Teaching in the Digital Age, by Brian Puerling
Chapter 2: Using Photographs and Images to Inspire
Dr. Jean Feldman hosted this chapter, so be sure to head over to her blog to read her response to chapter 2. Everyone who is responding to the book via blog is linking their post in the “linky”, so be sure to check out those sites as well.
Have you ever used a digital camera to take photos of your preschool students at play? If you have, then you have used technology in the classroom.
There are some teachers who will say technology in the preschool classroom is “bad”. They overgeneralize and imagine the phrase “technology in the classroom” to mean replacing the sensory table, blocks, and paint with computers and iPads. They assume it means cutting play time for computer time. Teaching in the Digital Age does not advocate replacing any of those essential preschool basics. This chapter is an excellent example.
If you are one of those teachers who believe technology in preschool is “bad”, I challenge you to read this chapter and let me know in the comments below which examples given in this chapter are bad for preschoolers.
Photographs can build a bridge for students to connect the familiar to the unfamiliar.
– Brian Puerling
I don’t want to repeat the chapter — it is an excellent chapter with some excellent ideas for using photos in the classroom, but I would like to share some ways that I use photos in the classroom.
- I take photos of children throughout the day, at arrival time, lunch, story time, etc. and use them for a picture schedule. This works better than using clipart for a schedule, in my opinion.
- Take photos of children following rules and procedures. Post them beside your classroom rules and use them the following year to discuss with your new students.
- I take photos of children building structures with blocks, playing a path game with a friend, squeezing a medicine dropper, filling measuring cups with sand, exchanging child-made “money” at a play store. These pictures are shared with parents in my weekly newsletter and I explain to parents why these activities are important below each picture. I blog my newsletter on WordPress, with each post password protected for only the parents to access.
- I also use the pictures mentioned above to add to each child’s e-portfolio, along with pictures taken of the children’s paintings and other work.
- Taking photos is a great way to save artwork that isn’t permanent: a drawing made in sand, a block structure, a dry erase board drawing, a Lego creation.
- Photos of the children with their families are posted in the House Area.
- Photos of authors printed on sticker labels are attached to the inside cover of books (this is a suggestion from the book, Already Ready).
- Take photos during a field trip and post them on the wall or in a book. Ask children to tell about the photos and write their words below each picture.
- I take photos of each side of my classroom from a distance as well as close up photos of each center and shelf. I later look at them to see if I have the classroom, centers, and materials arranged well. Trust me, you will see things in a photo that you don’t see when you are looking right at it.
- Take a photo walk with the children. I have pictures of those on my site here and here.
Photographs can help children make high-level connections and develop a sense of inquiry in science.
– Brian Puerling
Don’t miss this chapter because there are many great examples of using photos in the classroom. I took away many ideas I can start using next year. I loved the comparison of the photo and sketch on pages 34-35.
If you think of a great idea for using photos in the classroom that you would like to share, please write it in the comments below!
If you are interested in the book, Redleaf Press was kind enough to offer a discount code for 35% off. Use the code: STUDY.