Rationale

Essential Questions

Which web 2.0 application(s) will have the biggest impact on student learning in digital photography?

The application that is going to make the biggest impact on student learning in Digital Photography is blogging… hands down.  I had a suspicion that this would be the case as I have already implemented it into my curriculum but I wanted to be sure that there wasn’t something out there that I was missing as the pace of technology moves at break-neck speed.  The only thing that I think could compete would be micro-blogging with a site like Tumblr.  But until there are more restrictions in place for inappropriate content, full-sized blogs are definitely the better option.

With blogging, there are so many possibilities for communicating, showcasing student work, collaborating, reflecting and learning in the art room that any other app or technology falls short in my mind.  On the “About” page I discuss how I use my class blog.  These are the following ways that my Digital Photography students will be using their own student blogs:

  • To post photographs
  • To share written reflections on their artwork
  • To comment on the work of others
  • To collaborate with students from around the country and/or world
  • To develop a digital portfolio of their work
  • To expand their online presence and network
  • To learn how to be a responsible and safe digital citizen

However, blogs are most interesting and most effective when they are used in conjunction with other tools.  Incorporating these other technologies is something I intend to do as well, I discuss this in my plan below.

What is the best plan for implementing web 2.0 in my digital photography classroom?

Using blogs in the classroom is front-loaded with work on the part of the teacher and students.  But once that work is done, blogging becomes as easy as keeping a class binder.  It’s a skill that is just as simple but so much better.  Besides teaching the photography curriculum, there is an additional curriculum for teaching students how to blog that needs to be woven in.  In the beginning the process is slow because there are so many new things to learn.  But once students figure out the in’s and out’s of navigating the dashboard and the specifications that are best for a photo site, blogging becomes automatic.

My plan is divided up between the 4 marking periods:

  1. Introduction, The Dashboard, Digital Citizenship Overview, Media, Posts vs. Pages
  2. Appearance, Online Etiquette, Commenting, Widgets, Instagram
  3. Copyright & Plagiarism, Quad Blogging
  4. The Digital Portfolio

Throughout the first quarter, students will learn what a blog is, how to log in, navigate the dashboard, understand what is expected of them as responsible digital citizens, add media such as photos, hyperlinks, and video, and what the difference between a post and a page is.

In the second quarter, students are able to customize the look of their blog, practice online etiquette and commenting skills, incorporate widgets and learn and begin to use Instagram.  We use Photoshop in the classroom and is a great program, but it is also expensive and most students do not have access to it outside of school.  Next year, I will be implementing the use of this photo editing and sharing app.  This will allow most students to have a way of sharing their photos with another audience and a way to edit when they are not in the lab.  For the students that do not have smart phones, I am hoping to acquire some iPads for  in order to fill the need for the students who wouldn’t otherwise have access to the app.

During the third quarter, students explore the concepts of plagiarism and copyright.  Now that students are putting content out into the world, these laws now pertain to their work as well as the work of others.  I am also going on a mission to find 3 other high school art rooms that blog.  I would love to participate in QuadBlogging which gives students an authentic audience.  After all, a blog without an audience is like a dance party without music.  You need something to fuel the excitement and the collaborating.  Basically, 4 classrooms take turns for a week at a time posting content while the other 3 comment.  This is the motivator to continue producing engaging content.

Finally, in the fourth quarter students will add to and tweak their blogs in order to prepare for their digital portfolio review.  Their blog should be a representation of who they are as a photographer, demonstrate their abilities and style, allow the audience to understand their process and motivation and showcase their best work.  A successful blog would be one that a student would be proud and excited to show a university’s portfolio review panel or prospective employer.

Once I have implemented these steps, i would also like to incorporate the use of video.  I have investigated Vine and think that this would be a good starting point since many students have experience with it and the video length is only 6 seconds which makes them relatively quick to make.  I currently use Pinterest for social bookmarking and think this could be helpful for students to keep track of photographers and inspiration for their work.

Reflections

I have reviewed and explored many ways to incorporate technology into my teaching, either with students or in developing my PLN.  One of the most important things that I have learned is that you cannot just use technology for the sake of wanting to use it. For a while I was trying to force Twitter into my classroom because “that is what the kids are using”.  I thought perhaps I could send out reminders about assignments to students.  It was unsuccessful in every sense of the word.  It gained me zero followers and left me feeling bummed out.  Once I explored it further I realized that that wasn’t the best way for me to use the tool.  I have since begun using it as part of my PLN, I have gained some new followers (feel free to follow as well @MrsCapalbo) and am very pleased with all the info that is curated just for me.  The Web 2.0 tools you choose must serve a purpose that cannot be fulfilled by or must be more successful than other methods.

This course also validated what I have been trying to accomplish in the classroom and strengthened my vision for what technology can do for my students.  These are essential skills that they will need as they ready themselves for life outside the walls of the classroom.  Marketing and branding oneself with a positive, meaningful online identity is now a critical part in preparation for college and the workplace.   If schools don’t help to guide students through this, then we are not only doing our students a monumental disservice we are failing to prepare them for their futures.

Web 2.0 Strategies and The Skills Students will Acquire based on Bloom’s Taxonomy:

Edublogs

  • Remembering:  Students will be able to bullet point the purpose and direction of their blog.
  • Understanding:  Students will journal about their interests, motivations as an artist and reflect on their journey as a photographer.
  • Applying:  Students will upload photos, videos, links and documents to their blogs to support their portfolio of work.
  • Analyzing:  Students will organize the content of their blog so that it showcases their best work and presents a positive image.
  • Evaluating:  Students will comment and critique their work and the work of their peers.
  • Creating:  Students will publish a blog that will be kept as a digital portfolio.

Instagram

  • Remembering:  Students will be able to search for and find photos that interest them.
  • Understanding:  Students will subscribe to others in order to gain a community of photographers to share with.
  • Applying:  Students will edit photos in order to make them as strong as possible.
  • Analyzing:  Students will compare their early photos to their photos later in the year and look for growth.
  • Evaluating:  Students will experiment with various photo filters and compositional techniques.
  • Creating:  Students will produce a portfolio of photos that have been edited, shared and critiqued.

Pinterest

  • Remembering:  Students will be able to locate resources using social bookmarking.
  • Understanding:  Students will categorize their pins by tagging them.
  • Applying:  Students will share pins with each other to help foster the learning community.
  • Analyzing:  Students will integrate the inspirations and resources that they find through social bookmarking into their projects.
  • Evaluating:  Students will collaborate by pinning to a group board.
  • Creating:  Students will produce an organized database of information.

One thought on “Rationale

  1. You have a very clear idea of how technology will serve your students. I had not heard of quad-blogging, but it sounds like a great way to provide an authentic audience for your students.

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