WIP Article, will be improved at a later date.


In the classroom, a document camera is an essential tool for easily showing and annotating documents to a class. However, during the transition to online distance learning, traditional document cameras are not able to be used in the same way. While some newer models of document camera may successfully be able to be used for distance learning, a majority of the document cameras that were being used in classrooms are not practical for distance learning due to their poor camera resolution and complexity of setup. However, we have found that your teacher iPad provides a great alternative due to its higher camera quality and existing familiarity.

This article will provide instruction on how to set up your iPad as a document camera.

Equipment Needed:

  1. Macbook with Zoom installed.
  2. iPad with working camera and the Camera app.
  3. USB Lightning Cable. This is the same cable you use to charge your iPad.

Instructions for Using your iPad as a Document Camera in Zoom:

  1. Connect your iPad to the Macbook using the USB Lightning cable.
  2. When prompted on both the iPad and the Macbook, choose to Trust the device.
  3. Let the iPad is fully connected and synced to the Macbook. iTunes may open up and begin to do some background processes such as syncing data and backing up the iPad to the Macbook, please let those finish.
  4. Once the iPad is fully connected and synced to the Macbook, open up a Zoom meeting.
  5. In the Zoom meeting, select the, "Share Screen" button at the bottom of the Zoom window.
  6. In the Share Screen menu that appears, select the option for, "iPhone/iPad via Cable", and then click on the "Share" button in the lower-right.
    1. If you would like to have your students hear sounds from the iPad, be sure to check the, "Share Sounds" option on the lower-left corner of the screen.
  7. Zoom should now show a window that is mirroring the video feed from the iPad. Anything you do on the iPad will now be shown to the Zoom meeting.
  8. To use the iPad as a Document Camera, open the Camera app on the iPad. This should then mirror the camera feed from the iPad to your Macbook, which will also then be mirrored to the Zoom meeting. You can treat the iPad's camera as a dedicated document camera.
  9. When you are finished using the iPad, click on the, "Stop Share" button in Zoom to stop sharing the video feed from the iPad and revert back to your Macbook's face camera. You can now proceed with the rest of the Zoom meeting as normal.
  10. Finished!

Instructions for Using your iPad as a Document Camera in QuickTime:

Terra Hazen, Librarian and Media Specialist at Petaluma Junior High, has created a guide on using an iPad as a Document Camera using QuickTime. This is another way of sharing the iPad screen on a Macbook, and would be a viable option for use with Zoom meetings and screen recordings.

The link to the guide can be found here:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Y9GTqC2BJasMxhxHTDb9wTKsXAzJAMTnD9fINrloZww/edit?usp=sharing

A Note about iPad Stands

iPad stands are not standard issue in the district. Sites are responsible for purchasing their own.

Terra Hazen has created also an Instructables guide on how to create a document scanning box using a cardboard box and household materials. This can easily serve as an effective iPad stand for a document camera.

Link to the Instructables guide can be found here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Document-Scanning-Box-Simple-Easy-Free/