Using Creative Apps with iCloud’s Photo Stream

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Who knew that using iCloud’s Photo Stream would be such a powerful classroom tool in sharing resources, encouraging discussion, and promoting collaboration? Teachers can share resources with students and students can share their work with their teacher and classmates. The most powerful tool in the Photo Steam is the ability to comment on one’s photos or videos. This creates a very rich dialogue for students working on a collaborative project, or for a classes to share their work with one another. The Common Core Standards and the NETS states that students should be able to:

With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.

(NETS) Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital media.

(NETS) Demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.

(NETS) Create original works for personal and group expression using a variety of digital tools.

The first step to using the Photo Steam is to make sure you have either an iCloud address for each student, or as in my case, a shared iCloud account.

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Here’s a sample project from what we did in my second grade group today. We used the app called Faces iMake. I love this app because it really encourages originality, exploration, discovery, and right-brain thinking. For this assignment, I didn’t give my students guidelines…I just left it open-ended to promote creativity. In this app, students use everyday objects to create art. My students LOVED using this app and they were unhappy when time was up! Once students were finished with their art, they saved it to their camera roll. Next, I had students open their Photos and select the Shared camera roll. From there, they chose the Photo Stream I made Called “Faces iMake” and there they were able to add their creation to the stream. Once their photo was added, they could add comments to their classmates’ photos. They loved doing this! The guidelines I gave them for adding comments where that they had to add their name so that we knew who was commenting (if you have individual iCloud accounts, you can add your name as a contributor and then you don’t have to add your name again for individual comments you make to photos). Once they added their name, then I asked them to give a positive comment/feedback to their classmates. Maybe it’s a comment about the unique way they added hair to their face, or perhaps it’s a way they used layers in their picture…it just had to be positive. Now that my class has finished this project, I would clarify that they HAVE to use complete sentences with correct punctuation. Once I looked through the stream’s comments I saw a lot of “LOL” and “That’s cute” which isn’t what I wanted them to write, but since this was their first go at it, I let it go. As I reflect on this lesson, next time, I would make all of the above a requirement.

Since we were combining multiple technical skills in this lesson, (creating a face in Faces iMake, saving to camera roll, uploading picture to shared photo stream, commenting on classmate’s work) I’d call our learning a huge success. My students loved going back through and reading the comments that others posted on their photo. Other ways to use the Photo Stream are in collaborative projects (creating group iMovies), shared writing projects, research projects, debates, math, reading, and vocabulary, creating visual posters, poster made in Keynote or Pages, the list goes on and on…think about the power in having students discuss an idea, concept, or project with each other. Think about the ease in sharing photos out with your students! This is engaging for our students, which results in powerful learning outcomes here, friends!

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IMG_6151Here are my students adding comments to the Photo Stream:

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