So yes, that’s a new term that I just made up, but I think it fits. In this post I want to introduce a few apps that you can use in combination with photography to help your students build their vocabulary (and freedom of expression) through a visual means.
Wordfoto snd Typedrawing are apps that allow you to use a photo and apply phrases or words of your choosing to create a piece of art. The concept behind this is to have the students take a photo of themselves (or something meaningful to them) and use words or short phrases to describe the photo. Upon entering the words or phrases, these programs overlay them onto the photo.
I think that this is a fun, expressive and creative way for teachers in any discipline to have students visually express themselves or display their understanding of a given topic. Below are a couple of very quick examples of how they can be used in the various subject areas, as well as an example:
Math/Geometry: take a photo of a court words to describe the types of angles and shapes present. Economics: take a photo of a foreclosed house and overlay words to describe the market crash. Social Studies/Political Science: take a photo of scale or gavel and overlay words to describe the student’s impression of the justice system. ELA: students can take a photo based on the “word of the day” and include synonyms Phys Ed: take photos of sports or exercises and use term/phrases to describe the activity Music: take a photo of a student in front of an empty instrument case and words to describe the decline of music appreciation in some educational systems. Science: photos of lab equipment and phrases/words used to describe their typical uses
Now these are fairly straight forward examples, but they can be as involved and introspective as your imagination will allow. All the while, students are engaged in composing the appropriate photograph to go along with the phrases and words that they choose.
Now get out there and try i, and lemme know what you come up with.
Below, you will find a list of the apps and gadgets that I find most helpful in the pursuit of iPhoneography, both in the classroom and outside.
comicstrip, storyrobe, motivation, sonicpics, story kit, ruler phone, protractor, iMicroscope, SciSpy, word lens, flashcard creator, quick mark. Skype, and sekai camera. These apps can be used for anything from storytelling and slideshows to measurements and scavenger hunts.
hipstamtic, instagram, camera+, pano, 100 cameras in 1, geotag photos, breadcrumbs, mover+, and photosync.
iphone microscope: Amazon ($3)
wide angle and macro lenses for iphone ($40/set)
telephoto lens for iPhone ($35)
Owle Bubo iPhone harness ($169)
So, earlier today while presenting at iSummit in Nasville, TN we were working on a photo project of capturing the alphabet as they exist in nature. (No manipulating things or using software to enhance the photos). It’s basically an exercise in training your eye and being more observant and aware of your surroundings. In the past, this has proven to be an excellent activity for students. It’s a very creative and fun activity to do with your students, as well as being one that can be done several times while adding additional elements.
Toward the end of the class, I introduced the idea of photography scrabble to the attendees. Basically, the idea is for student to perform the alphabet project, and then use the letters that they have to play a game of scrabble. (If you’re familiar with jeopardy being played via keynote or powerpoint, this is a similar concept). All letters should be preapproved for use by the teacher, and the students can only use letters that they have in their “rack.” (Once they’ve run out of As or Bs, they can’t use those letters to spell any longer). I think this is a great idea to influence vocabulary and creativity in education through photgraphy.
If you’d like more info, or want to try it for yourself, please do and let me know about your results. I can’t wait to do it with my students!
So, I figured that ’d start creating blog entries based on using iPhones/iPods (around the concept of iphoneography). With these entries, I think I’ll concentrate on tools, accessories, apps, websites, etc. that students can use in the classroom. The goal being to help students (and teachers) to become digital citizens, more creative and expressive in their day-to-day lives and help facilitate the concept of global collaboration.
The first app for the toolkit is an app called Zapd. It’s a great little app for iPhone or iPod Touch users to create quick and easy mobile websites. It’s similar to Instagram in functionality, but differs in that you can create your own fully functional mobile website!Sure, this is a great/fun app for just playing around and microblogging for the average person, but what educational value might it hold?
First to mind is that students can document the events of a class (labs, projects, etc.) or pose questions or thoughts around a particular topic. This can lead to other students providing input and begin the process of collaboration.
It can also serve as a student resource of sorts. Because the app allows you to create your mobile website using photos, text or links, students have the capacity to chronicle important websites (URLs), relevant research materials (books, magazines, etc.) or photos/diagrams/etc. In other words, it can become their own online notebook!
I’m sure there are other applications for this app, and as I play with the app more, I’ll come back and add to this. If you have any ideas for the app, PLEASE leave a comment. The more we share, the more we can grow!
Let me just start by saying that the impetus for this blog entry was a post made on twitter that “hipstamatic is the Autotune of photography.” Now understanding that autotune is quite literally the worst thing to happen to music in the past 10 years (Roger Trautman will be excused from this conversation in its entirety,) I understand his point. But, can it be that taking the fun out of photography (in any fashion) is part of why so many people never really fully embrace it.
As you can probably already tell, I really like using my iPhone for photography. I also happen to be an avid photographer (via traditional means) As I explained at the Mobile2011 conference, it’s less cumbersome, more convenient, and potentially more fun that lugging around your DSLR and its accessories. By no means is an iPhone a replacement for a digital camera, but at what point do “serious photographers” take this TOO seriously.
Our students are more apt to have access to an iPhone or iPod touch and whatever photgraphy app strikes their fancy that a DSLR that the school probably can’t afford. Even then, sharing that amongst a class of 20+ students could be difficult.
At it’s best… iPhoneography can lead students (and teachers alike) into exploring their creativity and indulging their whims. Taking photos, learning concepts like geo-tagging and social networking via their photos are great for students of all ages. All of this without having to worry about damaging equipment or buying extra equipment and lugging it around for “the shot!”
Don’t get me wrong, your iPhone/Ipod Touch won’t replace your DSLR if you’re on the road to being a photographer. You’re not going to learn all of the intricate details about F-stops, apertures, ISO, white balance and the exposure triangle but you can learn (and practice) the concepts of good composition, the rule of thirds and gain a bit of understanding as to the role light really plays in photography.
Think about it, when most photographers got into photography it was becuase they saw something that inspired them. Maybe even something as simple as just wanting to have a picture with their favorite ballplayer or the car of their dreams. (The science of photography hadn’t entered the picture at that point. You were just thrilled at the resulting photograph).
iPhoneography can to be a very creative entry point into a career path, helping you to be more keenly aware of your surroundings and developing your own “vision.”
Students doing exercises like photographing the alphabet as they appear in nature, or taking that ONE photo that best exemplifies how they feel at any point in time, or as the basis for writing prompts and mathematical concepts (geometry comes to mind), or a better understanding of science via microscopes for your iPhone or iPod touch (not many DSLRs have these kind of attachements - especially for $5!!!)
I guess, all of this goes to say that iPhoneography probably won’t make you the next Ansel Adams or Gordon Parks, but it may just be the spark you need to get you on your way. And along that path, it might just be able to help all of us understand various concepts a little easier while having fun and being creative along the way - without breaking the bank to do it.