More about using a doc cam (not webcam!) in distance learning: Dr. Sam’s first video blog by Dr. Sam Bommarito

More about using a doc cam (not webcam!) in distance learning: Dr. Sam’s first video blog

by Dr. Sam Bommarito


Since my last entry about  webcam’s LINK, I’ve been talking to many of my literacy friends and early childhood friends about what a powerful tool a webcam can be for distance learning. They were all extremely interested.  A couple of basic terms:

My webcam-

As you watch the video- notice I have it on a stand so I can adjust it. The stand is actually designed to hold a phone, but the webcam easily goes right on it.  The particular one I use is a Logitech Webcam and it is a plug and play device. When installed, it automatically takes the place of your built-in webcam.

My doccam-

As you watch the video- notice what the doccam looks like. This device lets you project live pictures while you are using your webcam. I use it on all my Zoom lessons. It is a game-changer for my distance learning. I will discuss that in the video.

Advice for when you shop for your webcam or doccam- I did not try to hide the brands I am using. However, I know that there are many great products out there for both the doccam and the webcam. I highly recommend looking for ones with HD and instant display. Read the specs to make sure the one you choose has both of those features (these days most do- back in the day many doccams had small delays in showing the picture!). I think getting the add-on webcam is worth it. The add on webcam makes it easy to set up and adjust for Zoom et. al. and you can move it to take free shots when you want to. However, the doccam is the star of this show and there will be lots of ideas about how to use it in the video.

What the video will talk about:

  1. How it’s set up- VERY easy, all the devices are plug and play.
  2. How to use it at the start of the lesson to let your student know what will be happening in the lesson. I do that on this video
  3. How it can be used with younger learners in a prereading activity.
  4. How it can be used with word ladders, making and breaking, and Elkonin boxes. I will give some tips on how I use the doc cam in my word-work.
  5. How the doc cam can be used with all the different kinds of books I work with during my online tutoring. These include predictable text, decodable text, language experience books (the kids write themselves), and trade books.
  6. How the doc cam can be incorporated into Zoom Videos. Zoom videos are a game-changer in themselves. You can run a PowerPoint while using the Zoom share screen and folks will hear you talking and see the little live screen with you as you talk.


So- here is the link to my first video blog. After you open the share folder, click on the video, and start watching.

(Note: the video is 15 minutes long. But if you watch the first 8 minutes, you will get all you need to know about the doc camera. That is up to where I talk about Making and Breaking.  The rest gives you more details about all the different kinds of literacy activities supported by the webcam (items 5-6 on the things the Video talks about).



In the coming weeks, I’ll be blogging about favorite software programs and I’ll conduct interviews with various literacy friends about their various literacy projects and books. In the meantime, be safe and be well.

Happy Reading and Writing.

Dr. Sam Bommarito (aka the video guy)

Links to the materials mentioned in the blog.


LEARNING A-Z (Headsprout) https: LINK- is a turn-key program. Headsprout teaches the students the letter-sound correspondence and how to use those to put together words. Periodically it presents the student with decodable books to do online. The pdfs of these books can be downloaded and run off. That is how I got the ones shown in the video. Like all the Learning A-Z programs, Headsprout has an excellent reporting system. When used in conjunction with Raz Kids you can find out a great deal about what each child is doing. When I do my individual distance learning lessons with my children, parents are normally sitting in and helping.  I periodically share the reports for Headsprout and Raz Kids. These can be printed out and I then simply show them the reports using the doccam.  As you can tell I do love & use the doccam.

Eric Litwin’s website LINK (find out about his new book!)

4 thoughts on “More about using a doc cam (not webcam!) in distance learning: Dr. Sam’s first video blog by Dr. Sam Bommarito

  1. literacyteachersnotebook

    Thank you for this, Dr. Sam! Can you please share the make and models of both your webcam and doc cam? Thank you for all you do!

  2. luqmanmichel

    What do I think?
    Wow! This is fantastic. I am almost tempted to start teaching again.
    Unfortunately, I am not a tech guy.

    Thank you for this Dr.Sam.

    It is 3 am here and this is the first document I clicked on my email.
    Happy Days!


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