iPad Document Camera Stand

Update October 2013ProComputing has released Version 2 of their iPad Document Camera Stand. Read about it.

Justin Franks contacted me this week with a link to a YouTube video where he proudly shows off his new creation. It's a stand designed to turn your iPad into a document camera. Justin's iPad stand goes by the name Justand.

I was excited to see this because I know a growing number of teachers would like to use iPads as document cameras. And now with AirPlay, iPad can wirelessly mirror its screen to an Apple TV or a Mac/PC running AirServer or Reflection. Though, as those who try to mirror wirelessly know, it's not as reliable as an old fashioned wired connection. Justin's iPad stand can be used with an iPad VGA or HDMI adapter or wirelessly.

Justand's education price is $89 and volume pricing is available. Justin tells me much of the price is for raw materials. The stand is made from large thick sheet of aluminum and has a 40 pound torque hinge. Of course, if you don't already have an iPad, the Justand document camera solution can be over $600. A third generation iPad will make a better document camera than an iPad 2 because the newer iPad has a much better camera.

At $89, Justand is cheaper than most document cameras. However, there are cameras that are less than $89, like IPEVO's $69 Point 2 View USB Camera. Why would you pay more for a stand than what you could pay for a whole camera? If you are already mirroring iPad's screen to a projector, it's one less device to switch to. Instead of switching inputs, you simply adjust Justand's arm and launch a camera app.

Instead of using the standard camera app, I would suggest using the CamDraw app (99┬ó) to draw on top of the live image from iPad's camera. Now you've got a classroom telestrator! That means you can annotate a science experiment and even draw on your textbook! In addition, you can instantly save screenshots of what's under the camera for use in other apps and for sharing with students.

I love teaching with a document camera. I was the first teacher at my school to ask for my overhead projector to be removed from my classroom because it was a waste of space after I became a document camera user. My fifth graders and I used our doc cam to do many different things:

  • Display a novel or textbook so students can read along
  • Demonstrate experiments so that all can see
  • Instantly exhibit student work, including artwork
  • Demonstrate painting and drawing techniques
  • Model note-taking
  • Complete graphic organizers as a group
  • Go over assignments and tests
  • Show 3D objects
  • Show the construction of graphs
  • Model use of math tools like calculators, rulers, compasses, and protractors
  • Demonstrate the use of editing marks
  • Film Common Craft style videos

I haven't used a Justand and I haven't seen one in person. I thought that someone should, so I asked Justin if we could give away a Justand to a blog reader and he agreed! You can enter to win your very own red aluminum teaching helper.  Just submit your name and your email address in the form below. One submission per person. The winner must have the Justand shipped within the continental United States. Enter by July 6, 2012 and one winner will be randomly drawn. Don't worry, I will not share your email address with anyone. Though, I will forward the winner's information to Justin and he will contact you about shipping your Justand. If you win, it would be nice for you to leave a comment on this post with a mini review. Good luck!

UPDATE: The drawing is closed and the winner has been chosen.