Archive for Digital Photography
April 16, 2008
I love case studies. These two scenarios were discussed in my network today, though not a blog, else I would point to them. But I did promise those in my network who shared with me that I would seek input from this network.
Case Study/Fictitious Scenario 1:
A group of students wanted their picture to be used in the credits portion of the school news program. Instead of asking a sponsor to assist, they used a camera on a cell phone, uploaded the photo online, then downloaded it and used it.
The sponsor is savvy enough to accurately guess where the picture came from, even how it was obtained, and even though none confessed, it was openly discussed in front of the sponsor by the group of students how easy it is to do.
The sponsor is a veteran educator who is on an advisory committee at school, and even helped frame wording for appropriate cell phone use scripted in the student handbook.
What should the sponsor do?
Case Study/ Fictitious Scenario 2:
Students are taken to the computer lab for a project on a school newsletter. The task is to research news sites to glean popular or newsworthy topics that might be of interest in a school student newsletter. Using a newsletter program, the students are to write a proposed article. The task upon submitting article electronically is to look for newer ideas online for next newsletter project.
A student is seen on a filtered site by the teacher, who is young and very tech savvy. The student is just asked to get off the site, and warned that the next offense will result in loss of all Internet privileges. When questioned by the student as to “how” Internet privileges can be revoked, the teacher explains that a call will be made to the technology department locking the student out of the network–that the student’s login will be disabled. The student complies with the request, and there was no scene.
Gosh these sound just like something that might happen at any school anywhere. I know what I would do, and it would probably be labeled as “kneejerk” or an “over-reaction.” Of course I say go with exactly as the school’s handbook outlines, afterall in the past I have majorly contributed to it. Teachers should model making good choices, and that includes following the rules, as well as implementing them. Not doing this sends the wrong message, and even though these two are harmless, if we don’t implement all of them, my fear is that kids will think all of them can be ignored.
As I reflect on these scenarios, I think the kids don’t believe they have done anything drastically wrong. The first student saw a way to meet what was deemed a need in a simple and quick way. In the second case, I think the student knows he went against a school rule related to the AUP, but did immediately comply, and as far as I can tell, did not make a scene, did not disrupt class, and had completed the assignment given. The assignment was even to a degree innovative.
What would you do?
So what do you think? What should these educators-teachers-sponsors do? What would you do?
Image: ‘Something new‘
Image: ‘Emma hard at work on an assignment‘
December 27, 2007
As I see others reflecting on the year 2007 as it draws to a close, I must as well. There have been several changes for me including a new job, a new living arrangement for my family, and new opportunities that are as a direct result of joining the blogosphere and interacting with a network (like Twitter.) I won’t bore you with my favorites, but instead make some goals:
- Brevity – In my own blog reading I find it difficult to read long posts. I know I’m guilty of writing long posts too. So I have a goal–be brief and get to the point! I am planning to reduce verbiage, and try to say it with far fewer words, and instead use more pictures, and maybe a video or two (stored sensibly on video and picture storing sites–hello, YouTube, TeacherTube, Photobucket, & Flickr.)
- Relocate – I am becoming ever increasingly unhappy with Edublogs. I dumped blogger a year and half ago, and jumped ship to Edublogs, primarily b/c I feared Blogger would be blocked at school (and I was not disappointed.) Edublogs was good for me, but as I have grown, my material requires more space. Since it is time to pay for more space to be allowed the service, I see it also as a good time to explore hosting it on my own space/domain. I don’t even know if I understand it, but I have been assured help from my friends Chris Craft, Jennifer Wagner, and perhaps even David Jakes. (Counting on you all, actually!) Timeline? I don’t know. I need to get bills from Christmas squared away before I decide. But in the meantime, my posts will probably be limited.
- Video – I’m going to seriously look at adding video to my mix here. I’ve created myself a YouTube and TeacherTube account, and want to begin playing in the green screen department. Dean Shareski is responsible for that! (Note to Dean–You inspire me!)
- Redesign – I have some presentations coming up, and I plan to redesign them. I’ve been reading a lot lately about the 10-20-30 rule for presenting. I’ve also come to understand that folks don’t want to read it, they want you to tell it-and what better way than in a story. So I’m going to be hitting Flickrcc hard, and trying add in the mix some videos (for commercial breaks, as I heard one blogger call them–wish i could credit that person!) And I’m going to rehearse my spill in the best storytelling format I can come up with. Along with that, I hope to add some kind of interactivity to my sessions–though I haven’t quite figured out how yet. Anyone have any suggestion? Look out SCASL, SCASA’s SLI, and SC Edtech.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/liQLdRk0Ziw" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
Okay, I know, I know, still way too wordy. Give me a break, it’s not 2008 yet! Rag me about it after the first. Happy New Year everyone!
Image: ‘massive change‘
December 18, 2007
As I prepare for my Christmas break, I am surprised at the number of teachers who drop by to ask my opinion about purchasing cameras for Christmas. So I have responded with the following information. Of course I am by no means an expert, so if you have knowledge above and beyond what I have to share, please feel free to comment, and I’ll pass on your tips.
