Since signing up to twitter in 2009 I have been keen to attend ISTE due to seeing tweets pop up that captivated my interest and conversations occurring in the twitter-sphere. Well this year, thanks to the generosity of the Hardie Fellowship, I was able to attend. I signed up for a session on the pre-conference day, of which I am really glad I did for a number of reasons. Firstly, I got to scope out the venue prior to the 16000 people populated the space. This number of people made lining up, in what felt like never ending lines, for programmed events and coffee the norm. Secondly, I enjoyed a session that will provide wonderful opportunities for students and myself as we continue to develop our visual literacies combined with social media.
To contextualise this a little, in term one I was teaching a couple of English classes, of which I felt quite out of my depth due to it not being an area I have trained in. To support myself and the student learning I felt that it was important to start with something we could all buy into and as a result have ownership over our learning. Photography seemed like the perfect platform for this to occur. So with smartphones, ipods, ipads and cameras in hand my classes set out on a range of tasks that set the scene for their English work. In the process we learnt heaps about each other, our interests, talents and developed our English skills along the way. This was not all smooth sailing, as the issue of school policy was our first hiccup, but hey, policy is there to evolve to enable learning to occur in our ever changing world. So after a few weeks our mode of learning was not in too much conflict with school based policy. I will chat more about this later as this was central to another session I attended at ISTE.
So my desire to attend this session was based on the learning I and my students had undertaken before I left for the USA.
For a look at the slides from the session Edutogs – Integrate Photography into the Classroom visit:
The thing that I loved about this session was the chance to go and play, to immerse and to think about how I could ensure that the next time I use photography in the classroom more is gained from it. One of the challenges that I face, and I’m sure that some students do too, is the time to tinker and explore the medium being used. Sometimes it takes time to feel comfortable with what you are doing and the tools you are using before you can focus on the assessable task that is required. Creating does not necessarily happen immediately, how do we provide adequate time for our students to do their best, to feel connected to the task and the learning?
He are some pics I took on the day during our photo walk, where I focused on texture, angle and shape:
I then went onto playing with different apps to change the photos:
Since then I have had further opportunity to think about the photos that I take and manipulating them to communicate a story that I want to tell: