From a growth mindset perspective, our photography had some space to grow. I wasn’t sure how to do it, and I’d tried many things before. The difference with the approach I took this year is that it actually worked.
The first week of school, we talked about cell phone photography, acknowledging that the best camera that you have is the one that is on you. I also wanted them to start walking around the world looking for photos that would capture life at our school.
I made a folder on SmugMug, where students added their photos and captions. Every week, I created a slideshow with the photos and showed it to our class. We make observations about the photos, and then talk about what worked and what else we could try to do in our photography. The first few weeks involved a fair number of pictures of the sky, people from very, very far away, and food.
Somewhere around week four, the photo skills jumped. I would give different challenges each week, depending upon what skills I saw they were ready for/needed from the week before.
What I realized worked in this weekly assignment is that it created a regular structure to get them taking photos and interviewing people every week. The slideshow gave us time to see each other’s work and to have our work shared. It was going somewhere beyond Schoology, and it was inspiring to see what others were doing.
In addition, we have 80 photos with captions coming in every week. We pull these to use on social media, our website, in the yearbook, in our magazine and sometimes in our literary + arts journal.
Here are what the challenges looked like. Use the slides and content as you wish.