A visualiser is a basically a powerful digital camera device that points downwards. It's effectively is a camera mounted on a stand that connects via the classroom projector or teacher computer. Visualisers are also known as a document camera. Visualisers are becoming increasingly popular in classrooms. In many ways, a visualiser is a ‘modern’ combination of a camera, a microscope and the overhead projector. This lets the teacher show things to the class using their interactive whiteboard or display in their classroom. This enables the teacher to display objects, documents and pictures with superb clarity. Most visualisers allow the teacher to zoom in and out. When connected to a PC you can capture the image as a digital photograph or a video clip. Some visualisers allow you to freeze the image on the screen. This allows the teacher to remove the object whilst it continues to be displayed. You may even be able to then split the screen and, therefore, display two objects at once, to compare and contrast. Some visualisers allow the teacher to scroll by using a button to move the camera slowly up or down the image. This would allow the teacher to scroll through the text being displayed.
Visualisers are great devices to use alongside an interactive whiteboard because they enable you to show items to all of the pupils in the class via your interactive whiteboard without the need for a scanner.