Smile! Selfies-Usies & More - Digital Photos in The Classroom

Smile! Selfies-Usies & More - Digital Photos in The Classroom

We have certainly come a long way from using traditional cameras in the classroom. We no longer have to wait for photos to be developed, or even to sync a camera with a computer. We now have instant ways to share photos easily! Capturing special moments in the classroom is ideal for any classroom at any grade level. Rather you are using a digital camera, iPad, or smartphone, you can instantly open up your classroom walls to the world. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Here are a few simple ways you and your students can use Digital Photos in the classroom.

Meet the Teacher Night Selfies
Get to know your new students and their families right away. Setup a photo booth in your classroom on Open House, or Meet The Teacher Night. This is a fun way to get families involved. Post them in your classroom, or on your website or blog. Check out 3rd grade teacher Ms. Wolgamot's page.

Student Portfolios with Thinglink
Take class photos, or individual or group selfies, and link them to projects students create throughout the year.

What a cool way to share special student projects at the end of the school year.

Personalized Portfolio Webmixes
You can do the same thing with Symbaloo for individual students. Create a year-long digital portfolio using this tool to share with parents throughout the year.
Check out the tutorial here

Picture Collages
Create individual pic collages while students learn their 5 senses, or maybe to visualize a writing project, or to share images from a field trip. This one was created using the app PicCollage

Other ways to use Digital Photos in the Classroom

Making History Come Alive
Have students dress as a famous person in history. Have students take pictures of each other in costume. Use them in historic journals, diaries, or posters they create. Instead of celebrating Halloween, a school in California celebrates Historical Figure Day.

School or Classroom Expectations

Have students take photos showing proper ways to handle equipment in the classroom, and/or classroom rules and procedures.

Photo Lab Report
Instead of the usual write-up reports, kids can create a photo- lab report (demonstrate through photography) the process in their science experiments. Keep track of what's happening in long term experiments or investigations. Plant growth, lifecycle of a chicken, bird feeding station observations. At the end create cool slideshows using an app like a Animoto

Engaging Field Trips
Allow students to take iPads, or cell phones on field trips to take photos. Take it step further and use audio boo to add audio to their images. Or use twitter to share their learning experience. Document field trips and class activities simply.

Creative Writing
Have students take a picture, and have other students write about what they see.

Take Mystery Photos that show parts of something, and other students in the class have to try and figure out what it is. They could also write about it.

Social Values, and Manners
Role play problem situations through photographs and captions. Capture facial expressions, and create posters or slide shows.

How To's
Help students organize their writings through photos. Put together the photos to tell a story, or "how to" do something.

There is no limit to the types of projects your students can do with digital photos. Photos are a perfect way to engage students. After all, who doesn't love a good selfie?

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Patricia Brown is the Technology Integration Coach at Old Bonhomme Elementary School in Saint Louis, MO, where she implemented the first annual OB Family Tech week and Digital Learning Day. As a classroom teacher, she was awarded a $25,000 Innovative Technology grant for her school. Read her blog at