The Electric Educator: Six ways to use Google Photos in the Classroom

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Six ways to use Google Photos in the Classroom

Here are six ideas to help you use Google Photos to document learning in your classroom and help students create wonderful multimedia projects.

New to Google Photos? Check out 📽️ this video to get started!

1️⃣ Share to your school account

I recommend that you upload all of your photos to your personal Google account. Once there, you can create an album for classroom photos which you can share to your school G Suite account. Any time you add new photos to the album they will be accessible from your school account. Now you have a place to find classroom photos for your next newsletter or parent email.

2️⃣ Save time by collecting photos and videos for students

If your students are working on a multimedia project, finding and collecting images and videos can be a very time consuming task. You can eliminate this issue by creating an album filled with images. Just share the link to the album in Google Classroom!

Pro Tip: This strategy works great if you are using Adobe Spark or WeVideo to create a project. Both of these services will allow you to load media from Google Photos. 

3️⃣ Collect photos as a class

If you have the time, ask students to find images to add to a project photo album for everyone to use. Be sure to remind them about copyright rules and the need to cite the original source.

Pro Tip: you can add a comment to a photo which includes a citation and link to the original source.

To create a share classroom album you will create an album and change the settings so that others can add photos and video (see image to the right). You can copy / paste the link into Google Classroom for easy access.

4️⃣ Document a physical creation

If your students are creating artwork, posters, ceramics, robots, cardboard creations, or any other physical project, take a photo and save it to Google Photos. Capturing a digital version of the project makes it easier to share, use as an example. These photos are also helpful if you ask students to do a reflection activity or if you would like to create a digital slide show to showcase their work.

5️⃣ Capture a process using animations

​Document learning and the development of a project by taking photos at the beginning, middle, and end of the assignment. Use the animation feature of Google Photos to create a time lapse of the project, showing how it evolved and changed over time.

Here's an example of some books that I have read this year.

6️⃣​ Share with parents

Once you have a collection of classroom photos you can use facial recognition to find all of the photos of an individual student, place them in an album, and send them to their parent to show what they have been doing in class. Sharing pictures is a great positive connection you can make with parents.

Note: make sure that you follow your school's policies on taking photos of students. Most schools have a media release that parents sign at the beginning of the school year, giving permission for their student to appear in classroom photos. 

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