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Thursday, January 14, 2021

How to Use Your Android Phone as a Document Camera

Around this time last week I published a short blog post about a new iPhone called Overviewer that turns your iPhone or iPad into a document camera that can be used in Zoom. Then in my Practical Ed Tech newsletter I featured that app as well as directions for using your Android phone as a document camera in Zoom. For those who use Android phones and didn't see my newsletter, here are directions for using your Android phone as a document camera. 

Step 1: Get Something to Hold Your Phone
I use this "goose neck" cell phone holder and ring light combo to hold and position my phone over a document. You could also use a tripod that has a cell phone bracket. I've even seen people use stacks of books to hold and position their phones over a document.

Step 2: Install Vysor
Vysor is software that you can install for free on Windows and Mac computers. Once it's installed you can mirror your Android phone's screen through a USB cable. When you use the camera on your phone, whatever the camera sees will be mirrored to your computer's screen.

Step 3: Launch your Zoom meeting
Start your Zoom meeting then when you're ready to show whatever your phone's camera is picking up, just screen share the camera into your Zoom meeting.

In this short video I provide a demonstration of the steps outlined above.

Microsoft EDU - You've Got Questions, He's Got Answers

Many times over the last year I've mentioned Mike Tholfsen from Microsoft and his many Microsoft Teams tutorial videos. His YouTube channel is really the place to go for help with Microsoft Teams and OneNote questions. Next week he's hosting a live AMA (ask me anything) session on his YouTube channel. 

At 5pm ET on January 20th Mike Tholfsen is hosting an AMA session in which he'll answer all kinds of questions about Microsoft Teams, OneNote, Immersive Reader, and any other Microsoft EDU products you have questions about. So if you're a Microsoft EDU user, this is an event to add to your calendar. 

Full Episodes of National Geographic Specials

I've been a fan of National Geographic for as long as I can remember. I got hooked early in elementary school by looking through the years and years of magazines in our school library. As I got older I looked forward to the magazine being delivered to my house. And now I look forward to latest updates that appear on National Geographic's YouTube channel. One recent update that I was particularly excited about was the release of full episodes of some of the most popular specials that have aired on National Geographic television. Of those, the one about Yellowstone is my favorite. That episode is embedded below. 



I'm going to advocate for showing hour-long National Geographic specials to your students in lieu of other activities. That said, these episodes surely have segments within them that can be used as part of a lesson.