Sunday, September 29, 2013

"May I take your picture?" - iPad Photography in the Classroom

Last week we had another introductory lesson for iPad use with our First Grade students, which focused on taking pictures.  We started by discussing why we might need to take a photo of someone.  Perhaps the student might need an image of a person in the story he is writing.  Maybe she is creating a photo collage to demonstrate something learned.  Teachers want to have photos of students to document what is happening in the classroom.  There are so many reasons why we might need to take a picture at school.  Now with iPads in the classroom, it is ridiculously easy to take multiple photographs.

In the classroom – how do you make sure everyone is ok with the picture?  To demonstrate, the First Graders acted out several scenarios and we created a flow chart on the board. 

1. Ask the other person if you can take their picture.  If they say no – stop.  Go find another person and start over.

How often do teachers just start snapping away in class to document the activity? 

2.  If the other person says yes, take the picture, and then show it to the other person for approval.  If he doesn’t like it, retake the picture until it meets his approval.

I know as a teacher, I am often guilty of not doing this step.  When every child asks, “Can I see the picture?” I am thinking that I have 24 kids to photograph and showing each of them the picture will take time.  In reality, it isn’t too much time to show the picture and retake it if the child requests.  More often than not, children are happy with what they see!

3.  Once the picture is taken and approved, tell the other person what you are planning to do with it.  Then show them!

All of these steps may seem like very strict guidelines, but we are looking at a life lesson here.  If children can learn at this young age that they need to ask to first take then share someone’s image first, maybe then as these students get older, they will think twice before posting an embarrassing picture of their friend.

One of my goals for the year is to constantly be aware of when I am photographing the students in my class and letting them know.  I plan on telling the children that I am going to post the pictures to our class website and then showing it to them.  I was able to put this process in practice immediately as we made a grade wide movie trailer for a school assembly last week.  I had to explain to all 48 first graders what was happening, why we were photographing them and retaking several shots when students weren’t satisfied with the initial results.  It didn’t take as much time as I thought it would, and was a nice reminder to me that this is an important practice to demonstrate as we are asking the students to do the same thing.

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