Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

In getting ready for a return to the middle school social studies classroom I have been considering projects I might start off with.  One I call “History A to Z.”  I see this as a beginning of the school year project to get students thinking about history, in a way where they can embed technology in the process, and to find out what social studies and technology skills they bring to my classroom (a diagnostic project if you will).

Students first would come up with words starting with letters of the alphabet and then find historical pictures that would match up with the words.  Students could use Photo Story 3, Windows Live Movie Maker, iMovie, iPhoto, or any digital photo storytelling program to piece together a sort of historical slideshow.  The slideshow could even be a personal history with pictures from their own lives to place another twist on it.

An extension of this project, that can be collaborative, would be teaching the importance of copyright, citing information, design, and you could even have students add narration to the story.  There are always many variations with a project like this, and that is why I like to provide students with an opportunity to try them.  The following is an example I put together…

Enjoy!

http1The following are some new and old online sites that you may find useful as educational resources and fun instructional tools. I have included links to each site, a brief description, and information quoted from each site. I have known about many of these and learned about a few at an Educational Service Unit (ESU) meeting I attended in Ogallala, Nebraska.

Lesson Plans, Resources, and SO MUCH MORE!!!

Thinkfinity http://www.thinkfinity.org/

Remember the Marco Polo site? Thinkfinity is Marco Polo in its new incarnation.

“Thinkfinity.org makes it easy for educators to enhance their classroom instruction with lesson plans, interactive activities and other online resources. Thinkfinity.org also provides a wealth of educational and literacy resources for students, parents and after-school programs.

All of Thinkfinity.org’s 55,000 standards-based K-12 lesson plans, student materials, interactive tools and reference materials are reviewed by the nation’s leading education organizations to ensure that content is accurate, up-to-date, unbiased and appropriate for students.

At Thinkfinity.org, you’ll find primary source materials, interactive student resources and grade-specific research lists to help you tailor materials to meet your needs. Start exploring now!”

Web Tools

Tiny URL http://tinyurl.com/

Have a long web address/url/or web site “number” as VP Biden calls it ;-)? Tiny URL can assist in creating a much shorter url for you to use or remember.

“Are you sick of posting URLs in emails only to have it break when sent causing the recipient to have to cut and paste it back together? Then you’ve come to the right place. By entering in a URL in the text field below, we will create a tiny URL that will not break in email postings and never expires.”

Web 2.0 Sites

Glogster http://www.glogster.com/

This site has some possibilities and there is an education version: http://www.glogster.com/edu/

I envision students using this to create posters, collages, etc. for various classroom projects.

“Mix graphics, photos, videos, music and text into slick Glogs. Glog yourself every day!

Amaze your friends – send others links to your Glogs.

Pimp your profile! – share your creations on Myspace, Facebook, Hi5, Friendster, Bebo or wherever you want…

Find new friends by their style

Have fun browsing Glogs, comment on other people’s Glogs and get inspiration”

MorgueFile http://www.morguefile.com/

This is a place to free photos and there is also a classroom section where you can learn the basics of photography.

“Morguefile, where photo reference lives. This morgue file contains free high resolution digital stock photographs and reference images for either corporate or public use. The purpose of this site is to provide free image reference material for illustrators, comic book artist, designers, teachers and all creative pursuits.”

Gigapan http://www.gigapan.org/index.php

See the “Gigapan” from the Nebraska vs. CU game (For my fellow Nebraskans, click the following link and zoom in to find yourself if you were there!): http://tinyurl.com/88ao9d

“GigaPan consists of three technological developments: a robotic camera mount for capturing very high-resolution (gigapixel and up) panoramic images using a standard digital camera; custom software for constructing very high-resolution gigapixel panoramas; and, a new type of website for exploring, sharing and commenting on gigapixel panoramas and the detail our users will discover within them. The GigaPan website allows hosting and sharing all kinds of panoramas, and so the robotic GigaPan mount is recommended but is certainly not required to be part of this community.”

Picnik http://www.picnik.com/

Online photo editing and more.

Picnik makes your photos fabulous with easy to use yet powerful editing tools. Tweak to your heart’s content, then get creative with oodles of effects, fonts, shapes, and frames. It’s fast, easy, and fun.”

BeFunky http://www.befunky.com/

Create artwork with your photos.

“BeFunky Photo Effects allow everyday people to easily create photographically rich and artistic results from their digital images without the need for any technical knowledge. These “one-click” photo effect options produce desired results effortlessly and each effect comes with the option to make simple adjustments.”

