Having only started with web 2.0 over the last 5 months, I am really amazed at what a great resource it is for learning and teaching. A new enthausiasm has returned to both classroom teaching and the students themselves.
Students have really taken to blogging. They love going home at night, taking photos with their digital cameras, returning to school the next day and endless patience can be witnessed with the relatively tedious task of resizing their photos and renaming them. In our school we have downloaded irfanview from www.irfanview.com This is a freeware program that is just wonderful for editing images and so easy to use. It will allow you to change the brightness and contrast, alter images completely, add titles, create panoramic shots for headers etc and most importantly, rename and resize photos. …….. And lots more. For user documentation including resizing images click on this link and look for the link to tutorial sheet next to irfanview- using images online. There may be some other items of interest for you on this wiki.
For step by step instructions for inserting images into WordPress goto http://www.dailywriting.net/Wild%20Gardeners%20eLearning/Advent2007_Day7_InsertingImages.html and scroll down until you see the screendumps on the RHS window.
Students need to be familiar with the needs of audiences and the various outputs that their photos might need to take. Any work on the internet, really needs to be downsized considerably to allow minimum download time. As some of our work is still used for printing, photos are still taken in high resolution form and bmp files. However, students need to rename files to jpg (or gif or tif) when using it in their blogs etc.
Photos can be stored at flikr or photobucket but some of these websites are now blocked at school. Storage space on our file server is now at a premium as more videos, photos, movies etc are being taken, manipulated and worked into digital content.
Online slideshows can add extra pizazz as well. We like www.slide.com as it is an online slideshow presentation that allows images, transitions and music in the final output. Images still speak a 1000 words and students with lower literacy skills can always say what they would like through images and some text. www.smilebox.com is a download that looks really interesting and I am about to try that one with my classes. www.slideshare.com also appears to have value.
Students still really enjoy working with MS Photostory as it is so easy to use, quick to complete and gives them lots of options for motion plus music clips that can be used. These can be saved in email format and then uploaded to an online video website eg teacher tube and then either a link posted or code used to embed on their blog. I am also going to look into animoto. Our students are encouraged to create their own music using Acid 6.0 to avoid all copyright problems. Animoto allows the photos inserted to take on the beat of the music and seems to produce eyecacthing videos that look really professional.