There are many ways to use a digital camera in the classroom, and this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The information here will help you understand the basics of the camera controls, and a few ideas to get you started.

Here's the handout for UMaine SummerTech 2012 :
Here's another pdf handout with additional graphics from this wiki page.

Here is the slideshare of the Castine presentation. The video examples are missing in an attempt to keep the file size down and the format functional.
(Use the link to the slideshare above if the embed didn't work below)

Link to the Science Cell Size Lab Voicethread mentioned in the slideshare
Link to the Ceramics Critique Voicethread mentioned in the slideshare

How to Use your Camera (Resources):

This producer for YouTube has 26 different cameras reviewed in similar 2-3 minute youtube videos. Link HERE for his page with all 26, and scan for a camera that looks like yours - or is a similar name brand.

Apple : Ten Tips for Capturing Great Photos
Macworld Article : Easy Solutions for Difficult Shots
Short Course in using your digital camera - links below to specific parts

BUYING a Camera : which one and where?

Factors :
Image size : How many Megapixels? Honestly, if you aren't printing over 8x10 in size and aren't cropping the image significantly, 3 or 4 megapixels are plenty. That said, most basic "point and shoot" digital cameras are 8 to 12 megapixels now (changing rapidly). More allows you to crop the image in the computer after it is shot and still have enough image left to print large.
Zoom : Optical zoom / digital zoom : Basically, don't use digital zoom - it's the same thing as cropping in on a computer after you shoot the image. The optical zoom factor of 3 or 4 is pretty standard, you'll pay more for a 10x. However, if you need to zoom in on things from a distance - a sporting event, a landscape from far away, the bird at the top of a tall tree - then it is worth it. A 10x zoom will also make the camera larger, so consider pocket-size as well.
ISO capabilities: the ISO references the relative sensitivity of the sensor, and ranges from 50 to about 1600 for most cameras (6400 in some new ones, but only top models). If you want to do slow shutter speed exposures easily, finding a camera that has a 50, 80 or 100 ISO for the low end would be helpful. If you are planning to shoot high speed photos or stop action in low light (ie: PE in a basic school gym), get one with at least an 800 top setting, if not 1600 to avoid blurred motion.
Aperture : if you are shooting macro photos and want more depth of field, the higher the aperture setting possible the better off you are. 11, 16, or 22 would be great (or somewhere in that range), as sometimes f-8 is the highest offered.
Shutter Speed : Having a "bulb" setting for extensive exposures can be useful for some specific situations. A 15-second or 30 second exposure at the high end is also fine for many science projects. Having a high shutter speed for stop motion is also useful - anything above 500 or 1000 is fine to stop water droplets, hummingbird wings, etc.
MANUAL or AV (aperture value) and TV (time value) controls : When you are using the features of the camera to control for aperture and shutter speed, you need to be sure the camera will let you set them yourself with something beyond an "auto" setting.

MEMORY CARDS : With memory prices going down all the time, it is best to get whatever memory you can for your price point. I'm currently purchasing 4GB cards for my classroom cameras, which allows us to shoot stills and short videos all day for a field trip without worrying about running out of memory.
Also, the current industry standard for memory cards is SD - not compact flash or micro-SD or others.

I don't know about you, but I need to be up and running with cameras ASAP when I reach for it. If your camera takes a proprietary battery, you have to be sure to charge it regularly, and/or have a second battery set to go. AA batteries allow you to have a handful ready to put in when the need arises, recharging the dead ones at that time without being left without a working camera. Be sure to get HYBRID batteries, though, to extend shooting time. Proprietary batteries do last a lot longer, so if you can afford to buy an extra battery for every 2-3 cameras, try that.

Where to buy?

B&H Photo video is my first stop. They take PO's, have all the accessories, good prices, reliable service, and access to extended warranties, which I highly recommend when using digital cameras with kids. One knock to the extended lens, and it's stuck . . . and has to go back for repairs.
I also always check Amazon for prices, as well as a basic price-checker like Bizrate or PriceGrabber or whatever your favorite is. Be sure to check the Package to see what you get for that price - if you are shopping for an SLR make sure it is for the body and a lens, not just the body.

