Recently I got to have some fun by helping out with a camera club at one of our elementary schools.
This group of kids stay after school to learn how to take good pictures using their digital cameras. With the emphasis on “good pictures” rather than technology.
Our goal for this session was to understand using the “sports mode” to freeze action. And what better action than flowing water.
But watching them also reinforced for me two big points about the impact of instructional technology.
First, despite all the expensive hardware and software we’ve poured into the classroom, I’m convinced the technology with the most potential for teaching and learning is inexpensive digital photography.
With good still cameras selling for well under $200 and (free, easy to use editing software), every classroom should have at least one and use it every single day.
Second, these cameras are just one example of the pocket-sized devices that are student-directed, anywhere, any time tools, allowing students to have more control over their own learning.
And in the end, they will have far more impact than all the interactive boards, clicker systems, even laptops. All those tools whose use is directed largely by adults.