demonstrate how to use technical drawing tools – or maths tools such as rulers and protractors
  • Use to make collages – assemble objects below the camera. Take snapshots as the image builds up.
  • Video experiments – colour changes in chemistry – iodine clock/thiosulphate experiments. Remember visualisers on a flexible arm don’t only have to point downwards – they can be angled to look at things side-on too.
  • Show how to use small gadgets such as calculators, pda’s (or even phones) – no need to use software and cables to mirror/simulate them on a computer.

and many more. If you have any to add, put them in the comments!

Also check out the Ideas to Inspire presentation about Visualisers for a few more ideas.

If you own a Lumens visualiser, then I’ve produced a short guide that tells you a little more about this particular brand of visualiser. You can view it here.


Author: Danny Nicholson

Danny is an author, Science teacher, ICT Consultant, PGCE lecturer and computing / interactive whiteboard trainer. He has delivered training courses across the UK, in Europe, and in Canada. Please get in touch with your training requests.

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  1. I use my ELMO (visualizer) to read picture books to my classroom. That way every student can see the pictures in the book. I also, used it last year to observe snails. It was very cool to see him “crawl across” our whiteboard. Everyone could see exactly how he moved without having to have their own snail.

  2. I used an ELMO to compare a photo and a drawing that a student was working on in Art class with a self-portrait unit. Every student had their own printed photo of themselves and were to use it as a reference to help them. I put a student’s drawing (in progress) and their photo in view with the ELMO, took a still image, then annoted over the top of the image to highlight where shaded areas were, dark lines, areas that needed changing, etc. It was much easier doing it this way rather than explaining it individually.


  1. What can Visualisers do for me…and my classes? » - [...] [...]

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