With the school term starting up you may feel slightly nervous and apprehensive about how the year will go, if teachers will treat you child well, and if they're in a good healthy environment. A question we've been asked a few times is whether a camera for kids can help with these things.
Before we get into whether it can help, we have to discuss the legalities of sending your child to school with a camera. Some states and countries have different laws concerning recording video and audio without consent which, is only made more problematic when children are involved.
Some schools might not want their students to have hidden digital cameras. Teachers' associations have issues with classes being recorded, and a kids camera recording every moment could raise objections from other parents and school administrators.
This article will go through these points and questions and also talk about the most appropriate cameras for kids we stock.
Why would you use a camera for kids?
A major concern most parents have for their children in schools is that they are being bullied by classmates or treated unfairly by members of the faculty.
Sometimes we notice that our children are a little low in energy, or reluctant when it's time to start the school day. One cause of this could be bullying which is often quite difficult for teachers to pick up on in class and correct on the spot. When it's a case of “he said, she said” it can be very hard to resolve issues so having video evidence is helpful to identify problem behavior and begin to address it.
Another thing that can affect a child’s experience at school is when they are being “picked on” by their teacher. In most cases, a teacher is either pushing a student for better performance or putting a stop to disruptive behavior. But sometimes they are behaving completely unprofessionally and should be called out if they are neglecting their duties.
It can be hard for a child to do this alone since they lack the language and confidence to take on a person in a position of power. They know that usually a child's word is not taken as seriously as an adult's, so there tends to be more of a burden of proof placed on the child rather than the adult. Having video evidence from the kids camera can give a child the ability to stand up for themselves and put a stop to teachers who are abusing their positions.
Children who have special needs are particularly vulnerable to bullying and abuse in school. They are also far more likely to suffer abuse in educational and healthcare institutions. In these cases, a kids' camera can provide the only evidence that bullying or abuse has occurred.
A common concern voiced by parents is that they aren't sure what their child is learning in school. Some topics are not suitable for children of all ages, like when a teacher showed young children a horror movie at school. These things can badly affect them in later years. Having proof that these inappropriate topics and viewpoints are being discussed is a understandable reason for why you might want your child to take a camera to school.
Best camera for kids
If you've decided that you absolutely need to get a camera for your child then we've compiled a list of the best kids cameras that are most suitable in an educational setting.
The button hidden camera fits in a normal buttonhole in a shirt or jacket and contains a tiny hidden camera that records at 1280 x 960. Its resolution is good enough to make out faces and details at close range and lasts for 2 hours of recording on a single charge. It has only 2 buttons which can be operated through a shirt, and points at whatever the wearer is looking at so it is super easy for a child to use. It even records audio so whole conversations can be recorded.
This hidden camera makes a great kids camera because it fits right in with the rest of your kids' school supplies. It records the same great resolution as the button hole camera at 1280 x 960 but lasts for 1 hour on a single charge. Your kid will have to be a little more careful with the battery life on this one but a quick click on the top of the pen starts recording and another click stops so with a little practice they will have it in no time.
This is our most budget-friendly option and isn’t actively disguised as anything but will go unnoticed in a pencil case or hidden among a kid's school supplies as it's not much bigger than a paperclip. It has a slightly lower resolution than the previous two at 640 x 480 but is still great for close-range use.
This last one is more for the older kids who bring computers to school. It is a tiny camera hidden inside a computer mouse. It has the longest battery life of the bunch, lasting for 7-9 days on standby and 3 hours of continuous recording and also records at a resolution of 1280 x 720. It has an SD card that can be swapped out for a fresh one so your kids camera is never out of commission when you are reviewing the footage.
Potential issues with a camera for kids
You should always check national and state laws when using surveillance equipment. In some states, it is illegal to record audio under federal eavesdropping and wiretapping legislation. Sometimes and in some locations, it is inappropriate to film. Courts and legislators usually take issues around videos involving children very seriously so be aware there might be penalties if the footage is illegally obtained.
You should also consider that if you are planning on using footage in legal action against an institution, any illegally obtained footage could be inadmissible in court. Law enforcement agencies will also not be able to use illegally obtained footage when prosecuting cases so be very careful when using hidden cameras that you aren’t breaking any laws.
In most states in the US the law is that you cannot record people in an environment where they would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Most schools and daycare centers will have CCTV cameras in place so that doesn’t apply but people can be a little uncomfortable when it comes to their children. This brings us on to…
Other parents’ complaints
We are all protective of our children, and if you are concerned about what's going on in your child’s classroom, there is a good chance that some of the other parents might have the same concerns. You might expect that this would make parents reassured to know that there is a kids digital camera monitoring the classroom. But what is likely to happen is that some parents get upset that their children are being spied on
Kids are not spies
Just think of what you would do if your parents gave you a cool new spy gadget to take to school. Do you think you would show all your friends around the playground? Of course you would. The whole idea behind using a hidden camera is that you get a fair representation of how people behave when they are unobserved. If everyone involved knows about the hidden camera then this main purpose is wasted. Additionally, you could damage your working relationship with school administrators and teachers if you are using a camera without permission.
Alternatives to cameras for kids
If all that is making you a little nervous about sending a kids digital camera to school there are plenty of alternatives we can suggest. All of our audio recording devices are super easy to use and easy to hide.
These are all great options with fantastic battery life and recording ability, the lowest battery life of the bunch records for 8 hours. They’re great for catching one-on-one interactions but do double duty as they can record a whole day's worth of classes for your child to revise and for you to check on what your kids are learning in school.
Most daycare facilities have CCTV cameras for monitoring purposes so you could try asking to see the daycare footage and if they are reluctant to offer it you could lobby with other parents for access.
For older kids in classrooms where they don’t record all classes, you can ask your child to journal the times and dates of all incidents and arrange meetings with students and teachers to discuss incidents. As evidence, it is not quite as strong as video or audio recording but it is better than nothing.