17 Ways for Parents and Students to Use Smartphone Cameras During the School Year PLUS 6 Super Useful Apps for Students | Robyns.World
Smartphone cameras can be used as a powerful tool during the school year for both parents and students. Mom and Dad can utilize the camera as a great way to store important paperwork and information, create ways to reinforce learning at home, along with documenting the kids’ journey throughout the school year. Students can use smartphone cameras to get creative with their schoolwork, study, and learn even more.

Through my work with Verizon and OM Media Group (#MobileLiving) I have had the chance to use a wide variety of smartphones and other devices over the years. Even the older devices can handle most of these tasks. You can let your child borrow your own smartphone or give them one of your older smartphones to use for these types of school purposes.

17 Ways for Parents and Students to Use Smartphone Cameras

  1. First and Last Day of School Photo Memories
    While we all have those mugshot type school photos from our own childhood now we can be more creative with our kids. Take a photograph of them on the first day and last day of each school year. Have them hold a simple piece of paper with what grade it was and the year. There are plenty of fancier printable versions you can download also.
  2. Translate
    I love the Microsoft Translator app because I can take a picture of words on a sign or in a book or anywhere and it will translate it on the screen for me. The app does a few other translating tasks as well.microsoft translator
  3. Ease Fear of Unknown
    Before school starts visit the school and take photos of the school from many viewpoints. Driving up to the school, the front of the building, the door your child will use to go inside each morning, the hallways, their classroom from outside and from inside. Get as many as you can and don’t forget about areas like playgrounds, bathrooms, lunchrooms, library, gymnasium and the principals office. Print out these photos and label them with your child and hang up in your home to talk about so they are less fearful of the start of school. This is particular good for younger kids or kids with anxiety issues of any age.
  4. Face Recognition
    Taking photos of new teachers, teachers aides, counselors, principals, staff and other school workers and labeling them with their name also can help with anxiety, but it also helps kids learn the names of all of these people.
  5. Photograph or Scan Special Flyers Sent Home
    Once school is in session the flyers start coming home with the kids. They have information on important dates at school, after school events, schedule changes, etc. If you tend to forget where you put these pieces of paper take a photo of them as soon as you see them to keep on your phone. That way you have the info with you at all times. Many of us put these on the fridge when they come home but most of the time we are not in front of the fridge when we need the information.Photograph Important Flyers Sent Home From School
  6. Create Flashcards
    Use your camera to take pictures of items and then use the built in photo editor or another app to add text to those images to create digital flashcards. For younger kids this might be taking pictures of say math related items like clocks set at certain times, groups of items to help learn counting, etc. For older kids even taking photos of images in their textbooks and adding simple text to help them learn will help.
  7. Video Chat to Connect and Study
    If your kids are away at college or at boarding school, use services like Skype or Facetime on your phones to have a video chat with them. These services are very easy to use and it is much better to see how our kids are along with speaking to them. This is also useful to take a few minutes to study with the kids when you can’t be at home with them in the evening.Skype with Students
  8. Create a Yearbook
    Collecting photos throughout the school year of your kids doing school activities along with taking photos of their papers, projects, and even art class creations allows you to create a personalized yearbook for them for each school year.
    school yearbook
  9. Magnifying Glass
    Turn on your camera to get a magnified view of something. You can simply zoom in by pinching and pulling or you can take an image and then zoom in by pinching and pulling to get the desired view. This is great for all those things with tiny print, especially for older parents or anyone with sight limitations.
  10. Mirror
    Super simple, just open up your camera and switch to “selfie” mode to see yourself! Very handy if a student is getting ready to do a presentation in front of the class or for parents rushing in from work for a meeting with the teacher.
  11. Remember Your License Plate
    For older students who are driving to school this is handy. Take a photo of your license plate so you have it handy for filling out forms for parking passes and such.license plates
  12. Backpack Ready
    Take a photo of each child’s backpack and the everyday items that they should make sure are packed before leaving for school each day. Post the picture on the wall where there backpack hangs for easy reference.backpack and school supplies
  13. Scan Notes Via Your Camera
    Students can use scanning apps with OCR capabilities to take a photo (aka scan) of notes and then insert those into note taking apps like OneNote, Evernote, etc. Great for easy note taking at library for reference materials you cannot check out.reference books
  14. Food Option Photos
    When you prepare breakfast, school lunches, or after-school snacks, take a picture of each. Post these on the fridge so kids can pick out what they want for upcoming days. Using a collage app to make a full sheet of paper with photos is really helpful for this.food choice photo collage
  15. Document Homework
    Sometimes our kids forget their homework, sometimes the teachers misplace homework that was turned in (we had this happen often with one teacher), and sometimes the dog ate the completed homework. If any of these are issues for your family, take a photo of the completed homework just in case you need back-up proof.homework
  16. Video Your Child Reading
    If you have an emerging or struggling reader, try taking a video of them reading aloud so that they can watch it. You can boost their self-esteem by them being able to watch themselves reading out loud.child reading
  17. Save Art and Larger Projects
    Younger kids create a lot of art items and larger projects. They are a bit harder to save sometimes. Be sure to take a photograph of the item or a video with your child explaining the project to save for memories.kids drawing

Suggested Smartphone Apps That Utilize Camera Functions

Here are a few specific apps that utilize smartphone cameras that you, or your students, may find useful during the school year.

  1. Smart Tools
    This is an app full of, you guessed it, really smart tools. There are 6 difference sections of tools within Smart Tools. Set 2 has Smart Measure Pro which will measure distance, height, width and area utilizing the camera in your phone. Set 5 includes a magnifier and mirror which also use the camera. Along with those parts there are more tools such as rulers, compass, sound level meter, and unit converter. Available for Android devices.
  2. Microsoft Office Lens
    Another amazing app from Microsoft is Office Lens. This app uses your smartphone camera to take pictures of documents, whiteboards, chalkboards, business cards, posters, etc. and then the app even cleans up the image for you. The app also uses OCR so it can recognize text and you can search for words within the image. Available, for free, for Android, iOS, and Windows devices.
  3. CamScanner
    Another great app that lets you snap a photo as a means to scan a document. CamScanner will also enhance the image and then create a PDF file for you. This app also has OCR. Available for Android, iOS, and Windows devices.
  4. Color Grabber
    The Color Grabber app lets you save real-world colors to your smartphone. Just aim the phone at the item you want to catch the color of and click. This is great for art projects obviously, but it is also great for picking colors out of images when creating a report for a more polished look. Available for Android.
  5. Socratic
    If your kids need help with homework, try Socratic. Simple take a photo of the homework question to get the answer plus the how and why of the answer.
  6. Learn Emotions
    Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings app helps small kids learn about emotions and utilizes the camera to help them record their own feelings to compare.

How do you use your smartphone camera as a parent to help during the school year? How do your kids use it?

Robyn

 

17 Ways for Parents and Students to Use Smartphone Cameras During the School Year PLUS 6 Super Useful Apps for Students from @RobynsWorld