How to make an improvised document camera using Zoom and your iPhone or iPad

The following are directions how to make an improvised Document Camera out of your iPhone or iPad using Zoom. Unfortunately, there is no sharing option for Android devices in Zoom.

Note: This solution will not work on the Eduroam WiFi on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. 

What you will need:

  • iPhone or iPad
  • A WiFi connection that allows Screen Mirroring (this solution will not work on the Eduroam WiFi network on campus)
  • 3 soup cans or a stack of books (anything could work really but cans seem to work best)
  • A note pad or some paper
  • Something to write with, preferably something dark with a wider point (if possible)

Getting set up

You will eventually want things to look like this:

Desk showing a makeshift document camera consisting of 3 soup cans and an iPad. The soup cans are stacked and the iPad is placed between the top two cans with the camera aligned over a notepad.

Make yourself some space and get things somewhat setup. You are going to need to use your iPad to link it to your Zoom meeting before you place the top can.

Next get Zoom ready

Step 1. Launch the Zoom application on your computer.

NOTE: If you do not yet have the Zoom application please visit the University's Zoom portal. Please note this is a University-specific website and NOT the main Zoom website.


Step 2. Click on the “Sign in with SSO” login option. This will open the Univeristy's SSO login webpage in your web browser. Once you have logged in, you should be prompted to return to the Zoom application.

Screenshot of the Zoom application log in screen with the Sign In with SSO link highlighted  
[Figure 1] Screenshot of Zoom sign in pop-up window with title “Zoom Cloud Meetings”. Adjacent to the “Sign In” interface displayed, are options for “Sign in with SSO” and “Sign in with Facebook”. The “Sign in with SSO” option has a red square around it, showing users where it is on the pop-up window.

Step 3. From the Zoom application, click on New Meeting.

Screenshot of the Zoom application home screen with the New Meeting button highlighted
[Figure 2] Screenshot of the Zoom application interface open in a window. There are four icons on the screen labeled “New Meeting”, “Join”, “Schedule”, and “Share Screen”. The “New Meeting” icon has a red square around it, showing users where it is in the window.

Step 4. When the meeting interface loads, select “Join with Computer Audio” when prompted. This will use the default mic and speakers on your computer.

Screenshot of the Zoom audio conference options window that opens when joining a Zoom meeting
[Figure 3] Screenshot of a Zoom dialog window that is labeled “Choose ONE of the audio conference options”. A tab titled “Computer Audio” is selected. The dialog window contains a button with the text “Join with Computer Audio” and a link that is labeled “Test Speaker and Microphone”. The dialog window has a check box that is un-checked that is accompanied by the text “Automatically join audio by computer when joining a meeting”

Step 5. Verify your mic is working – the mic icon on the mic button should flash green in response to your voice, if working. Alternatively, you can use the audio options (chevron to the right of the Mic button) to test your mic. This step will help to ensure you have a viable recording.


Step 6Click on Share Screen at the bottom of the meeting window.

Screenshot of the Zoom meeting window toolbar with an arrow indicating the Share Screen button
[Figure 4] Screenshot of the user interface at the bottom of the Zoom window when a Zoom meeting is running. Options for "Invite", "Manage Participants", "Record", "Closed Captions", "Breakout Rooms" and "Reactions" are displayed. There is a red arrow pointing at a  “Share Screen” icon to point it out as the option that should be clicked in this step.

Step 7. Select the iPhone/iPad option.

Screenshot of the Zoom share options window. The option “iPhone/iPad” is selected
[Figure 5] Screenshot of the Zoom dialog window titled “Select a window or an application that you want to share”. The dialog contains panels for all of the applications that are running on the computer. The option for “iPhone/iPad” is selected.

Step 8. Click on the share button


Step 9. Zoom will now display screen mirroring information

NOTE: Your iPhone/iPad must be on the same WiFi network as the computer that is running your Zoom meeting.  

Screenshot showing the Screen Mirroring connection information for the iPhone/iPad
[Figure 6] Screenshot of the screen mirroring connection instructions with the following text displayed: On your iPhone or iPad: 1. Connect to Wi-Fi network. Please connect to the same network as this PC. 2. Tap Screen Mirroring. How to find it: swipe down from the top right corner of the screen. On iOS 11 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. 3. Choose [the name of your meeting]. Don’t see it? Restart your device.

Step 10. On your iPhone/iPad access the control center – this varies by iOS version and device:

  •  On an iPhone X or later, swipe down from the top-right corner of your screen. To close, swipe up from the bottom of the screen or tap the screen.
  • On an iPhone 8 or earlier, or iPod touch, swipe up from the bottom edge of any screen. To close, tap the top of the screen or press the Home button.

Step 11. Tap Screen Mirroring and select the option that matches the information shown on Zoom. Your iPhone/iPad screen should appear on Zoom on your computer.


Step 12. Toggle to the Camera app on your iPhone/iPad. Make sure you turn the device, so it is in an horizontal, or landscape, orientation.


Step 13. Place your device carefully between the top two cans and align your paper underneath.

Screenshot of the iPad Camera app screen, shared through the Zoom interface


Step 14. In the Zoom toolbar along the top of the screen, click on the More drop-down and select the Record on this Computer option.

Screenshot of the More drop-down menu from the Zoom in-meeting shared-screen toolbar. The More drop-down is activated and the “Record on this Computer” option is highlighted
[Figure 7] Screenshot of the menu that pops up on the screen when a user clicks on the “More” option on the share screen interface in Zoom. The menu that is displayed as a result of clicking on “More” has an option for "Record on this Computer" with a yellow box around it showing users where it is on the menu.

Step 15. Begin your lecture or demonstration. Proceed through your content as you normally would.


Step 16. When you are done, click on the More drop-down in the top Zoom toolbar and select the stop recording option.


Step 17. You can now stop the share by clicking on the red Stop Share button in the top Zoom toolbar.

Screenshot of the Zoom in-meeting shared-screen toolbar
[Figure 8] Screenshot of the user interface at the bottom of the Zoom window when a Zoom meeting is running. It contains the text and icons for the following options: “Mute”, “Start Video”, “Manage Participants”, “New Share”, “Pause Share”, “Annotate”, and “More”. Just below the interface is a callout flag that is part of the interface that contains the meeting ID, and a red button that says “Stop Share” with a stop icon.

Step 18. You will be taken back to the main meeting interface.


Step 19. Click on End Meeting and then End Meeting for All when prompted.


Step 20. Your recording will be located in C:\Users\COMPUTER USER\Documents\Zoom\YOUR FILE.mp4 .


Step 21. Upload your file to MyMedia (Kaltura) in WebCampus and publish to your courses as needed.

PRO TIP: You only need to upload a file once to your MyMedia, and you can use it across multiple courses, across multiple semesters.


Step 22. To request captions, please email captions@unr.edu. Be sure to include the video title. Allow approximately 5 days for captions to be processed.