Teachers, Several of you have inquired about cameras to purchase for Christmas.
The flip cameras offer fine video quality for small home projects or taping kids in class, but not for LONGER projects. They are reasonably priced too, ranging from $125-$160. If you are considering one, I would ask the sales person to demonstrate getting video off the camera and judging the quality for your self. You might not be so impressed when you see the quality—I like to call it YouTube quality. But it’s decent enough.
There are many brands and types of video camera. I myself have been questioning whether a “hard drive” camera was a worthy investment. This website will talk about all the various types of cameras available to help you make a knowledgeable decision (even though it appears to be an instructional type site.) I confirmed what I had heard a good while back about the hard drive cameras, in that the video is not in a format that most “editors” can handle, and so must be converted first, which may degrade the quality of the film. If you don’t intend to edit any video, this is a fine purchase. These cameras have upwards of 30 to fifty gigabytes, and you will pay a pretty penny for them, anywhere from $450-$1000.
If I were buying a video camera, I would purchase one that takes mini-dv tapes. They are the least expensive for the QUALITY you get. The video file is in a format that can be recognized by most video editors, including the industry standard Apple program Final Cut Pro all the way down to the freebie on your Windows XP workstation (Windows Movie Maker) (NOTE: ALL the school videos shown on the news program have been created here at school with Windows moviemaker—and they were taped using a Sony mini-dv camera.) Yes, you’ll have to buy mini-dv tapes, but for the quality and considering most of us are “novice” videographers, you will be pleased as punch with this or other similar video cameras.
Another note about the mini-dv cameras—they will take still photos too, but check to make sure you are getting 3mp or higher. 2mp or less will not offer the quality to print out.
STILL PICTURE CAMERAS:
Still Image cameras—most of us want a point and shoot camera, as we are not necessarily interested in professional cameras that have lots of bells and whistles. There are many of these in the stores right now too. If you are considering a santa gift in the guise of a digital camera, Santa should look for this:
1) optical/digital zoom: You want the optical zoom to be higher than 3X. I typically disregard how high the digital zoom is, since all it does is crop and pixellate pictures—they will print out looking fuzzy and unfocused—that’s what the digital zoom does. Also, if you plan to use the digital zoom, get a tripod, because it is virtually impossible to be still enough to take pictures using digital zoom—no matter how still you think you are, camera shake will effect the pix –remember you breathe, therefore the camera will detect even this slightest movement.
2) Pixels. Get at least 3 –and in the stores right now, you almost cannot find a digital camera that does not at least have 5 megapixels. 3MP will print out great 8X10 pictures to frame and display. Also know that downloading the pictures from these cameras will require lots of memory, and you can absolutely fill up your harddrive with useless photos you will never use. Consider JUST downloading the ones that are good enough, or get an external drive (there are 160GB external harddrives for as low as $79, and they resemble an ipod. Small, portable. Cool.
3) LCD Display – if you have older eyes, you will want a fairly large LCD display. Many people don’t even look through the viewfinder anymore, but instead rely on the LCD Display to frame up a shot. You want menus to have readability too, so having a bigger LCD screen will help.
4) Memory cards. Cameras have almost stopped making the smaller ones, and lately the smallest I’ve seen is 512 mb, which translates to roughly 400 average pictures. WOW. (Remember you can fill up your harddrive—can anyone spell c-r-a-s-h?) Most memory cards available are now upwards of 1-2gb. 1600 pictures. Don’t forget you could crash your computer b/c you want to keep all those photos. If you like all your photos, get an external drive. Save pix to it.
If you want a quick and dirty tutorial on using your video camera or still camera, I don’t profess to know all, but I can offer some tips that will make you happier with your final product. Let me know.
Image: ‘Anyone Have a Flip Video Camera?‘
Image: ‘WD-H43 .7x wide angle lens‘
June 5, 2007
May 23, 2007
Check it out! A program called PhotoWipe that will remove lines magically with a simple swipe or eraser tool. How cool is that?
May 7, 2007
–pronounced photo- is a new photoeditor, at least new to me. This one is said to be a comparable to the Adobe Photoshop program. Cool beans! There are lots of photo tools, and you can adjust photos or repair them. Its a free editor with lots of bells and whistles, and even allows layering, something not typically found in free photo editing programs.
December 13, 2006
I am beginning to hear questions about how to get good shots of Chrismas lights at night. So here is my research in the form of a few links:
Some general rules are as follows:
- Close-ups, like a homemade ornament on the tree or your favorite elves, will need a flash.
- The tree all lit up will require the use of the night time setting (yeah, the dial you almost never use) or for the “flash” to be turned off. The drawback to the night time setting is that camera’s shutter is slowed down, and the result is camera shake (resulting in blurry pictures.) To make-up for that possibility use a tripod.
- Take oudoor pictures of lights (i.e. the amazing Christmas extravaganza down the street!!) should be done at dusk, where you can reasonably use a little of the remaining daytime light, but still see the Christmas lights.
Apologies for the dual postings. Happy Holidays everyone!!