PxPixel
612 - Tech Learning

612

For the past 612 days I've taken at least one photo every day. It started when one of my contacts in flickr, Darcy Norman, shared his photo a day efforts for 2007.  It inspired enough of us to try the same for 2008. Although is was challenging many days, showing the finished project to my family made me realize what a treasure it was for us. It chronicled our entire year and brought back memories of not only the highlights but also the everyday moments that are what most of our lives are made of. 
Author:
Publish date:

For the past 612 days I've taken at least one photo every day.

Image placeholder title

It started when one of my contacts in flickr, Darcy Norman, shared his photo a day efforts for 2007. It inspired enough of us to try the same for 2008. Although is was challenging many days, showing the finished project to my family made me realize what a treasure it was for us. It chronicled our entire year and brought back memories of not only the highlights but also the everyday moments that are what most of our lives are made of.

The project has done many things for me as a photographer. Not only does quantity matter but participating with others and seeing their daily photos inspires me and keeps me going. For some of those contacts, seeing what matters to them, seeing patterns in their lives is an interesting sociological experiment. I see the world differently. Darcy calls it "mindful seeing". Things I never considered to be interesting suddenly interest me. I stop along the side of a road to take pictures of fields, I carry my camera with me all the time and take photos of shadows, weird signs, old buildings and food.

Looking back at my childhood BDC (before digital cameras), my family were archivists. They took pictures on special occasions only, birthdays, Christmas and vacations. My wife's father was an amateur photographer who had his own darkroom. For our wedding we had the traditional slide show. I mean slides, not powerpoint. My family had about 40 pictures of my childhood to offer while my in-laws had to weed out from thousands.

Today everyone can be a photographer. Flickr has over 3 billion photos alone. This might be the most important single technology revolution in terms of participation. What does it mean? How has it changed us? Is this better or worse?

Like most technology, it's dependant on the user. And just like the internet, digital photography provides us with abundance. When schools consider what's important for our students to know, most are realizing memorization of facts is no longer a staple of education given the access to information. The better questions of learning ask "so what?" as we grapple with the information. Being able to take photos have access to photos is no longer an issue. We need to be asking, "so what?"

All this rambling is really about visual literacy. I speak a language today about compostion, I never spoke 10 years ago before I had a digital camera. The photos I took BDC are strikingly poor in comparison to the photos I take now. My fear is that our text bias schools continue to see photography and imagery as lesser forms of communication. This has to change.

You want to be a better photographer?

  1. Take lots of pictures
  2. Post them for others to crtique
  3. Look at them often
  4. Look at other's photos
  5. Talk with others about photos

Has the advent of digital photography impacted you? Leave your comment. I'd love to hear from you.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

Featured

Related

What Are You Doing With All Your Photos?

While visiting New York City I stood and saw nearly every person around me taking a photo. Not only with their phones and compact cameras but was astonished by the number of DSLR's. Clearly, people are serious about taking pictures. They've embraced the notion that they are now photographers and are enjoying the affordances of cheap failure.  I kept wondering what would they do with these photos?

Image placeholder title

Things are getting interesting

Today I stumbled across a couple of pieces of content that for me, placed at the forefront of my thinking, the real challenges that face education today. First Chris Lehmann gave a presentation to the National Broadband working group at the FCC. Chris began by challenging folks to picture any high school at dismissal time and observe the mad rush for students to turn on their devices, the same devices that are banned in most schools. He argues that the more we continue to ignore the role these devices play in students lives, the less relevant our schools become. These devices will only increase in importance and use as our students become adults.

Image placeholder title

ISTE: It's What You Make of It

After attending my 5th ISTE event in a row, I always enjoy reading various reflections of the event. Those reflections usually reference the opportunity to network with other educators. The proverbial, “the hallway conversations trump sessions” statement continues to be the theme of the posts made by your favorite bloggers.  Of course, one must realize the bias...

Looking Back: The Value of the Archive

For the better part of 10 years I’ve been blogging, posting images to Flickr, videos to YouTube and sharing bookmarks and a scattering of other artifacts to other spaces and still have access and reference these in a variety of ways.