In my search for a cheaper alternative to Elmo, I’ve found the Hovercam. There’s no need to continue the search.
My first Hovercam arrived and could not be “found” reliable by the software (a cord problem perhaps). One days worth of communication via the company and they decided to just send a new one. How much did I love that Hovercam didn’t belabor the try-this-try-that process. It doesn’t work; send another.
Now I’m demonstrating student work, a handout, an artifact, a piece of artwork at the touch of a button. Zooming, cropping, adding text, using the highlighter are all intuitive and simple. And with one click, I send my captured images to Picasa. I’ve even added a slideshow feed to my wiki for parents to “view” what’s going on in class.
I’m still discovering all the capabilities of this doc cam, but for now, it does exactly what I want in a manner that works for my students and for me.