Incorporating digital images into the primary school classroom using digital cameras, scanners, or web cams can enhance students’ understanding of concepts and get them excited to learn. The author provides several strategies for using digital images in the younger grades, including the following:
1. Take pictures of each child on the first day of school and post them outside the classroom door. Parents will know at a glance where their child belongs, and students will feel like they’re part of the class.
2. Laminate and mount a set of student photos on index cards for the students to use when they vote on issues in class. Each child places his or her picture beneath the appropriate word or choice on the chalkboard or bulletin board, and students can easily compare which item received the most votes. This also keeps over-eager kids from voting more than once.
3. Use a set of student photos for seating charts, so substitute teachers or visitors to the class can match each child with his or her respective seat easily. Photos also will help teachers learn each child’s name more quickly.
4. Have students use digital images of themselves to put together class journals.
5. Use candid photos of students to communicate with parents and let them know how their child is doing in class. Paste individual shots into a word-processing or drawing document and add a short message such as “Kevin was caught doing good,” then sign and eMail or send the file home to parents.
6. Have students create personalized holiday cards for family members. Each student can take a head snapshot with a digital camera, copy the photo into a drawing document, choose an appropriate background image from the application’s library, add a greeting to the card, then print and sign it.
7. Have students create postcards, puppets (using animal images from a drawing application or the internet), a class ancestry album, or projects such as “The Day I Met” a famous person (for example, a report about “The Day I Met Mozart” might include a photo that shows the student shaking Mozart’s hand; beneath the photo would be a report the child has written about the event).