A recent study by Zogby Analytics reports several interesting findings regarding young people aged 18 - 24:
1. 87% say their smartphone never leaves their side.
2. 80% say the very first thing they do in the morning is reach for their smartphone.
3. 78% say they spend 2 or more hours per day using their smartphone.
4. 68% say they would prefer to use their smartphone instead of their laptop or personal computer for personal use.
5. 91% say that having a camera on their smartphone is important (61% very important)
6. 87% say they use their smartphone camera at least weekly. 59% use their smartphone camera at least every other day. 44% use their smartphone camera for still or motion picture taking every day.
Cameras were added to smartphones starting in 2002. The first iPhone also had a camera. It became available in June 2007. Seven years later there are over 1.75 billion smartphones worldwide. (Source: emarketing) This means that 24.1% of the entire world population (7.263 billion as of 3:32 CDT 9/27/2014 - Source: World Population Clock) now has a smartphone. Your students will have lived all their life in a world with smartphones containing cameras.
The implications of this information for education, school, teachers, and learners is that information is more readily available than it ever has been. But not only that, there are more distractions than ever. Everyone has a smart phone these days and those smart phones bring things like Facebook, Candy Crush and Instagram to the palm of anyones hands. Which means the students will be trying to use their time for things other than learning. It's going to be one of the problems with using technology in the classroom in the future as kids get to the age where social sites are used more.
As I said before it is also a good thing and we should encourage the use of the readily available information in the hands of our students and teachers. While using a smart phone is class is usually forbidden, these days it can enhance the learning of a student. It can also help a teacher, especially when a student asks a question you can not answer. We can look it up quickly and gain a little information ourselves. I personally think this is a tool for learning, as long as we can keep an eye on the type of applications the students get on while using this tool in class.
As a teacher, knowing that just about every student in my class has a camera in the palm of their hand almost 24/7 as it is, I would use this to my advantage. I would set up picture scavenger hunts that goes along with the lesson or unit. They could find things in their community to go along with different projects. They could also use it for an art project. There are so many uses with a camera in all the hands of the students. As far as math goes, my worst subject, I would have a hard time coming up with a project with a camera. Unless we were working on geometric shapes or something. I'd love to use it with any type of nature unit, they could seek out the different types of plants and trees, or animals. There are so many different ways to use a camera to further education in our students lives and learning.