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Document cameras to replace overhead transparency projectors

Document camera use

UBIT Customer Service Team Leader Tim Dane demonstrates how to use a document camera.

By Dan Hartman

Published April 20, 2016

Dan Hartman

Dan Hartman (UB Student, Class of 2016) was born in Rochester, NY. He transferred to UB after earning an Associate’s Degree at Monroe Community College and is working towards completing his Bachelor’s in Communication. Dan hopes to become a screenwriter someday. In his free time, he enjoys working out, eating cereal, and spending time with his friends.

UBIT will retire overhead transparency projectors in UB centrally-scheduled classrooms as of Fall 2016. If you’ve never used a document camera in the classroom, now is the time to get acquainted.

IT Customer Service Team Leader Tim Dane is ready to move on from the technical limitations and fragility of the transparency projectors. "A majority of the overhead projectors were purchased before Y2K. The overhead projectors we have are experiencing problems including blurry optics, sockets burning out, power switches breaking, and brittle structure," Tim said. 3M, the overhead projector manufacturer used by UB, also discontinued the sales of overhead projectors and parts back in 2013.

A document camera is mounted on a stand or attached to the ceiling and connected to a classroom video projector. Similar to an overhead projector, objects and documents may be placed under the camera to project the image onto a screen. The document camera’s display is clearer than an overhead projector and provides a more consistently lit visual on the screen. As a result, notes, drawings and equations written on paper will be easier for students to read.

UB’s classroom technology will allow presenters to project PowerPoints, video, and other files directly on the projection screen. Tim said that the document cameras display high quality images, producing "vivid bright color images and 3D objects such as circuit boards, fossils and medical models."

Get help or in-person training

Learn more about using a document camera and all available UB classroom technology.

If your instruction is not suitable for a document camera or you need further assistance while in the classroom, including an in-person training, please contact the UBIT Help Center (716-645-3542,