I have taught this unit every year in my digital photography class, but I don’t think I have ever taught it exactly the same way from year to year because it seems to change based upon the students in the classroom. This year I decided not to have the students make a Keynote presentation, but rather set up a blog sites for each of my students to create their own blogs using their own photography to explain the compositional tips.
I thought I would get some complaints, but instead my students looked eager to get started. They immediately started to ask, what blog site would they be working from. At that time, I said that I wasn’t sure and did they have any recommendations. Only one girl had ever made a blog herself, so the rest were open to any site that I had in mind. Since I had already been learning about EduBlog for the elementary students, I created some more blogs for my DP students. At first I didn’t give them total administrative control, but I soon found out they couldn’t even select the theme that they wanted unless I changed the permissions to the highest level. So I immediately changed their settings and allowed them to have more creative control.
One student asked, “Do I put it all in the post area, or do you want me to use the Page.” I responded by saying, “You decide. It’s your blog.” I thought there would be more questions on how to create a blog, but just after a quick overview of how blogs work, the students jumped right in without hesitation.They have been doing research for about a week and collected notes and summarizing their findings from other websites on this topic. The have to have 5 of their own original photos to demonstrate each concept along with a detailed explanation of each compositional tip.
I showed the students how to put the “Press this” tool on their bookmark bar, and demonstrated how it could be used to link their research to their own pages. The one girl who had experience at writing blogs was not aware of this tool and was very appreciative of being able to learn something new about blogging that she didn’t know.
My students will continue working on this projects for several weeks. Since they have been lax in taking the photos that they will need to complete the project. I hope the project pushes them to remember to borrow the camera more faithfully and shoot more often during the week. Otherwise they will have a very difficult time completing this project.So far it is going well. Actually even better than I had at first thought I could.
Our high school students are often asked to respond on a Moodle, or a Blackboard platform, but I think this may be their first experience as having their own blog. I’m glad I could use the knowledge that I had gained during this first course in a positive step towards integrating more technology into the curriculum even in a class that is already a digital media class.
I already have a rubric set up for the assessment, but it will need to be modified with the blog in mind instead of a multimedia presentation.
My lesson plan for this unit is at the top of this website.