Friday, 26 April 2013

Module 6: Exploring photos and videos on the web.

" A picture paints a thousand words." - (Chinese proverb, adapted and coined by Frederick R. Barnard). 

"A picture paints a thousand words" a famous proverb but often taken for granted. Generally speaking, this increasingly becomes apparent as we progress into adulthood as at times we tend to forget the power of imagery. In our CAFE Readings and Daily 5 reading program we have begun to emphasise the importance of reading texts in three ways: read the words, read the pictures and retelling/summarising the text. Making a concerted effort to read the pictures with the students has helped to shift the students' mindset of perceiving images as only having aesthetic value to viewing images as one valuable component of a whole text, that further support and add meaning to written text. After exploring Picasa, I think this tool has the potential to support the development of students' visual literacy skills.

Being able to create web albums on Picasa is particularly useful for storing, organising and sharing a range of photos. These features would be helpful when students are working on a project together, making it easier to collaborate as everyone in the group can access photos anywhere, anytime; furthermore, with the photos being stored on the web reduces the risk loosing photos or corrupted in comparison to being stored only on a camera or hard drive. 

Overall, I found Picasa fairly simple to use and would present minimal difficulties when implementing use of this tool with the students. Despite this, I did have extreme difficulty incorporating a creative commons licence and tagging my photo for some reason, even after using the 'help' option.  

Below, I have created of possible ideas Picasa could be used as an educational tool at St. Mark's. 
How can Picasa be used as a learning tool in our school?

  • A tool to gather evidence: students could take photos of themselves developing a new skill, working on a project to show their learning progress. This can be easily organised according to date and category using the functions provided by Picasa. The benefit of this, is that it would allow students to reflect on their own learning progress, to develop pride in their achievements and help discover areas for improvement. 
  • A tool to capture key events: Students can combine and share photos from excursions, incursions and special school events. Students can create collages or 'photo movies' to share with the school community, for example, on our Kids News program or uploaded onto the School Wiki. Another way for students to practise summarising events and working through the editing process. 
  • A storytelling tool: Using photography students can retell or create a story through photography and create a movie with their pictures. Students can take advantage Picasa's editing tools to create the desired effects and add text to enhance their story. 
  • A tool to support visual literacy through the arts: Students could create photos that incorporate different media techniques (such as taking pictures from different perspectives and angles), focusing on body language, facial expressions and colour to express emotions. These visual elements can then be analysed and interpreted as a class.
It will be interesting to see if and how Picasa will be used in our school once the 5/6 students receive their Google Accounts. I wonder if any other teachers have used Picasa as an educational tool and how they have used it? Please share if you have any ideas!


  1. Good news, Google Ed. accounts have the option to turn on Picasa for we might have to take some of those great ideas of yours and run with them :)


  2. Cheers! Thanks Anth. Looking forward to playing around on Picasa with the kids.