The Overviewer app, made by developer Charlie Chapman, has been designed to help teachers use their iPhone or iPad camera as a replacement for an overhead document viewer.
In the pre-corona world, teachers could easily show students a printed document, book, hand drawing, or other hard copy study material in the classroom. However, the scenario changed with the online classes that are being held due to the global pandemic.
The app works as a replacement by taking advantage of Zoom’s built-in screen sharing feature that functions with the iPhone after it is connected to a computer. The idea for developing the app came into Chapman’s mind after seeing his wife faces such issues as a kindergarten teacher. He also noted the way she was frustrated by the lack of landscape support and all the buttons overlaid on-screen.
“So being the dorky husband that I am, I quickly built an app that does nothing other than show what the phone camera sees with zero chrome and properly rotates the whole app so that you can share it in landscape on zoom. This did the trick and she actually used it!
It’s pretty tailor-made for exactly my wife’s use case but I would think that would be a pretty common one for teachers to be in right now in our current virtual teaching world”, said Chapman.
The app is available for free on the App Store. If you are using the app on Mac, Zoom will ask for permission to record your screen and you will have to restart to share your phone’s screen. It is because Zoom simply displays the phone screen on the computer and then captures the window.