Camera Checkout System

This was originally an email that I sent to Art Class with LMJ as aresponse to her blog post, “Christmas Came Early.” I realized it would make a helpful blog post for anyone else out there looking to organize a class set of just about anything!

All of our cameras and pieces of camera equipment are numbered. We purchased some of the custom labels that cannot be removed from electronics. The label says “Allendale Columbia School Art Department” followed by a four digit number starting with 0001. We then systematically went through all of our equipment including tripods, flashes, lenses, and other accessories and labeled them with a corresponding online camera checkout system. This online camera checkout system is simply a google form broken down into categories (point and shoot, DSLR, tripods, chargers, miscellaneous accessories). When a student submits a form it lands in a google spreadsheet that we monitor.

All of our equipment is kept in a locked cabinet that only the three art teachers have keys to. The cabinet is kept in our digital art lab – which is also a locked room when not in use. The DSLR cameras are kept in bags that are labelled with their numbers on a shelf with a corresponding number. The point and shoot digital cameras are kept in small cases that are labeled with their numbers. These are held in bins (tupperware shoeboxes) in sets of 10. One bin is labelled cameras 1-10, the next is labelled cameras 11-20. I really like this ipod set up by Mr. Leban – but have been struggling with a way to keep it secure.
 My checkout system is broken into two options. Student who need to use a camera in class only and students who need to take a camera home. Students needing a camera in class only check out a camera by writing their name next to the camera number on this paper form (I’m sure you could also use it like a google doc and have each class share the doc if you have the means). This way they are always using the same memory card and camera each class. In the boxes on the right, along the top I write the date of class, for each student I give them a -, +, or 0. – means they didn’t use their time productively, + means they are doing well, 0 means they left their camera out at the end of class. I can also make a note about battery life so that I can charge the camera for the next user.If a student needs to borrow something overnight, or on the weekend, they must use the online camera checkout (a google form with a tiny url). When they check out – at the bottom of the form, it requires teacher initials. We also ALWAYS check at this point for memory card, battery life, and lens caps. If any of these are missing it is noted so that the student is not punished for another’s mistake. We also will provide a charger or fresh battery if necessary.

Here are screenshots of our google form in action:

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