Participatory methods: Camera in a circle

Why should I try it?

To invite participants to act – try out a new tool.

How do I apply it?

  1. Participants sit in a circle. Explain that the aim of the exercise is to learn how to use a camcorder, and that every participant will get to be both a learner and a teacher. Add that the equipment will be passed around.
  2. Turn to the person sitting on your left or right and show how to use the equipment, using basic instructions, such as what the camcorder includes (body, lens, batteries), how to turn it on and off, how to zoom in and out. You can also explain how to use the tripod, if using. Add that the equipment is fragile and should be handed carefully.
  3. Ask the person to whom you explained the use of the equipment to do the same with the the person sitting next to them; the exchange continues until everyone in the circle has had a chance to be both the learner and the teacher. Make sure that you are available to answer questions and that you support participants if they struggle with the task.
  4. Invite participants to share their feelings and reflections after the exercise.

What will I need?

Camera recorders (e.g. handycams), tripod (optional)

Where can I find out more?

Have a look at the manual developed in the framework of the Education by the way project, in which the method is presented in more detail. You can also consult the video below, created by Cotopaxi Film Workshop Association for the project.