Adding Photos to Your Classroom Blog or Website
For the past three years I have been participating in a photo a day project. During 2010 and 2011 I was very faithful about it, and I posted a photo every day of the year. This year my posting has been much more sporadic. While photography is a personal hobby, I also use a lot of photos for school. Last year we even had a classroom photographer who was responsible of taking photos and posting pictures on our class blog. Using photos is a great way to share things that we are doing with parents and others at school. They can see the projects and activities that we are doing, even if they don’t have time to come to school.
If you are going to use photos that include students, be sure to check out your school district’s policy on this. Our parents sign a release at registration each year, but I take additional precautions by having parents sign a permission slip just for my class. I let them know how I might be using photographs, so they can be fully informed.
If I do post photos of students on either our class website, class blog, or my professional blog, I never put a name with a face. Depending on how the photo will be used, I sometimes photograph students from the back or side, so they are not easily recognizable. If a parent does not want their child’s photo included, I simply leave them out.
When you have 28 kids in a class, it’s hard to pick just one or two photos to share with parents. For a big project like our castle project, I photograph each child with and without their castle. Students may use the castle only photo on their own Kidblog. I usually make an Animoto, which is a slide show set to music, to show all the castles and kids. Here is our Castle Animoto for 2012.
I have been having some fun experimenting with several on-line photo editors to create photo collages or mosaics. This is a great way to share several photos at once. My families and the kids seem to like this.
One of my favorites is Big Huge Labs. This is the first website of this kind that I learned about. This website has lots of ways you can use photos. I have made mosaics. You can also easily create motivational posters, calendars, jigsaw puzzles, and lots of other things. This website is easy to use, so check it out. This mosaic of our Medieval Paper Doll Project was made on Big Huge Labs.
Photovisi is another Photo Collage maker. It has some different layouts than Big Huge Labs. You can also add different backgrounds. During the last few days of school, we used M&Ms for math. We sorted, graphed, and worked with fractions with our M & Ms. Here is a collage I made on Photovisi with some of those pictures.
Sometimes a photo doesn’t come out the way I would like. There are several websites that allow you to edit or enhance photos. One that I learned about recently is called iPiccy. You can crop, change colors, add special effects, and add matting and frames. This is a photo of the mastadon skeleton that I took on our field trip to the Iowa Historical Building.
Here is the photo after I have played with it a bit on iPiccy.
Funky Photo is a website for adding special effects. It has less options than some of the others, but it is fun to play with. This is one of my students at our Valentines Party. He doesn’t usually look that. He has on a plastic mustache and lips. His photo has been cartoonized on Funky Photo.
Recently I have been experimenting with a website called PicMonkey. This website lets you edit photos, create collages and add special effects. You can either upload photos, or there is a drag and drop option. This collage of the flowers in my front yard was made on PicMonkey. This website has lots of options.
Whether it’s for personal photos or school pictures, check out the possibilities with these websites. They are fun to play with, and the photos add a lot to a classroom website or blog.