I am stepping out a bit this year, and looking for ways for my students to be more creative. I am also trying to use technology that they can use in and out of the classroom.
For our second big project of the year, I decided to do a photography unit. But, I decided to put a twist on it. We are using cell phones to take the pictures. Most of my students have cell phones. Most of my students also enjoy taking pictures with their cell phone. So I thought I would actually teach them how to take great cell phone pictures.
Before we began to snap some pictures, we discussed some basics of photography. We looked at the rule of 3rds, and some examples of how it was used effectively. We also discussed the different types of photography. We analyzed different pictures of a wide variety of subjects. These pictures students made comments about what they liked and disliked about the pictures; students discussed where the lines were, vanishing points, and contrasting colors. It was a good first few weeks.
Each week after the introduction we are focusing on different subjects. We are starting out with just general pictures. I wanted to see how their camera skills were. Next we moved to being a little bit more specific. We focused on texture, patterns, and focus. Later we will be taking portrait pictures, and action pictures, and angles.
After students have gone through each of different topics students will pick their one favorite picture they took. I will develop these pictures and place them on the wall just outside of my room for all the student body to review. I will then number them. I will have the student body vote for the best picture. The winner will be given a Ohio State windbreaker.
Getting the pictures is my only hang up. I was hoping to use my Google Voice account to collect the pictures, but Google Voice doesn’t take mms messages. Some of my students have the mini SD cards and so I downloaded the pictures from there. The others I just gave my cell phone number to and had them text me the pictures. Does anyone know of a better way? I would love to hear your ideas. I wasn’t comfortable giving out my personal cell number, but I had in order to get the students pictures. (My students have my Google voice number if they need anything.)
So far we have been at this for 4 weeks. The pictures so far have been great. The picture at the top was taken by one of my students. It is a picture of the hall way looking sideways at the windows. I think it turned out great. My students have been so creative. The pictures they are taking they are showing their creativity, and their hard work. I hope that all of you will be impressed as I have been.
I will be putting all of the pictures up on flickr soon. That way you can judge for yourself.