Sunday, September 21, 2008

Blog #1 Dare to Photo Share

I have perused photo sharing sites in the past, but have not used any sites to personally or professionally upload photos for sharing. The two main sites I explored this week were Picasa and Flickr. My experiences exploring both formats were quite different and I have some unresolved problems yet to figure out. One being unable to upload a movie of photos I created Picasa, the other one not being able to establish different photo sets in separate photostreams.

In the initial creation of my blog I used Flickr to upload book cover images of my favourite children’s books and place them in a slideshow. My immediate response to Flickr was ‘wow, this is easy and fun at the same time’. However, this past week presented multiple challenges that in the end were not resolved as stated above.

After the fiasco of having my travel pictures mix into the same photostream as my children’s literature pictures, I decided to investigate the workings of Picasa 3. Couple key elements that make Picasa a great photo sharing tool include:
- Great editing, tuning and special effects
- Collage and movie options
- Direct ‘sync to the web’ into Google
- Post photos directly to a blog
I spent time creating photo collages and movies, editing pictures and creating photo files to get a sense of all of the possibilities these two photo sites had to offer in the world of education…actually the possibilities of creative learning are endless. One project I would love to try out would be to create a digital photo portfolio for students, documenting their school year through photos and keeping them organized chronologically in files. At the end of a school year students would have a great digital album to take home.

My biggest concern with sites like Flickr and Picasa is that in order to have students experience these sites they must create online accounts. Students in my school district do have open access to sign up for Google or Yahoo accounts as both sites are blocked.

Through reading Kathy Schrock’s ‘Kaffeeklatsch’ blog this past week I was introduced to Dumpr. Dumpr is an easy to use photo site for creating fun photos to save, share, print, blog or upload to social networking sites. Users are not required to create accounts to upload and print pictures. There is would be a great learning opportunity to teach young students how to upload digital pictures, choose a fun format in which to view the picture and print.

I did check out some of the recommended sites from the “Digital Storytelling” article by Linda C. Joseph. One site worthy of mention is BubbleShare. I did not explore the inner workings of this site (as I just didn’t need to register for another online account this week), instead I surfed the site on the surface. This site really plays to the younger audience with enjoyable clipart, fun frames, and a calendar maker. What differentiates this site from Flickr is that it promotes unlimited space for users.

Photo sharing sites promote ‘digital storytelling’ through the photo lens of the user!


Andrea Langelaar said...

It is a very valid concern that our students (due to filters or blocked sites) are not able to access some of these tools (i.e. flickr) when at school.

Do you see a way around this?


Joanne de Groot said...

Thanks, Carol. I love the collage and cube that you created. I'll have to play around with some of those tools myself! I think you raise some good questions about access to information technology and how to teach kids about these tools and incorporate them into your practice when schools block them.

Jo-Anne Gibson said...

I had the same concern as you regarding the need for gmail and yahoo accounts when using Picasa and Flickr. Those are blocked at our school, too.

Can you explain to me what "Direct ‘sync to the web’ in Google" means and why it is a good thing?


Carol said...

Hi Andrea - There is no way to avoid filters or blocked sites at the school level so I would have to use a photo program (like Dumpr) where students can upload a photo and print a creative design.

Hi Jo-Anne - I used Picasa for the first time during our blog #1 assignment. I really appreciated that there was a 'sync to the web' button that sent my photos directly to my Google account, and from there I uploaded to my blog. For me, this was an easier process than my uploading experiences (or difficulties) with Flickr.