Monday, February 11, 2008

Stuck on Photos

I've been looking for a reason to share some ideas about the use of online photos in the classroom and although there are indeed educators making use of photography in their classrooms, few of them leverage the best of the free image resources of the day.

Why not help those creative writers by providing inspirational 'characters' to write about? Consider projecting some of these amazing 365 Portraits for starters.

Invite participation to categorize, sort and add meaning to once forgotten images in the Library of Congress Pilot Project.

Why not create a library of welcoming 'school/community guidebook' photos for families new to the community. Students can add explanatory audio notes via VoiceThread. Maybe you can even put those cell-phone cameras to use?

Highlight the power of photos when combined with words and music... easily worth more than 1000 Words.

How about teaching students to take advantage of terrific free public photos rather than ignoring fair use by grabbing the work of others that just happens to reside on the web. Free Digital Photos or or are good starting points, but there are many others.

Consider teaching students that they can actually license their photos (and other creative works) for various uses vie Creative Commons licensing? For a generous example, some put their photos into the public domain a la Robert Scoble

Don't we owe it to students to point out how their world will be very different from ours? Showcase Photosynth in the video below, and ask students to contemplate the consequences: Are students being prepared for this future... for the jobs in such a world... for the yet-unwritten rules of the coming decades? Is it exciting, scary or both?

Review the dilemmas posed by those who 'sanitize' or 'satanize' with photo editing... Consider photo-ethics by consider sharing any of a number of Photo-Ethics resources.

Teach about Photo-editing via site resources like Luxa or teach the use of an online editor like Splashup. No doubt you'll want to share the often linked Dove commercial to expose some advertising secrets:

For those who may be interested, I maintain many more terrific links on my Delicious pages.