As we move further into the digital age the photography department at North Tahoe High will be using digital cameras in the photography class. Right now 34 students share 10 cameras thanks to the Excellence in Education grant I received last year. This year, I would like to request 10 more cameras so we have 20 cameras for students to use. Next year, I will ask for 10 more and then I will have a complete class set.
Unlike film cameras, there are many advantages to using digital cameras when teaching depth of field, shutter speed, and aperture. One benefit is that students see the effects of the camera options instantly. When students learn how to use the elements of exposure on a digital camera, they will be able to use that knowledge and apply it when using film cameras. Students will better understand the photography concepts and apply their knowledge to technology they are more likely to use in their future. So far the use of the digital cameras has expanded the students' knowledge of how exposure works on the camera. The students are enjoying using the digital cameras and applying their knowledge to the film cameras. Also, the digital cameras have decreased the cost per student in the photography class.
With digital, I will am able to see what students accomplish each day on their photography lesson, which helps me measure their achievement daily. I will also have the chance to show students what they need to do to take better photos and they can do it instantly. When we use film cameras, we need to develop film, make a contact sheet, and then a print to see how the elements of exposure affected their photo. This process could take a week or longer to measure their success. But on a digital camera we can see the effects instantly. Students can see if they took a photo that meets the objectives instantly or take more photos if needed. With film it can take a week to see if they have a photo that meets the objectives and then retake their photos. Students and teacher will be able to measure success and achievement instantly. Reteaching can happen right away.
Right now students share the 10 digital cameras while also using film cameras. Students share the digital cameras during each project. Students shot the assignment on film and digitally. Some students start the project shooting the assignment with the digital camera and then they apply that knowledge and shot the assignment with their film cameras. (others start with the film cameras) Students will have to take turns with the digital and film cameras and will be able to complete photography lessons on both types of cameras. When I get a class set; Students will be able to use both types of cameras on all photography lessons from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. Students will have specific cameras checked out to them and they can simultaneously work on both types of cameras while completely the lesson. Students use photoshop on their Chromebooks. They will be able to see the effects of camera exposure instantly and apply the knowledge when shooting with the film camera. (Cannon educational camera program has promotions that make each camera cheaper the more cameras you buy) The photography department will slowly phase out film cameras and move towards only using digital cameras. This change from film to digital, over time will save money. Printing digital photos is a lot cheaper and safer than developing film chemicals and making prints with an enlarger. Film processing over the last few years the price has increased and will continue to go up. It's a shame to lose the art of film photography. But we do need to move into the future.
The manual functions of the camera will never change and this is what I am teaching the students.
I think by having more digital cameras, this grant can be applied throughout the school. My PLC can use the cameras along with other staff at the school. Teachers and students can use the cameras to take photos and videos of events in the classroom. My photography students can use the cameras to take yearbook photos of sports and events. The cameras can be available as a resource for others to use when needed. My PLC this year is working on visual literacy. If teachers want to use a camera to incorporate visual literacy into their curriculum, they can.
Measure A funds all the costs for the photography class for the students.
These cameras can be used by up to 34 students per year for many years to come. Each camera will last 7 to 10 years The Price of ten cameras went up by $158.95 compared to last year. If we buy 20 Cameras this year the cost would be $9,679.74 Finally, the faces on the students while using the digital cameras is priceless.