Let’s Zoom TNT – Part 2 – Writing using a document camera

In this activity you will be creating a mind map with your partner using a pen and paper – and a document camera. You will use the phone that is connected to this meeting and the box or cans (or other creations) that you have to hold your phone. If neither of you has brought an extra device to the session to use as a document camera, click here to skip this activity. Otherwise, continue….

Mind maps using a document camera

Choose one person to be the tutor – this person must have a document camera set up, or be able to set one up using a phone they have connected to this meeting.

Level 1 (beginner): Getting set up!

Using the phone (document camera), the tutor should:

  • click on the green share screen option in Zoom and share the screen or camera of this device
  • position their phone over a piece of paper using the box or cans that you brought to the session
  • place a piece of paper on the table under the phone camera
  • find a pen (high contrast is best)

Level 2 (intermediate): Start writing!

  • To start the mind map write the words ‘SUMMER HOLIDAYS” in the middle of the paper.
  • Brain storm in pairs “What do you like to do in the summer holidays?”
  • Write ideas on the paper in the form of a mind map as you go.

Level 3 (advanced!): Make it more active!

  • Ask your learner to annotate the screen. You can find the annotate menu in the ‘view options’ menu on laptops and computers. On tablets and phones, you will see a ‘pencil’ icon when you tap the screen. Click on this and the annotate menu appears.
  • Notice that as soon as your learner starts to annotate, the screen camera clicks and becomes a still photo.
  • As your learner annotates, add notes to your paper copy.
  • When they have finished annotating. Click ‘resume camera’ on your phone document camera. The annotations disappear and you will see the updated paper in the screen share.


There are lots of ways to use this to create an active environment. Your learner can highlight or check lists they really connect with. They can cross out items that are not important. They can add to lists or ask questions?

If you have time and have both brought a set up for a document camera, share you set up. Let the other person try their document camera out. Then, talk about these questions with your partner. Use another piece of paper to make notes together using your document camera

  1. What did you like about using a document camera?
  2. Who was active?
  3. Do you think your learner could set up a document camera?
  4. How can you use the document camera in writing activities with your learner?
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