10+ Innovative Ways to Use the iPad Camera with your Students

10+ Innovative Ways to Use the iPad Camera with your Students

1. Getting Started with iPads and Cameras/Photos

  • It’s very important that your students know how the iPad manages photos and uses the build in cameras. See the following tutorial for more info here: http://www.wikihow.com/Use-the-Cameras-on-Your-iPad-2
  • Moving Photos and Images to and from iPads and other iDevices can be managed several ways.
    1. Plug iPad into computer and allow iPhoto or some other photo management program such as Picasa upload the photos to the computer.
    2. Use the iPad Camera connector to connect the iPad to USB storage or camera card or even another iPad!
    3. Use Dropbox to synch photos between 2 or more devices. You can have all student iPads logged into DropBox under the same account in minutes, all sending the photos to a secure, online account as well as you teacher computer. Any document can be moved to and from the iPad using DropBox. It is an invaluable tool! For more information check out this article: How to use DropBox in the Classroom


2. iPad Camera as Capture Tool: Instead of writing, try speaking, displaying visuals, going on location and reporting, gather primary source material instead simply relying on secondary material.

  • Interviewing grandparents.
  • Take video of school, make a school tour to promote your school
  • scavenger hunt to find examples of topics covered in class: Geometric shapes, symmetry in nature
  • field trip to pumpkin patch,
  • Become a news reporter and use an iPad to do everything from note-taking to photographs to multimedia production, do a show-and-tell with multiple pictures of things that are a long distance away. Now you can show interactive media, pictures, and video of objects that you never would have been able to show in the classroom. You could do this with family members as well if you’re doing a few lessons about genealogy, family trees, etc.
  • Conduct interviews, produce entire podcasts, record role-play scenarios, and use iMovie to edit and create an entire film.
  • https://vimeo.com/groups/sd34imovie iPad Movie Trailers

3. iPad as Photo Processing Tool

  • One of the most powerful aspects of using an iPad for taking photos is that it doubles as a photo enhancing/managing tool. Before, you had to shoot your photos with one device, then transfer them to another device to work with them. Here are a few options
    • Photo App. Cropping photos is the most common task, along with basic contrast and red eye correction. You can make albums as well as share photos to numerous services from the Photo App.
  • If you need to apply effects, there are many great free apps to do this. Adobe Photoshop Express, Camera Awesome. Do you need iPhoto? Not if you have these free apps: PhotoToaster Jr, Photo Editor by AviaryAdobe Photoshop ExpressInstagramCamera AwesomePic/Photo Collage – Fotolr
  • Typically we save all your work back to the Photo App Library. This ensures your photos are always available to and from all the iPad’s apps.

4. iPad as Stop Motion Movie Studio

  • Students love to produce stop motion videos. It’s a great way to dramatize stories in Language Arts, re-enact historical events in Social Studies, and even demonstrate Math knowledge while helping students to deepen their understanding. There are 2 great FREE apps to get students started:
  • Stop Motion Camera
  • NFB – PixStop – FREE in Canada. Only works on iPad 2 at this point.
  • iStopMotion by Boinx software out of Germany is best of breed in this class. Have a look at this video to see how it works.

5. iPad as Face to Face Communication Tool

  • Using the iPad as a video conferencing tool is very effective. In our district we have paired up Grade 5 and Grade 9 French Immersion students to participate in face – to – face conversations in French. FaceTime was the most efficient user of bandwidth in our tests (as opposed to Skype). This is a significant factor since our schools do not have sufficient bandwidth for more than a few simultaneous Video Conference Sessions to take place. Facetime is built-in to the iPads

  • Alternatives include Skype and Google+ Hangout.

6. iPad as Document Camera

Ever since the iPad 2 shipped with 2 cameras, teachers have been experimenting with it as a document camera. This video illustrates how this can be done. One major advantage of using the iPad is that it can be used Untethered (wireless) from the projector. It also can be used to record lessons including audio using the built-in video camera. iMovie can be used to polish the Video Lesson and to publish it to a variety of convenient spaces on line for students to access.

How-to videos for building your own iPad Document Camera frames abound on YouTube. Click here to see one such plan.

6. iPad as Video Camera and Film Studio All Rolled into One

Students love to make movies. Many teachers have encouraged students to use movie-making to help them deepen their learning and as an alternative to paper-based reports. Using conventional computer-based video editing suites, although very capable and powerful, often result in very long production times and as a result too many unfinished projects. Challenges include: transferring video to and from the camera, an over-abundance of optional effects (thereby creating an endless source of distraction for students), and publishing video in a format that can be easily presented to the class and teacher for viewing. iMovie for iPad is remarkable in how to solves most of these problems. It’s streamlined approach, the fact that it shoots and produces the video and photos on the same device, and the absence of formatting issues results in most students being able to produce a short video project in 1 or 2 classes. Here are a few example so students using the iMovie’s Movie Trailer Storyboarding feature to create Trailers for Stories that are “Yet to be Written.” vimeo.com/groups/sd34imovie

Travelling Lives from STaRT Education on Vimeo.

7. iPad as QR Code Reader

Any teacher who has attempted to get all their students to visit a particular website (either by telling them the URL or even putting the URL on the chalk board or Overhead) can attest to how frustrating this can be. No teacher I know would attempt to tell a class of Kindergarten students to go to http://start.sd34.bc.ca  and click on a particular word. Not happening! However, if the teacher went to http://qrstuff.com and entered the same URL in the QR Code generator, s/he could present the code on the screen or hand it out on paper for the students. Using a free QR Code reader, all students can quickly, easily and reliably navigate to all the websites the teacher intended. Below are soe links to learn more about using QR Codes and iPads in the classroom.  http://mobile34.ca/2012/05/01/qr-codes-in-the-classroom/

8. iPad as Image Capture Tool for Media Creation

In the same way as iMovie allows the film maker to capture video and produce a movie in the same app, many apps allow this to take place within the App thereby streamlining the workflow

One of the best examples of this is ComicLife for iPad. It has gotten rave reviews for being easy to use, powerful and just plane fun. Students need only minimal training on the app before they are creating amazing posters of storyboards. Click to learn more here.

9. iPad as remote monitor

Because iPads are designed to be connected to the internet all the time, using its camera to keep in touch with your office or home while you are away is very easy. Just make sure the iPad is secured. Many apps can be customized to continuously stream video from the iPad including Ustream

10. iPad as Camera, duh!

Suffice to say, the new iPad 4 has a fantastic camera. The only challenge is the risk of looking foolish holding it while filming an event. The screen is a rather large glowing object in a dark room. That being said, it is amazing how many people are using the iPad as a camera while at conferences or on vacation. It is a truly a versatile device!


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