Remember listservs? I guess people still use them, but they really seem so 1990’s to me. Regardless, I’m still on a couple different listservs, and from time to time, there IS good information that comes through the barrage of emails that fill my inbox. Very often, the people who are emailing the listserv are looking for help, assistance and/or answers to their questions. I can appreciate this. Occasionally, I take time to write a decent email and respond back to those questions. I hate doing it though. I wish these listserv people would move their “conversations” to a more open forum, like Twitter, a Facebook group, or possibly even Google+, but many of them are not ready for that, or just not interested. I hope that changes.

Until then, I have very little choice in how I add my voice to the conversation other than writing an email back to the listserv. I took that rather antiquated approach to professional learning and sharing this morning when I wrote a decent email to the people in the NAEYC Technology & Young Children Interest Forum about how I am using iOS devices with young children to take photos and videos. Upon completion, I thought that the information the email contained might be valuable to people outside the listserv, so I’m sharing it here.

This is the email that started things:

Thanks Brian, for sharing about how you introduce the iPad to your preschoolers, and the case you use. Helpful to know/share, as preschool programs consider investing /finding funding for iPads in their room, and may be concerned if the iPad would be accidentally dropped/broken. Your careful explanation and opportunities to practice iPad carrying “techniques” sound like they have worked well for you, particularly if the iPads are available for the children to use independently.

I would be very interested to hear more about the use of the iPad camera with the Kindergarten children-please do keep us posted, and/or invite your Kindergarten teacher to join the listserv/conversation…

If others have started using iPads with young children and have additional comments to share, would love to hear them!

all best,

Here’s my brief response:

The young children in our programs love to take pictures and make videos with the iOS devices! As far as using the iPad for photo/video creation, I’ve observed that the device seems too large for preK-2 students to easily handle with 1 hand. Holding the devices with 2 hands and “clicking” the shutter button also seems somewhat cumbersome for the children. What I prefer to do is provide choice in device for young children. We have a mix of iPads and iPod Touch and I let the children choose the device they feel comfortable using for the task at hand. When it comes to taking photos or shooting video, most of out preK-2 students grab an iPod Touch. I think it is because they can easily hold that iOS device with one hand.

As far as apps for photos and video, we’re using the following apps, some pay and some free.

I absolutely love this app and it’s free! We use it to record audio podcasts of up to 5 minutes in length. The children love recording their voices and listening back to them. Teachers can also record Boos that model fluent reading for children to listen to. In many cases, we also ask the children to listen and “read” along in the children’s literature title that has been recorded. Published podcasts can include an accompanying picture and are available on the iOS device, on the web and can also be embedded in blogs, wikis, etc… I also use this app with my 4 year old son so he can post audio comments to his Twitter account ( Example:!/bruecka23/status/85865358921183232

Another free app. This one allows you to “livestream” video to the web via “channels.” Videos recorded with Ustream can also be archived on you webpage as well as exported to your YouTube page. The one downside to this app is that Ustream free accounts contain advertising, so when people go to watch your videos, they often have to sit through a 15 second ad before viewing.

Currently my favorite camera app for iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad2. This app costs $.99, but it is worth it for the additional features the app provides beyond the iOS native camera app. App allows you to crop & edit photos, apply filters and borders, plus more. It also has a stabilizer feature to prevent blurry pics, which I find extremely beneficial when young children are taking pics. I also like the tight Twitter integration which allows us to post pictures to the web and provide the links to them via our Twitter feed.

360 Panorama
Another $.99 app, this allows you to create 360 degree panoramic shots. Not necessary, but pretty fun. Kids love it! Sharing options include integration with Twitter and Facebook.

TtV Basic
A free app that has filters that simulate older models of cameras. Basic version is limited, but includes a couple filters that are neat.