Guest writer: Michelle Maness (1st grade teacher at a Title 1 school in Colleton County, South Carolina)
I first saw the HUE in action at a reading conference, one of the guest speakers was using one. I happened to arrive early and watched her set it up and was amazed with how quickly it was set up and how versatile it seemed to be. My school does not have the funds for each teacher to have a document camera, and I had been wanting one for a while to use for a variety of reasons. I approached the guest speaker after the session and asked her about it, once she told me how easy it was to use I knew I just had to have one for my classroom!
I teach a first grade class of 18 six and seven year olds who love interactive lessons. So far I have used my HUE for a variety of lessons. The compact nature of the HUE allowed me to set up a space on my desk at the front of the classroom that allows me to work in real time with the students while also facing them the entire time (which when they are six and seven this is key!). I always disliked working on the white board or smart board with my back to the students. The HUE now allows me to work and keep an eye on everyone!
I have used the HUE to display picture books for read-a-louds and shared reading, especially during this holiday season, reading holiday books each morning. I use a white board under the HUE to teach the students math skills and allow them to do examples in front of the class. Our school district recently distributed Chrome Books for each student to use in the classroom, having the HUE has been a huge asset in showing them how to use the Chrome Books. I am able to display the keyboard and screen of my own laptop in order to show the students how to use theirs.
I would absolutely suggest the HUE document camera to other teachers. It is a cost effective, compact and portable option for a document camera. I use mine on a daily basis and would be remiss without it! My two first grade team mates both want to get themselves one. The software allows for so many options for lessons not only including displaying books and work on the smart board but also recording videos and using Skype.
Installing and using the HUE document camera and software was extremely easy! The camera came with step by step instructions for set up and the software is very user friendly and is easy to understand.