Ideas for Classroom Use :

GREAT PDF based on Marzano : Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement Using Digital Cameras

Teachers might:
• Demonstrate "how to" to post with equipment in the classroom - add labels, zoom in on controls, etc.
• Document classroom / students for teachers professional portfolio
• Nonlinguistic representation of ideas
• Guide kinesthetic activity

• Documenting and then debriefing a field trip experience : kids with cameras engage with the subject matter
• Phrenology Project : students create a field guide to plants, animals, stones, etc in local area
• Document steps in science labs : students use images in their lab reports, or in a voicethread or wiki that explains what they did
• Documenting change over time : plants, crystals, bacteria cultures, tadpoles, etc.
• Use software (Image J) measure color, tone, darkness of subjects photographed
• Digital Storytelling (see links)
• Document student learning – process as well as product
• Create Writing Prompts
• Create How-To guides
• Community History Projects
• Time Lapse Photography
• Exercises in Classifying, categorizing, or compare / contrast
• Learning Portfolios
• Cues, questions and advance organizers

• Record student performance of a task in PE for assessment and review with students in slow motion, re-recording after practice to show improvement
• Record public speaking or oral presentation for assessment and review with students - both formative and summative
• Record foreign language speaking for assessment and review - formative and summative
• Record music performances, instrumental or vocal, for reflection
• Record drama performances for reflection, practice

Online Photo Editing sites / tools and Sharing

Splashup : online image editing, free, with layers, effects and filters. Works with picasa, flickr, and facebook images as well as uploads from desktop.
Flickr: photo sharing, ability to leave comments, area specific notes on images if kids have an account *free for limited number of pictures uploaded/month, $25/yr unlimited uploads Great for a class photosharing site.
Picasa : if you have a Google account (not Google Apps for Education, but a regular Google or Gmail account) you should definitely check out Picasa for photo sharing and easy embeds of slideshows.
Links for Digital Story Telling : Tools, ideas, etc.
Cog Dog : 50 ways to tell a digital story: Wikispace with examples of 63 (and counting) tools to use for digital story telling with an example
Miguel Guhlin's Share More Wiki on Digital Storytelling - fabulous wealth of information.
Wes Fryer's Digital Story Telling Tools wiki page
Vinnie Vrotny's class assignment reflecting on what Vietnam means. Great example of how to have online resources and guides for students in a film-making story telling assignment.
Educational uses for digital story telling from the University of Houston

Digitally Speaking: How to use voicethread wiki
LearningWeb2 : Voicethread examples from teachers and students everywhere, all in one spot

Several Steps Further :
Panorama : some software comes with the camera, you can also use Gimp, Photoshop Elements,
VR Panorama : Quicktime VR
3-d : stereoscopic photography
Strobe Photography
Time lapse video creation

Online Examples of Classroom Uses :

Maria Knee's Kindergarten Blog
Elementary & Middle School Blogs from Keith Kelley's Classes
iPhoto Galleries of Student work

Additional Resources :

Brunswick HS : Digital Cameras in the Classroom
WaconaElementary, GA : Using Digital Cameras in the Classroom
Dr. Cavanaugh's Digital Camera in Education - links in sidebar for applications, using, animations, panoramas, 15 second video, macro, math apps, etc.
Dr. Cavanaugh's Scopes and Lenses with digital cameras.
Time Lapse : How to, equipment options, tons of info (Nov 2007) - links to many examples at the bottom of the page.

Copyright Free or Creative Commons licensed image sources

Flickr - advanced search feature
Library of Congress on Flickr
Pics 4 Learning
Public Domain Images

Wayne Fulton's site A Few Scanning Tips - This has many many pieces of information about scanning, including detailed info on resolution, descreening, levels and histograms, etc. More than just "a few tips" for sure.

Created by Sarah Sutter March 2008; updated Dec 2009; updated July 2010; updated a little, but not all links checked, June 2012