It is difficult to imagine the widespread damage from the recent flooding in the Midwest.  The following site helps put it into perspective via terrifying and wonderful photographs:  Boston.com.

Here are some pictures from our wonderful Living History Day for our 4th Graders here in North Platte, NE. They all had an opportunity to spend the day at Buffalo Bill’s Scout’s Rest Ranch and visit the local historical museum and exhibits. Enjoy!

Flickr now does video! As their blog states:

“Video! Video! Video! The rumours are true and “soon” is now. We’re thrilled to introduce video on Flickr. If you’re a pro member, you can now share videos up to 90 glorious seconds in your photostream.

90 seconds? While this might seem like an arbitrary limit, we thought long and hard about how video would complement the flickrverse. If you’ve memorized the Community Guidelines, you know that Flickr is all about sharing photos that you yourself have taken. Video will be no different and so what quickly bubbled up was the idea of “long photos,” of capturing slices of life to share.”

Click the following for Flickr Video FAQs

Load ’em up and share ya’all! 😉

Photoshop Express Adobe has gone live with its online photo editing presentation called Photoshop Express! My good friend Tim Vanderheiden, principal of Madison Middle School, gave me a heads up of this offering today. I plan to sign up and give it a go. Share your thoughts here on its capabilities if you get a chance! Peace!

These pictures are very interesting.  See all at Popsci.com!!!

Lava

“Lava Rises From the Deep”
Photo by Landsat 7
“The Big Island of Hawaii rises 33,474 feet above the floor of the Pacific Ocean and lies over an unusually warm part of the Earth’s interior. This hot spot has produced the volcanoes that make up the Hawaiian archipelago. The three most recently active volcanoes—Kilauea, Mauna Loa and Loihi—rise out of the spot. Other, less-active and dormant volcanoes in the archipelago used to lie here as well, but the natural movement of the Pacific tectonic plate has carried them away to the northwest. This unusually detailed image was taken primarily in the infrared spectrum, allowing us to see the volcanoes’ hidden underwater bases.”

A visit to David Warlick’s 2¢ Worth tipped me off that the Library of Congress has some beautiful pictures posted in two collections on Flickr: 1930s-40s in Color and News in the 1910s.  What wonderful images and great subjects to use in the classroom!

LOC Picture

Will Richardson Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts,… Today I finished Will Richardson’s book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. I have always appreciated Will’s viewpoints on his blog, and I like the straightforward, easy to understand approach he presents in his book. Having used many of these tools in my classroom for over a year now, I was familiar with much of what Will shares, but I had many “I should have tried that moments!!!” Now, I am in a new position (district level educational technology specialist) with a new audience (educators) and the book proved valuable in giving me ideas and ways that I can share these tools with teachers.

Teachers themselves will benefit from reading this book (Get it ASAP!), and I believe it would serve as an excellent textbook for in-service training and for use in teacher preparation programs. Even a seasoned Web 2.0 teacher (Can there be such a thing in such a short period of time!?! 🙂 will pick up new ideas or ways of using these tools that they hadn’t thought of before! As with any text that concerns the web the reader will encounter shared links that have since moved on in such a short time since the book was published; nevertheless, I could easily search the name of a particular person or topic mentioned and find the new location of the information on the web. (Maybe Will could add a page to his blog with updates or create a wiki page where readers could help update links.)

The book, to me, is written for the now, and it is intended to jump start educators and students into using the many Web 2.0 tools that exist today. I know Will has much more to say concerning these tools and the future of integrating technology to facilitate collaboration, critical thinking, and self-directed learning, and I feel his blog serves as a continuation and expansion of the text. One of Will’s main points in his book is to recognize the “teachers” that are and information that is out there, on the web, ready to fill your RSS feed reader! His text is really a staging area for the journey that he invites the reader to take in using these powerful web tools in the classroom, and I think it is a good place to start and to take ownership of your own learning.

A few years ago I purchased a Canon PowerShot A80 digital camera.  It has been a good camera (4 megapixels, 3x and 11x zoom lens, with an added 1 GB memory card); however, it is showing the wear and tear of typical, long term use.  I plan on taking some time to shop around and decide on what I want.  Today I found a nice article by Katherine Boehret that explains the latest developments in digital camera technology.  Please share your ideas on good point and shoot digital cameras.  Now, I must decide:  do I need or want a new digital camera!?!