A brief discussion after Christmas vacation about the merits of the Xbox over the newer Xbox 360 illustrated a continuing and growing fact of teaching.
I was talking with Corrie, a blonde fifth grader who looks like she should still be playing with dolls. Instead, she is an avid and intent gamer. Right now, she probably spends more time with her Xbox than with television—and spends more time with the two than with reading or other school activities.
Teaching these days involves competing with marvelous electronic gadgets—from the enhanced televisions to the Xbox 360—as well as with all the time students spend watching and using them. Student experience seems to have become so much more visual in nature that educators can't compete using the same tools we used when we were our students' age. Given the amount of information students now get visually, the ability to communicate and understand through visual means—visual literacy—is becoming increasingly important.
Digital cameras can successfully compete in this arena and promote visual literacy while motivating students in other learning activities. These cameras have become so much easier to use and are inexpensive enough that they offer some exciting possibilities for students and teachers. Student photos—and the process of taking and using them—create many highly motivational opportunities for reading and writing.
This article is intended to discuss digital cameras and to provide an overview of some of what is available. It is not intended to offer a detailed discussion of all of the features or a complete survey of the digital camera market. Instead, this information is intended to help readers learn enough about digital cameras to make informed purchasing and use decisions for their schools and classrooms.
Digital Cameras Defined
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