Monday, January 12, 2009

Inexpensive kid proof camera

Kids are hard on electronic equipment. Some of it is malicious. I believe most is not. A lot of damage is the result of them learning to use a body that is changing daily. I saw this in my technology lab repeatedly. The worst offenders tended to be my sixth graders. Sometimes it seemed they didn't know their own increasing strength.

Oddly enough, I had more breakage with young girls than young boys. That ratio changed the older they got. In a twisted, hard on the teacher kind of way, breakage was good for the kids. It was good for me as a boy. I learned all about not stripping a bolt by stripping one. Splitting wood by accidentally splitting a board. Structural soundness by building something that wasn't. Why should I deny my kids the wisdom of failure? The trick is to try and build those experiences into your lab in a safe and cheap way. (Good luck!)

So I was always on the look out for equipment that was built a little sturdier than what I might get for myself. I saw this camera by Fischer Price recently and thought that it might make a good classroom camera even for older kids. I don't think my middle schoolers would have taken it out of the room as it looks like a child's toy. But it looks like something we could knock around with in the lab, suspend from the ceiling, attach to a 10 foot pole or build into a Lego robot. Every time a child dropped it I would cringe just a little less knowing that it probably wouldn't break and that if it did the price wasn't prohibitive in me quickly replacing it.

I wish there were a line of cameras designed for kids with a nice balance between price, value and features. I'd spend a little more if I didn't have to plan for a certain number to break every year. Anybody have suggestions along this line for older kids?

[via Gadget Venue] [Image captured from Gadget Venue:]

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