Photo story

23rd June 2006 at 01:00
Nishani Kampfner looks at some of the latest ways for schools to manage their digital images

Creating pictures using digital cameras is quick and easy and can bring the curriculum to life, but finding continuing uses for those pictures is yet another creative challenge that some schools are finding ingenious ways to resolve.

Cefn Primary School in Glyncoch, Pontypridd, uses digital cameras to capture children's activities. "In nursery, a 'Look at what we can do'

printed display is made every two weeks," explains deputy head Sarah Curran. "This has been very popular with parents. The photographs that are not printed each week are made into a DVD which we play as the children come in every morning. The school also stores photographs on the server in a shared folder so the children can access them for writing activities."

Sean O'Sullivan at Frank Wise special school Banbury, describes how the school has gathered a wide range of slideshows from iPhoto in a variety of classes and shows them on a new plasma screen in the reception area. "It has captured the pupils' attention and they all love stopping and commenting or reacting to the images they see on screen," he says.

"Recently, we used it to display everyone's photos from Environment Week and we're thinking of other ways that this area can now be used to enhance the children's learning: combinations of photos, movie clips, etc. We're also using enhanced podcasts and blogging."

Displaying work is a simple and effective way to show other students, teachers and parents what is taking place in the classroom. As digital assets, images can be shared online, burnt on to a CD and taken home, or used in a student's or teacher's portfolio for assessment and evaluation purposes.

If you understand podcasting, you might want to try photocasting - a great new way to share photos. Using iPhoto 6, photocasting allows .Mac members to share albums with anyone, anywhere by simply clicking on the "Photocast this album" button. iPhoto will publish the album and create a link so that you can email it to any potential subscriber.

If you don't have iPhoto or you're working on the Windows operating system, you can still subscribe to the photocasts through an RSS-compatible browser or reader.

Sir Jonathan North community college in Leicester took the idea to the next level by building an online resource of images of the city for teachers and students to use in their work, thus avoiding any copyright issues. Digital arts manager Andy Herickx says: "The college is an arts specialist and wanted to celebrate the cultural mix and cohesion of Leicester by providing an easily accessible online resource of images that could reflect this."

Andy became aware while building the website, originally designed for the college's community programme, that this could benefit curricular programmes of study not just within art, but also across other subject areas and possibly other schools and colleges. The website www.imageleicester.com covers an assortment of images based around the themes of art, architecture, festivals, fashion and food.

To deal with copyright, the college employed an artist in residence to approach arts and cultural groups in Leicester. "We asked them if they would contribute to a copyright-free resource and the majority of the organisations we approached readily provided us with images on this understanding," explains Andy."Other images on the website were taken by me and the artist in residence."

The site now enables the college to structure lessons from key stage 2 through to 4. "It gives students quick and direct access to imagery they can use in their work, showing the multicultural diversity of Leicester,"

says Andy, who is currently building a gallery of student work using Flash.

Students at the college are beginning to create their own websites in Apple's iWeb to display their digital media.

RESOURCES

* TES Resources Bank www.tes.co.ukresources For Mac users:

* iLife 06 includes iPhoto and iWeb www.apple.com ukeducationproductsilife

* Photocasting using iPhoto: www.apple.comukilifeiphotofeaturesphotocasting.html

* Flickr

There's a plug-in for iPhoto to use via the Export menu, so that you can upload sets of photos directly to a Flickr account.

www.connectedflow.comflickerexport

For PC users:

* Adobe's Photo Album is usually available free in its starter version and provides good categorisation and calendar facilities.

* Adobe's Photoshop Elements should meet most needs and can be bought bundled with Adobe Premier.

* Google's Picasa makes it easy and fun to view, organise, edit and share the digital photos on your PC. Picasa will not delete your pictures or put them online without your permission. Free download available at http:picasa.google. co.ukdownloadindex.html

Competition

Win a Canon Powershot A520 digital camera and CP150 photo printer for your school.

See page 5 for full details

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