Elementary schools nationwide have increasingly moved from "grouping" children with similar abilities in one classroom to classrooms filled with children of diverse abilities—and diverse learning styles. With so many different types of children together in one class, one of the biggest challenges for teachers is how to differentiate and present lessons in ways that are engaging and effective. ma with her fifth-grade gifted/high-achieving math class. Among the gifted children in this group were some with special needs, including one student with a severe hearing impairment, whom relied solely on "reading lips" as his predominant method of learning. It was clearly evident that visual learning technologies were one of Mrs. Rosario’s most effective methods of delivering instruction. Unfortunately, traditional overhead projectors had been problematic. The poor image quality and limited capabilities of the overhead projector provided little in the way of flexibility, versatility, or effectiveness to Mrs. Rosario’s lessons; instead, it actually hindered the quality of "instructional time", which was already limited. use of a document camera, her students are now better able to grasp other mathematical concepts, such as place value systems, and they have a better understanding of how to apply theories related to numbers. Her hearing impaired student also seemed to appreciate the visual clarity and learning benefits provided by a document camera.
Star Rosario, a teacher in South Florida, faced this dilem
Document cameras, however, proved to be the leap in technology that Mrs. Rosario and her students needed. First, the image quality was excellent—sharp, clear, and vibrant in color. The ability to enhance the projection, focus, size and color, including 3D objects, was especially useful for teaching geometry and spatial learning. Through the daily
Secondly, the document camera’s user-friendly interface along with her laptop computer provides Mrs. Rosario with virtually unlimited images to enhance her lessons. The particular model used by Mrs. Rosario is the TT-02s "Teacher’s Tool" from ELMO USA, which is lightweight and allows her to share even small 3D objects with students in a variety of learning environments. According to Mrs. Rosario, "When I use the TT-02s document camera in class, it really captures my students’ attention and motivates them to become active participants in my lessons. They seem to focus better on the material and definitely demonstrate a higher level of "on-task" performance. Plus, they not only seem to understand the material faster but they appear to retain the information longer."
Mrs. Rosario is looking forward to expanding her use of technology in the classroom by acquiring an Interactive White Board. "By connecting my TT-02s to the IWB, I hope to make my lessons even more dynamic, engaging, and spontaneous than before. My ultimate goal is to always make learning fun and meaningful for my students. The ELMO TT-02s allows me to teach my students in the manner that helps them learn best."