Teaching young children to take photographs is one of my favourite uses of technology in the early years. The potential of children’s photography is rich in learning opportunities for many areas of learning and a purpose which supports all aspects of the Enabling Environment principle.
The cold weeks of January and the frosty mornings gave perfect scenes for outdoor photography at our Woodland Workshop so our iPads came with us. Children were challenged to take close up photographs of the frost. They needed to get closer, and even closer, then wait for the camera to focus before pressing the shutter button. It needed a steady hand and firm grip but the children needed an artistic eye too. Children had to look closely at the frosty environment and notice patterns. A good photograph works with the rule of thirds and the more photography children admire the more their eyes are trained to capture good images. Photography is an opportunity for children to explore the beauty around them.
Stimulating and Relevant Resources
Our woodland area is probably the most stimulating and relevant resource the children have access to. Every week the environment changes. I would argue technology is another stimulating resource they have access to because their lives are impacted by it (for the good and for the bad!) Whether or not their access to technology is positive or negative, it is our role to teach and model good skills and use to the children. The early learning goal states that children need to use technology for a ‘particular purpose’ and photography does exactly that. I teach the children to capture close up, focused images of the frost and the purpose is for them to notice the patterns and beauty of winter. The photography focuses their attention on the small details of winter and the application of photography in outdoor learning is a genuine use for technology outdoors; photographers work outdoors with cameras, it is a real world purpose.
Rich Learning Opportunities
Back in the classroom I use AirDrop to transfer all of the photographs on to the teacher iPad and from there I can print them via AirPrint. If your school doesn’t have AirPrint enabled printers, then install a cloud storage app like OneDrive on an iPad and on your computer to transfer the photographs for printing.
Within minutes, their photographs are printed and arranged in a class gallery. This is where outdoor learning and technology use creates a purposeful link to writing. With speech bubbles, pencils and key words displayed, children are motivated to write reviews of the photographs. It’s a social, communication, physical and literacy enhancement of the continuous provision in the classroom. Photography links technology to science, writing and language.
Children also extended photography in to art, painting pictures inspired by what they had noticed in their photographs.
Here is a gallery of some of the children’s beautiful photographs:
To learn more about children’s photography and read more ideas for planning photography over the year, download my free book ‘The Rich Potential of Young Chidren’s Photography’ for free on Apple Books.