Using the camera on your classroom iPads
So the camera on the classroom iPad is turning out to be one of the most useful features for us! It’s so easy to use, and so easy to share pictures that we’re turning to it more and more often. Here are five ways that we or other teachers we know have used the iPad camera in the classroom.
1. Use the camera capture student creations.
We’ve got a really creative bunch this year. The things our kids are creating in the block area are amazing. As much as our students like to knock down their towers, there have been days when I’ve been sad to see these genius works destroyed! The iPad camera is a quick and easy way to document the work, and save it for their end of the year portfolios.
2. Take pictures to help parents understand challenging behavior.
We parents often don’t see our own children with objectivity. Some parents struggle to see their child’s strengths. Others have trouble recognizing when their child is having difficulties. A photograph or video can often help restore that objectivity. I know several teachers who have used a camera to document challenging behavior and then shared it with the child’s parents in a gentle manor. Parents who previously had difficulty understanding a teacher’s concerns, were able to fully appreciate why certain behavior was creating difficulties for the student, her classmates, or the teacher. I even know of a teacher of older children who was able to share this kind of video with the child himself. Once this child saw himself on film, he realized how inappropriate his behavior was, and instantly wanted to make changes.
3. Use the video camera to record students reading aloud.
It can be challenging to catch all of the details when you’re trying to take a running record of a student reading. If you record the child’s reading, you can go back and check for accuracy in your own notations. You could also use this video to share the reading process with parents during conference time.
4. Use the camera to share snapshots with parents.
This year we started sharing snapshots with parents during the school day and the parents love it. We use a checklist to make sure we consistently get pictures of all of the children. As we capture a sweet shot, we’re able to use the iPad email to quickly shoot the image off to the parents. They love getting little updates during the day and the iPad makes it super easy to send the picture to the parents.
5. Teach the children to use the camera to add pictures to their writing.
In previous posts, I’ve shared about how we sometimes ask children to journal on the iPad. Usually we have them draw a picture to go with their writing, just like they would on paper. There have been times though, when it’s been appropriate for children to use a photograph in their writing. Even preschoolers have been able to learn how to take a picture and then insert the image into their writing. My own son hated the picture drawing aspect of journal writing. He would have loved the chance to add a photograph instead.
I know there are many other iPad camera uses out there. How have you used the camera on your classroom iPads? I’d love to hear your ideas!