One of my favorite tools in the classroom is the camera. In Part 1, we shared some of the choices teachers may have for accessing cameras in the classroom. So, I've captured the photo. Now what do I do with it?
Probably my biggest goal for taking photos in the classroom would be to share that photo with a particular audience (students, parents, or sister class in another part of the world). The first devices discussed in Part 1 were devices already connected to a network. Laptops, netbooks, document cameras connected to an Innovation Station, all of those are on a network and the images can be saved to a district server for easy access by the students.
Digital cameras present an alternative with other options. First, the easiest is to share the photos directly into a projector. Most cameras come with an AV cable with RCA/composite (red/white/yellow) plugs. A teacher can connect these camera to the projector and instantly share the photos with the class on the full-size classroom screen. Otherwise, the images will need to be transferred to a computer via it's USB connection cable or by inserting the camera's SD memory card into a computer-connected card reader. Connecting the camera directly sometimes requires software or drivers to recognize the camera as a device by the computer. Using a card-reader will allow the computer to access the saved photos as if the SD memory card were an external storage device, which it is at that point. AISD Windows laptops and netbooks have a built-in card reader. There are also small $5-$10 USB adapters that let you plug the SD card into the USB port on any computer.
Cell phone image transfer can be a bit more challenging since there are many different types of phones and ways that each are able to get the photo to a computer. Often, the camera may come with a USB cable just like a digital camera, but let's focus on the easier and more authentic way of sharing the camera phone pictures. Being that they are already always on a network, phones present you with the opportunity to share immediately to many different Web 2.0 photo sharing sites. Teachers can quickly learn how to manage the classroom online resource so that the photos are shared in a responsible and curriculum-supporting way.
The last post in this series will deal with the instructional use of sharing photos and using some easy Web 2.0 tools to do so.
What tips would you have for teachers for getting photos to a networked location when sharing?