Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Digital Photo Frames in the classroom

Last year, I had a science teacher approach me with an idea for using digital photo frames in his science class. At first I was skeptical. However, he had some very good ideas and lesson plans ready to back up his idea. So we went for it.

Here are some lesson ideas:
Science - Find pictures online of examples, specimens, etc... Create a lab where students can go from station to station and view images for that lesson. With multiple frames and stations this could be differentiated learning. One station could be images of microscope slides and the next station could feature a video about that particular specimen.

English/Foreign Language - A teacher found images for each of her vocabulary words for that chapter. Then she played the slideshows on the frames during a creative writing session. The students used the images for brainstorming new words to use in their writings.

Art - Teacher finds examples of the type of art they are studying, places them on the frames and has the pictures show randomly arround the classroom. The students use the images as inspiration and guidance for their own art.

PE - Load images and videos of correct technique for each excercise station and have students watch before they do.

General Ed - Create/find tutorial videos and place them on the frames. Students could watch these videos when they have extra time, when you are busy helping other students, or when they missed class.

Librarians - have a featured book of the week, month, etc... and create a book trailer for that book and have it playing on a frame in a reading corner of your libaray.

We bought a set of 6 frames. They were about $50/ea. We also purchased a 6 sd cards and a
multi-card reader. The entire set up cost around $350.

Here are the pros:
  • Plays pictures, audio, and video
  • PPT converts slides to jpegs (so it plays ppts as well)
  • Pocket camcorder = plug-n-play
  • Fraction of the cost of a laptop
  • Teacher controls 100% of the content
  • syncs with PC via USB cable/flash drive/sd card
Here are the cons:
  • Most frames require power cord (no internal battery)
  • Screen quality not always great (depending on the make & model)
  • Must place content for each frame individually (cannot sync multiple at once [unless you have a usb duplicator $800])
If you have other ideas please share them in the comment section below.