Today whilst helping out in our daughters school I spotted that the teachers were documenting the children and the activity they were doing with the school iPad. Which I thought was great. 

So, here is a brief blog post with some tips to help all of you teachers and teaching assistants. 

1. Camera lens - keep the camera lens on the reverse of the iPad clear of scratches and dust as best as you can. Give it a wipe every now and again!

2. Composition - Three is the magic number. As well as 6, 9 and 11 actually. Human beings seem to strangely find odd numbered things more appealing, memorable, and effective than even-numbered groupings.

*note three items on the top of the table, three books on the shelf. 

How you can adapt this to the classroom .... three students taking part in a activity, three pieces of work, three books. 

image source Pinterest: credit Folksy.

image source Pinterest: credit Folksy.

 3. Child Protection - if a childs face is not meant to be identified in the images why not ask them to hold their work up against a classroom wall & point to it whilst you photograph from behind. This is another variation on standing over them at a desk photographing over their shoulder. You could also get them to hold out items they have created or written and photograph their hands holding them. 

4. Lower the iPad to their height when you photograph them doing their work, talking or demonstrating something. When you photograph from above you make your subject look slightly more vulnerable. Eye level is great.

5. Tap your screen to alter the brightness and focus before taking the shot.  

6. Think about using window light to light your subjects and their work. For EYFS does a patch of light fall through the window on to the carpet? Could you get the children to work in that position, demonstrating taking turns, small finger movements doing a jigsaw etc. It can take your pictures from so, so to really lovely.  

7. Rule of thirds - imagine cutting the screen into thirds ... put your subject on the third. Straight away it makes your images look better. 

Above - although the image is a bit busy it shows the plant pot being on the third. 

Above - although the image is a bit busy it shows the plant pot being on the third. 

Above - plant pot and flowers are fairly central but a bit blah!

Above - plant pot and flowers are fairly central but a bit blah!

8. Set up a grid in camera so you know where your third is. Go to iPad: Settings, Photos & Camera and select Grid. 

9. Keep the iPad nice and steady whilst you click the shutter. If working at eye height balance your elbows on the desk.

10. Consider using the timer. 

I hope these tips have helped in some small way. 


If you are a parent reading this you may be a bit puzzled. Basically post it notes, taking photographs, printing them, cutting, then sticking them are gradually becoming less common. Reporting systems such as Tapestry are aiding teaching staff to document/evidence our children's work and activities in a far more user friendly & cost saving format. Taking pictures on the iPad, making notes as they go along. It's the future. 


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