Once again this afternoon teachers had a chance to choose between several workshops about technology: Blogging 101 (with the principal!), Blogging 201, Excel, Voice thread, Web 2.0 Tools in the Classroom, and the Document Camera.
This time, I took the workshop about using your document camera with Media Specialist, KK Cherney. Each classroom at Chets Creek has a document camera (a very sophisticated overhead projector that doesn't need a transparency!) When we had the chance to add computers to each classroom last year, we opted instead for document cameras instead of so many computers. It was a wise decision. Teachers use their document camera every single day. They use them in the mini-lesson in many ways - to show student work as a writing example or the pages of a book to demonstrate a reading strategy. They use it in the Closing by putting the child's work directly under the camera for the class to read together or to put a book under the camera so the child can show exactly where he used a specific reading strategy.
Today however, we learned about the many other uses of the document camera such as it's ability to snap pictures of student work in the same way that a camera can. One of our teachers is even experimenting with snapping pictures of student work to be used as electronic portfolios! I think we have only begun to scratch the surface of using this grand piece of equipment.
How fortunate are we to have professional development on the clock, to be able to choose what we want to learn about, and to be able to work with other teachers that we can go to for support if we forget a step along the way! This is really professional develoment at its best!