Using Digital Cameras in the Classroom

Digital cameras can transform learning for your students. The possibilities are endless once you start thinking creatively. 

20 ways to use digital cameras in the classroom;

  1. Photos of spelling words in digital photo frame 
  2. Photo’s of classroom agreements/rules
  3. Include photos in post tests (students completing the mentioned activity)
  4. Students take photos of mathematical concepts around the school (patterns, angels, shapes…)
  5. Photos as a writing prompt
  6. Photo Story – Excursion (e.g. to aid writing a recount)
  7. Class and student blogs
  8. Digital Portfolios
  9. Steps in a procedure
  10. Prompt for narrative/descriptive writing
  11. ABC Alphabet Book
  12. Take photos of students which they use to write about themselves
  13. Observe weather (e.g. clouds, seasons)
  14. Illustrate a science experiment (e.g. growth of a plant)
  15. Demonstrate a PE exercise
  16. Images of assembling 3D objects
  17. Photo’s of nouns, verbs etc
  18. Use photos for graphing
  19. Create a slide show as an assessment
  20. Digital storytelling

It needs to be remembered that technology is insufficient on its own; it must be used in accordance with good pedagogy.

Good pedagogy engages, challenges, encourages and trusts students to do well.

When digital cameras are used in the classroom, it is important that the students are not simply taking photographs, but are enthusiastically using the photographs for purposeful knowledge which allows for engagement and active learning.

Digital cameras have the potential to make the content being taught, come alive.

They can also encourage students to think critically, use reasoning skills and foster curiosity

A useful framework;

1. Acquire: Students take photos and import them into the computer

2. Analyse: Students analyse the images according to the lesson outcome

3. Create: Students use technology to incorporate the images E.g. PowerPoint, blogs, moviemaker

4. Communicate: Students can then present their result to the class or a wider audience via the internet

Example Lesson

During art, students take photos of their artwork. The students then place their photos in move maker and add captions to each photo as an instruction to a procedure.

Safety Considerations

As digital cameras are breakable equipment in children’s hands, teachers should explain the rules of handling and using the cameras appropriately and safely. Students can then undergo training and receive a photographer’s badge which displays the rules on one side and the students’ photo on the front. The students may then be required to wear this around their neck on a piece of string when using the digital cameras.  

Image: Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What are your thoughts on incorporating digital cameras into the classroom?

Do you incorporate digital cameras into your classroom?

References

Berthiaume, G. (2011). 100 Ways to Use Digital Cameras. Retrieved August 14, 2011, from http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3122

Miller, L. (2003). Using Digital Cameras in the Classroom. Retrieved August 15, 2011, from http://www.wacona.com/digicam/digicam.html

Tubbs, J. (2011). Why Digital Images? Retrieved August 19, 2011, from http://futureofmath.misterteacher.com/digitalcameras.html

Advertisements

18 Comments

Filed under ICT & Technology

18 responses to “Using Digital Cameras in the Classroom

  1. Interesting ideas for using photography in the classroom. Our school is undertaking a Community Arts Project, using Photography as the focus. It has been amazing watching the students being skilled up and seeing the results. Our blog is http://slcap.global2.vic.edu.au/ in case you want to have a look. Having a few hints from an expert makes an amazing difference.

    Like

  2. What I love to do is use a digital camera to take video footage of the students. Useful for little learning moments you might lose otherwise, the kids get a huge kick out of it too. I think when I get out into the real-world I’ll make a student a roving reporter during the week and they get to interview others on their learning.

    Like

  3. We have whole class sets to loan out to groups. Students as young as Kindergarten get them and in the 5 years we’ve not had any issues. They respect the tool when empowered for a purpose. We bought lanyards for all cameras – instead of holding them while walking, they’re always around someone’s neck.

    Like

    • That is brilliant, thanks for sharing! I’m so glad to hear that it works so well in your school. You said the key words ’empowered for a purpose.’ The lanyards are also an excellent idea.Good work.

      Like

  4. Hi Ashley,
    Your blog is fantastic and it is so inspiring to see how eager and keen you are to share resources! That is what teaching and education is all about!
    Your posts about digital cameras is great, I encourage use of them by the class teachers for as many different events as possible. It records a digital history of school events/surroundings/snap shot in time!
    I am an ICT Teacher from Prep to Year 6, I try to encourage the use of photos that can be transformed into pieces of unique artwork such as pop art, or 3D art which shows their transferring of ICT skills across a variety of software/programs.
    I also love sharing with my students how to edit/crop/enhance photos using photo editing software, it is amazing the creations students can come up with!
    Students can create a digital journey of their school experiences, which can be turned into movies, stories,animations etc etc. What a wonderful way to document and hopefully preserve memories of school / education
    I love the suggestion of a lanyard for digital cameras, I will suggest this to the teachers in my school!

    Keep up your great work
    Cheers
    Raff Grasso

    Like

    • Hi Raff,

      Thank you for such a great comment! I’m glad you like my blog, sharing resources is definitely important!

      I think it is great that you support the use of digital cameras and you seem to have some great ideas! It definitely sounds like a great way to document school memories.

      I’m very glad you like the idea of the lanyards!

      Have a nice week,

      Ashley

      Like

  5. Chad Powers

    Great Blog-great ideas!! It is amazing to see what happens to even the most reluctant learner when you put a piece of technology in their hands! I’m excited to integrate digital photography into my science curriculum. Visual evidence-and seeing themselves-always makes labs and projects more fun. Thanks for the ideas!

    Chad

    Like

  6. Ellie

    I am going to try to incorporate using the digital camera with my life cycle of chicks unit coming up this spring. I have always taken pictures, but I hope my students will be able to take over the camera so I can see the experiment through their eyes! I hope the students are able to record the life cycle through the use of a digital camera.

    Like

  7. Maggie Pearson

    This is a really good resource for using digital cameras in my classroom this fall. Your blog is well put together, and easy to read! Thanks!

    Like

  8. Pingback: Inspire Change | An Aspiring Primary Teacher

  9. Amy Hanzal

    Thanks for the great ideas for using digital cameras in the classroom!! I am a reading teacher and am looking forward to having my kindergarten group make and ABC photo book. What a great way to create meaning and make connections. I am excited to see their responses to the lesson!

    Like

  10. Mufaro Zvisinachirevo

    fantastic ideas, thanks very much

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s