With all of the amazing apps that can be downloaded onto iPads, I have found that we sometimes forget about the basic capabilities of our iPads, like the camera and video camera. Adding a camera and a video camera to your classroom can be so powerful. Kids can immortalize their creations and learning moments with this simple technology. Here are some ways to use these powerful tools:
1.) Allow students to take pictures or completed work. This is especially powerful for creations (blocks, Lego, patterns etc.) but also works for science experiments, building numbers with base ten blocks, drawings, writing etc. Kids can also take pictures of the evolution of their work. These pictures can later be shared with parents or included in an online portfolio.
2.) Take a photograph of a whole group brainstorming or mini lesson. These photographs can later be printed and added to Interactive notebooks, or left on the iPad to be brought up again later for reference. Earlier this week, I did a simple verbs lesson with my students, but didn’t have time for them to finish their independent practice worksheet. When I told the kids they would have to complete their practice later, I had a student ask me to take a picture of the board so she could reference it the next day.
3.) Let kids video their thinking. Have students explain their for problem solving, scientific understanding, critical thinking abut reading etc. to the video camera. Later you can review their thinking with them.
4.) Have kids interview each other. Students can learn about their classmates in the beginning of the year, or about the holidays or cultures of their students as the year goes on by interviewing one other student and then presenting all of the interviews to the class. They could also interview each other about a project or science experiment they created. Last year, my students created cars and then interviewed a partner about the steps they had taken.
5.) Send kids on a photo scavenger hunt to find a given topic in your classroom or school. Younger students can find all the items that begin with the letter of the week, items in groups of 5, or items of a given color. Older students can take pictures of nouns and verbs, simple machines, or the states of matter.
6.) Have kids create video summaries of stories they have read. The summaries don’t have to be long or complex, but can include an acting out of the basics of a book they have read. Students love to watch books come to life, so why not allow them to be the one who brings their story to life.
7.) Have kids interview an adult. Whether you are working on community helpers, or countries of the world. I am sure that there is an adult at your school who could give your students more information about a topic that interests them. Have them capture that information in a video interview.
8.) Let kids document their field trips. iPads are portable. Take them with you to the zoo or factory and let kids document their learning from their perspective – literally. Since pictures are taken from a child’s height, you can see exactly what they saw through their pictures.
9.) Document student’s physical growth. Take each student’s pictures on the first day of each month. At the end of the year, line up the pictures and have students watch how they have grown or changed, including haircuts, missing teeth etc.
10.) Create a misbehavior log. Am I the only one who has ever taken a picture of a misbehaving student to send to a parent? I hope not! Nowadays, we can add these pictures into Evernote, e-mail them directly to a parent or administrator, or simply keep a file that documents issues with those problem children. (Works well for falls and scrapes too!)
How do you use your iPad’s camera in the classroom?