PhotoPeach

8/12/2012

 
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One of my goals, as I'm designing my online classes, is to expose students to a variety of free online web tools.  In our first semester of Arts History, we'll be covering six eras together and then students will select three from a list of options to research on their own.  Lots to pack in in 3 1/2 months of time.  Initially, I wanted students to make a coffee-table style book for the Medieval era using Shutterfly, but I realized it would be too time-consuming with too much time spent on formatting the project when the bulk of the time needs to be spent processing the content.  I went to one of my trusty online resources, http://www.21things4teachers.net/, for ideas.  If you've never visited this site before, it has great lists of resources depending on what you're looking for collaboration, visual learning, presentation, or digital learning tools.  



Picture
They provided a link to something called PhotoPeach, a site that allows you to make slideshows that play like a video.  They're pretty visually dynamic because rather than sticking on a single unmoving image for each "slide" the camera zooms in or out or across the image to make it look like it's playing.  The great thing about this is that you don't have to program it to do the zoom; it does it automatically.  You write a caption to match up with each image, and it will scroll across the image at whatever speed you choose.  The best part, I think, is that you can layer music over it.  The site has a selection of musical works, but even better, you can upload audio from any YouTube video to your presentation.  Seemed easy enough, but I wanted to make sure it would work to meet my project's learning objectives.  I opened the assignment file and scanned through my objectives and the criteria I laid out for my students, and I got started working on the project myself.  Whereas students will have to include three artforms in their presentation, I only included one.  It took me under two hours to complete the project.  Granted, I didn't have to do much research on the content like my students will have to, but I did do a little research to refresh myself.  But just two hours to research images and artworks for my slideshow, to write out all of my captions to meet the criteria laid out in the assignment sheet, to organize the images, layer music on top of it, refine my wording a few times, and voila.  And that's on a dail-up speed internet connection.  That's certainly less than half the time it would have taken to make a Shutterfly, and I spent the bulk of my time researching images and wording my captions, not assembling the format of my PhotoPeach. which I think is fairly new as it still has very few users.   

Seemed easy enough, but I wanted to make sure it would work to meet my project's learning objectives.  I opened the assignment file and scanned through my objectives and the criteria I laid out for my students.  Then I got started working on the project myself.  Whereas students will have to include three artforms in their presentation, I only included one.  It took me under two hours to complete the project.  Granted, I didn't have to do much research on the content like my students will have to do, but I did do a little research to refresh myself.  But just two hours to research images and artworks for my slideshow, to write out all of my captions to meet the criteria laid out in the assignment sheet, to organize the images, to layer music on top of it, to refine my wording a few times, and voila.  And that's on a dail-up speed internet connection.  That's certainly less than half the time it would have taken to make a Shutterfly, and I spent the bulk of my time researching images and wording my captions, not assembling the format of my PhotoPeach. 

The program could be used as an alternative to PowerPoint or Prezi, but it's meant to stand on its own, whereas students usually use PP and Prezi as visual aids to accompany an oral presentation.  It's also meant to be image-centered as opposed to text-centered, and you're very limited on how much text you can fit on a slide.  There's a plus side to that too though because it forces you to break the information down into concise, easy-to-process chunks.  I think it would be a great tool for students to tell a visual narrative, to give a history report on an important event, to do a presentation on an artist and show several of his/her works, or for art students themselves to create a personal portfolio presentation with a collection of their works and artist statements alongside each.  Teachers could also use it to design presentations to deliver content.    

Simple and quick with engaging results.  Highly recommended.  

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    About Me

    A lover of literature and the arts and an advocate for global awareness and active citizenship, I spend my days with high school English and Social Studies students exploring why it all matters and how they can have a voice in the world.  This is my space to document and reflect on my practice, note happenings in education, and share my appreciation for the arts.

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