Specific Instructional Strategies for Using Picasa and Digital Cameras in your Classroom

  • Identifying Similarities and Differences:
    • Representing similarities and differences in graphic or symbolic form enhances students’ understanding of and ability to use knowledge.
      • Use images taken with digital camera to provide explicit guidance in identifying similarities and differences.
      • Use images taken with digital camera to ask students to independently identify similarities and differences.
        • Ask students to compare images.
        • Ask students to classify images using Picasa 3 (photo organizing software).
        • Ask students to create and/or represent metaphors using images.
        • Ask students to create and/or represent analogies using images.
  • Summarizing and Note Taking:
    • Ask students to summarize using images taken with digital camera.
    • Ask students to delete, edit, or keep images using Picasa 3 in order to facilitate analysis of the information at a deep level.
    • Use images taken with camera as a visual “summary frame” designed to highlight the critical elements of a lesson or topic.
    • Provide or allow students to use images as a study guide for tests.
  • Reinforcing Effort and Providing Recognition:
    • Abstract symbolic recognition is more effective than tangible rewards.
      • Use images taken with digital camera to communicate the importance of believing in effort, and ways students can learn to change their beliefs to an emphasis on effort.
      • Use images taken with digital camera to recognize student effort, achievement, and mastery.
        • Create awards including images.
        • Create slide shows, class books, bulletin boards, or websites including images.
  • Homework and Practice:
    • Use images taken with digital camera to enhance or add meaning to homework assignments or to help illustrate the purpose of homework.
    • Ask students to take images with digital camera as part of a homework assignment. Students can also adapt and shape what they have learned by manipulating images using software such as Picasa 3.
    • Use images to provide feedback on homework.

  • Nonlinguistic Representations:
    • Use images taken with digital camera to increase the variety of nonlinguistic representations of knowledge in your classroom.
      • Use images to create graphic representations.
      • Use images to create models.
      • Use images to generate mental pictures.
      • Use images to guide or inspire kinesthetic activity.
    • Use images taken with digital camera to elaborate (or “add to”) student knowledge.
    • Or, ask students to elaborate on the images and to justify their elaborations.
    • Use images to create time-sequence patterns.
    • Use images to create process or cause-effect patterns.
    • Use images to create episode patterns.
    • Use images to create generalization/principle patterns.
    • Use images to create concept patterns. (These patterns can all be created using image organizing software such as Picasa 3.)
  • Cooperative Learning:
    • Use images to applaud group successes and efforts.
    • Use images to document individual and group accountability.
    • Use images to facilitate group reflection.
  • Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback:
    • Use images taken with digital camera to represent instructional goals.
    • Allow students to take pictures with digital camera in order to represent their personalized goals.
    • Use images to support “corrective” feedback. (The instant nature of digital images – and means of sharing digital images – can facilitate timely feedback.)
    • Allow students to use images to support their own feedback.
  • Generating and Testing Hypotheses:
    • Ask students to form hypotheses based on images taken with digital camera. Then ask students to clearly explain their hypotheses and conclusions.
    • Use images to support systems analysis, problem solving, and historical investigation.
    • Use images to prompt invention
    • Allow students to use images to document or facilitate experimental inquiry and decision making.
  • Cues, Questions, and Advance Organizers:
    • Use images taken with digital camera as cues and advance organizers.
    • Use images as visual support for higher-level questions, especially before a learning experience.
    • Use images to focus on what is important.
    • Using images may be most useful with information that is not organized.

Reference:
This material has been adapted or quoted from:

Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D.J., Pollock, J.E. (2001). Classroom instruction that works: research-based strategies for increasing student achievement.
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD): Alexandria, VA.