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The Digital Camera in Education


Dr. Terence Cavanaugh

Digital Camera:
An electronic device that digitizes images, today you can find one in just about any cell or smart phone.

The focus with this site is to provide information on digital cameras in today's mobile phones and how it can be integrated into the educational process.

The majority of students today have their own cell or smart phones. One things that we can do to stop having them use them for purposes and distractions that we don't want, is to begin to use them as the educational tools that they show so much potential for. Photos may be used in many different types of classroom lessons. Here are a few application that your and your students cell or smart phone's digital camera  may be used for:

  • illustrate steps in a procedure, to aid in writing "how to" paragraphs
  • use a photo as a prompt for narrative or descriptive writing
  • school newspaper, class newspaper or newsletter
  • graphics for written reports and presentations
  • write letters to pen pals and others (such as reading buddies in another grade), inserting photos
  • send photos via e-mail to electronic pen pals
  • e-mail class updates to parents, with attached photos
  • class books
    • write a class novel with live-action photos as illustrations
    • ABC alphabet book [use real objects to enhance letter sound correspondence]
    • We Spy books [go on a scavenger hunt throughout the school as an extension for a completed unit]
    • sequencing books [especially useful to sequences which cannot be brought to school for students to experience]
    • big books [to make a photo large enough for a big book, resize photo for whole page and print out - you can then run it through a poster maker to enlarge it even further]
  • All About Us [take photos of students and let them write about themselves - this is especially good for Kindergarten!]
  • take photos on field trips, to aid in writing about them later
  • publicize a class play or project

Other ideas for using the digital camera with projects and presentations include:

  • make personalized name tags or desk plates
  • recording projects and presentations for Open House
  • create a digital class archive
  • demonstrate vocabulary, emotions, compare/contrast
  • observe weather over a period of time
  • student portfolio
  • illustrate process for complicated projects
  • illustrate a science experiment
  • document growth of classroom plant or pet
  • demonstrate a P.E. exercise
  • develop a student-generated, graphical web research site as a school showcase

Digital cameras in education