Charlotte's Web ThingLink

Friday, January 23, 2015

Photos with Chromebooks/EduWin for Elise Plutt, Global School Day of Play

We've all noticed the camera on a Chromebook. Have you wondered what it is good for aside from selfies? Elise Plutt and her third graders are putting it to good use.

Using the camera, Elise's Third Grade students are taking pictures and adding them to reports. While it is a bit cumbersome, it works! Here's how to do it:

First, go to the Apps waffle in the lower left-hand corner of the Chromebook and find the camera icon. If it's not there, you can find the app in the Chrome Web Store and install it. Click on the icon to open the camera.

Once camera is open, you'll notice you can chose to add effects along the bottom of the screen that can be added before it is taken. This is a good opportunity to talk to your students about purpose and audience.

The app also provides a timer and the ability to take 3 shots with each click. 

Once you've decided on those options,  carefully position the item you want to take a picture of in front of the camera. Elise's students were taking photos of the covers of books they'd been reading. 

After the picture is taken, open the Gallery (see above).

 You will find a menu in the lower right hand corner.

By choosing the icon with the down arrow, you will save your image to your Google Drive. Organize your photos by creating a photos folder. Then you can save directly to it. 

After your student has made sure they saved the photo correctly, Elise suggests you teach your students to delete the photo since there is a limited amount of storage on the Chromebook's hard drive.

Now that the photo is stored in Google Drive, it will be available to insert in a Google Doc or Presentation.

When you are ready, choose insert image. Then, choose to Insert Image from Google Drive.

Choose the folder you have stored your photos in, and when the folder opens, choose the image you want to insert. Then press Select.

Once the image is inserted, you'll see that a menu of image editing options opens when you click on the photo.

Elise taught her students to crop the photo to only show the book cover. I've used it on this photo:
With students taking pictures, this could be a good time to talk about digital privacy. You'll want your students to be sensitive to taking pictures of each other and posting them in documents that will be made public

Just think of how many uses you'll be able to find for the camera once you teach your students to use it. Have your students take photos of artwork, science projects, examples of shapes in the environment. Share ways you use the Chromebook camera in your class. Send your ideas to me and I'll post them on the blog.

Google Classroom

A few teachers who have student teachers and are using Google Classroom have asked if there is a way for co-teachers to share a Classroom. Here is a video on a workaround. Other tips Jen Judkins shares in the video are sharing an entire folder, changing point values, and editing documents with tables on iPads.

Global School Day of Play

Have you heard of the Global School Play Day Movement? Inspired by Peter Gray, a noted American psychologist who has studied schools and societies that emphasize learning through play, the Bedley Brothers, educators in southern California, are trying to raise awareness of how important it is for children to have opportunities for free play. They are rallying K-6 teachers from around the United States to join them on Wednesday, February 4th in acknowledging that play is important in a child's development.

Students bring toys from home but NONE OF THE TOYS CAN REQUIRE BATTERIES. Students can bring board games, legos, blocks, dolls, playing cards, sports equipment, jigsaw puzzles. Think "mid-Century" and you'll get the idea. Then, give them the time to explore and play.

We are fortunate in California to have the kind of weather that encourages kids to play outdoors. Maybe join another class and set up some activities - but don't make the day too structured.

Need a little more encouragement? Watch this YouTube video from Peter Gray.

Wishing you and your students a great day of exploration!