Introducing digital cameras in the classroom

The first lesson I always give is how to take care of the camera.

These are the rules I teach:
1. The camera must always be around your neck.
2. When walking, hold the camera with your hand.
3. Never touch the lens.
4. Leave the camera off until you are ready to take a photo (this helps preserve the batteries).
5. Wait for instructions before removing the camera from its case.
*Because the cameras are relatively expensive and must be used with utmost care for them to last, I always emphasize that not following these rules means the camera gets taken away. I have been able to use digital cameras with students as young as 5 years old, and after three years, they are as good as new.

After going over the rules, I point out the on/off button, the lens, and the viewfinder (see also Parts of the Camera lesson). Then I assign each student a camera that has been numbered. I guide them through removing the camera safely from the case, how to turn the camera off and on, and how to view the potential photo through the viewfinder or by using the LCD screen (some new digital cameras do not have separate viewfinders and only have the screen). Students are then asked to take 1 or 2 pictures and I show them how to review the photos in the camera. Then the cameras are turned off and safely put back into their cases. I ask the students to keep the cameras around their necks until I take the camera from them.