I'm starting this thread to link you good folk to another discussion running in the MLE Reference group on the use of flip cameras - and how, in some schools, these are now being overtaken by iPods or similar.
It seemed a good question to bring to this group as well, as many of you will be reviewing budgets for next year, and pondering over the best way to invest those dollars;-)
How do you capture what's going on in the classroom?
Which technologies do you use and, most importantly, why?
I have always used my personal camera in and out of the classroom and then loaded up the images to the computer and then put everything into a folder. Looking back this was a long way to go about thing,s but the norm. Now that I have 2 ipads in the classroom these are used daily for photos and capturing video. Videos are loaded straight to YouTube and are then shared with the children. This gives them immediate feedback on work and recognition for the amazing things we do. Photos are a bit different: these get checked in groups, which I email to myself and then load into folders. This works well and means again children can use these images. Through a VLN thread TODAY even, I just learnt how to blog using the camera roll and email from the ipad. This function will allow my class to take photos and then upload it themselves with a description. This will turn the blog and photo responsibiloty more on them rather than myself. Being a Junior class I was always prepared to do this but I have some very capable Year 2's and 3's who will jump at this oppurtunity.
We also post to facebook from the ipad which means we can share work daily if we wish with our whanau.
I use a mixture of my personals cameras (yes I have more than one), class cameras, iPods and iPads.
I teach my students about photography, angles and other bits and pieces which they can then apply to video as well. The kids and I document eveything through photos. Every event, something exciting that happens in class, accomplishments etc. After going to uLearn I started getting the children to take videos to explain their learning which has been such a great tool in the classroom.
We put our photos on blogs, display them in class and add them to our publishing.
I like how easy iPods and iPads are to use but I don't like their image quality (I like my photos and videos nice and crisp). I also like that iPods and iPads have so many uses other than just cameras so you can use them for so much more.
In the end I think its a question of how often are you going to use cameras (will they sit there when you're not taking photos not being used)? How important is image quality to you?
If I was restocking a school/class with digital cameras now I would go for ipods, I know the picture quality isnt so great but for the most part we post the photos to blogs or use them in apps so don't need great quality photos and the advantages far outway this one disavantage. Advantages are ease of use, size, lightweight, built in apps with photo effects and video included, also the fact that when they are not being used as cameras they have a ton of other uses, where a digital camera doesn't. : ) see blogging direct from ipod email link as referred to by Josie above.
I have 5 cameras in my class and we use these all the time to show our learning. I also have a flip video and use this a lot. I personally like using the flip video as you can then take a snapshot from it and use. I like using the flip video for the detail it can catch where a camera doesn't always. This is a video I made from using the flipvideo (http://thelearninghive.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/bubble-blowing.html). Cameras are good as you can teach the children about photography and have good quality pictures. I thiknk we also learn to work with what we have got as often we don't have a say in the equipment that is being purchased.
We have recently had the discussion about whether to update classroom computers with more cameras or ipod/ipad devices. As a staff we use a mix of personal cameras from smartphones (which are the easiest) to SLR's etc. It was decided by the majority to go ipad as they can be used for a number of things. So 9 of our 10 classes now have 1 each and we are setting challenges to get them using them for recording learning either as stills or movie then uploading to class blogs and WebDAV for the server. All going well so far. We would like to up our numbers to ideally at least 3 per class next year.