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Tools of the Trade

Picture This

The recent surge of tech trends has changed the educational landscape as we know it. Remain steps ahead of your students (while appealing to their socially savvy sides!) by leveraging your favourite photo-sharing platform and bringing innovation to art, science, math and more with these 10 picture-perfect ideas.

By Melissa Campeau

  1. Capture a Moment

    Relive Jacques Cousteau’s maiden underwater voyage or Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon. Have students research and recreate moments in history (or even vignettes of famous paintings) to photograph, upload and share.

  2. Start Sleuthing

    Break out your Sherlock Holmes gear! Have small groups stage and photograph a clue-laden scene of a mystery — stolen running shoes! Missing homework! Then let the deductive reasoning begin as students try to figure out whodunit.

  3. Spark a Story

    Collect photos of objects and scenes that inspire questions — a boy in mismatched shoes, a sink piled high with candy or a balloon floating away. Students can then dream up a backstory to go along with each and determine what happens next.

  4. Get Reporters Roving

    Assign your future Woodwards and Bernsteins a beat to cover — hallway fashion, school dances or sports. After discussing each of their photographic approaches, ask your students to upload their files and produce a class newspaper.

  5. Create for a Cause

    Skip the school bake sale — instead, raise funds by auctioning off pieces from your budding photographers’ portfolios. Students brainstorm ideas, shoot their images and add special effects to create something unique and personal.

  6. Engage, Again

    What could be more exciting than firing up a Bunsen burner or peering down a microscope? Seeing your science project’s results evolve before your eyes when you document every step of the experiment with a picture!

  7. Hone Healthy Habits

    Breakfast smoothie? Click. Soccer after school? Click. Having students post pics of daily habits can bring physical education lesson plans to life. Plus, images can spark conversations about nutrition and exercise.

  8. Connect With Parents

    Share your students’ assignments and activities with their biggest fans — their parents! Capture a child’s handwriting, for instance, over the course of the year so that everyone can celebrate their progress and encourage them.

  9. Curate a Collage

    Challenge your class to gather pictures that define their values. Apply the same idea to fictional characters; then post images of what Huck Finn or Romeo and Juliet would be drawn to if they’d had access to social media.

  10. Document the Day

    Trekking to a museum? Visiting a nature reserve? Going to the zoo? Nominate an event photographer to record highlights from your class’s field trip. Once you’re back, use the pics as jumping off points for lively group discussions and projects.

Use photography responsibly when you document and promote learning; check with your school board for any related policies that may be in place. For best practices in technology, refer to the College’s Professional Advisory on the Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media (