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Monday, January 30, 2017

Three Reasons to Maintain a Photo Gallery With Your Students

We are all taking so many more pictures today than we did fifteen to twenty years ago. Thanks to cloud storage we can save and share thousands of images from our phones. No one knows this better than our students who will never understand the agonizing waits we used to endure after dropping off rolls of film at the local photo developer. Since our students are already snapping thousands of pictures, let's take advantage of that habit and use it in our classrooms. Here are three reasons to maintain photo galleries with your students.

1. Copyright freedom.
Use a Google Drive, Dropbox, or another cloud service to create a gallery of pictures that your students can access for use in their multimedia projects. Ask your students to submit pictures that align to themes that you designate. For example, you might have a nature theme or pet theme in your gallery that you have students add pictures that match that theme. If you're worried about inappropriate submissions, moderate submissions by first having students upload to a folder that only accepts files then move the pictures to a publicly viewable folder. DropItToMe is a great tool for doing that. Learn how to use DropItToMe by watching this video.

2. Writing prompts.
Anyone who has ever taught a language arts class will tell you that one of perennial challenges is helping students who say, "I don't have anything to write about" when you give them a creative writing assignment. Having an image gallery for those students to scroll through can be of assistance in those situations. Have your students scroll through one of the thematic galleries you've created and choose a picture or two to craft a story about.

3. Concept illustrations.
Math and science is all around us. Have your students take pictures that they think illustrate or are representative of the concepts they are learning about in your math or science lessons. By putting those pictures into a classroom gallery you're letting all of the students learn from and with each other.