From Discovery Educator Rosie Parmigiani:
For years we have heard and listened to that comment. In classroom, we still use that battle cry. But in reality, is a picture worth a thousand words? Why not two thousand or five thousand, or a million?
Reality…pictures are pictures, the interpretation is the words. The words are limited only by experience and imagination.
Teachers for years used 35mm cameras, or “toss away” cameras, planning to create slide shows or collages of pictures. But, the product had to wait for development. Then Polaroid developed the instant camera, but the pictures faded and yellowed over time, which made it impractical for future projects. But teachers kept at it, saving everything in film for the future.
I don’t know about you but I have 40 or 50 boxes of processed slides lying around my house, but no slide projector around to view them. Great invention slides, they were to help your memories last forever. Oh yeah, the memories last, just can’t look at them!
So, enter digital photography. Now, with the help of technology visual arts is reborn in the classroom. But, not every teacher can figure out how to embrace this new technology to enhance the learning process, other than in PowerPoint presentations.
Which leads me to a book I have recently acquired that is probably one of the best written for teachers on integrating digital photography in the classroom.
Bill Naab in his book “44 Fun, Fast and Flashy Ways to Use Digital Cameras in Your Classroom”, published by Brewer Technologies, is full of practical, easy to follow activities that incorporate digital photography in just about every curriculum area, for students as well as teachers.
Each page is filled with ideas for curriculum integration and the ISTE National Educational Technology Standards covered by the lesson. One of the greatest features of the book, are the “quick Tips” on each page that provide information on everything from types of digital cameras to photography basics such as composition, depth, rules of thirds and many other photography jargoned “Stuff” that make photography work.
One of my favorite set of pages discusses in length how to use Microsoft Photo Story 3 for Windows XP. This software, free for download, helps create a “Photo Story” by combining photos, special effects, soundtracks, voice over narration, title and captions.
Just imagine, using this in the classroom during science class to record what actually happened in an experiment, or to create a story in English class related to the genre students are studying. How about the teacher creating a “Photo Story” of a trip to a historic site which could be reviewed after returning or saved for future use in the classroom.
What about those of us who during the summer like to “prepare for the next year” creating activities in any curriculum area that can be use individually by students for review, remediation or enrichment? The possibilities are endless.
Besides this wonderful “Photo Story”, Bill shares ideas for primary teachers to use with “little guys” such as, the students take pictures of each other “forming the letters “of the alphabet with their bodies. Then, search the Internet for additional pictures, slap it all into a word processor and voila! Their own personal ABC Book.
This book is full of ideas: Creating Trading Cards, Scavenger Hunts, and Seating Charts with the child’s picture for the substitute, Nature Activities, Classroom Remember When, Community Before and After, Mapping Skills and many more.
I could explain many more activities, but then there would be nothing for you to explore. So, discover this book, try the activities and let me know your impressions. Until then, “keep on snapping!” and remember ….a picture is a thousand words!