I have recently purchased (from eBay) a Polaroid PoGo printer for less than £20. For those that haven’t seen them, these are small portable battery powered printers (about the size of a £10 note or a pack of cards) that you can connect to a computer, directly to a camera or via Bluetooth and will print an image that is 3” X 2” in colour onto Polaroid paper that is a self adhesive sticker.
OK so the picture isn’t very big, and the quality is good but not what you get from normal processing means, but this still could have various uses within education – especially when out and about and carrying a bigger printer isn’t practical (especially outside where electricity isn’t available).
Ideas for use
- NVQ assessing – An assessor going into a work place to assess a learner, can carry this in their pocket – if they see something that is worth capturing – take a photo, print it out there and then and the learner can stick it straight into a portfolio of evidence. The assessor still has the image on their camera or phone for their records, or to be printed in higher quality later – but the instantness of this process will help the learner to reflect on the image there and then.
- Field trips – You have taken a group of students on a field trip, most of them have phones which take photos – so set them a task to photo something relevant to the study (e.g. example of acid erosion on a limestone pavement, example of a health and safety hazard etc…) then at lunch time the learners pass the printer around to print their images ready for further discussion.
- Reflective practice from presentations – A learner has delivered a presentation as part of a course – during the presentation you take a series of photos, showing their position in relation to the group etc. You then print out the ‘best’ photo and ask the learner to critically evaluate what they are doing at that point in time (which could be having their backs to people, having hands in pockets, slouching etc.)
- Creating ‘activity cards’ in an unknown environment – When I taught I often created packs of cards with keywords or images on them that were then used in various ways to teach a topic – but these were always done in advance and relied on me knowing what the activity was going to be. If I was on a class visit somewhere that I wasn’t familiar with, then on arrival I could photograph a series of images (e.g. health and safety equipment around the site, examples of were adaptions had been made for disabled users, examples of marketing etc) then print these out, and I have an activity that I can use later in the day at the site.
I am sure that there are other examples and ideas, and hopefully as the technology improves the cost of the paper will come down (at the moment it is about 20p per print) – and equipment like this can be of great educational value.