Note: the Day 1 Resources page has links on how to's for Day 1's Homework.

Images are processed 60,000 times faster than text. Image source:
Images are processed 60,000 times faster than text. Image source:

Course Syllabus
EdTechProfile - Every participant will need to take this survey (to be done as homework)

Introduction to Digital Photography


Visual literacy is crucial. We process images 60,000 times faster than text.

Here are the reasons put forth by Wesley Fryer in his recent podcast about the top ten reasons to be a Story Chaser:
1- Touch hearts and win over parents,
2- Develop literacy skills,
3- Develop critical thinking skills,
4- Provide a window into learning,
5- Preserve family and local history,
6- Model constructive uses of digital and social media,
7- Develop digital citizenship,
8- Develop digital literacy and 21st century skills,
9- Inspire creativity,
10- Catalyze the learning revolution locally.
Overall, of course, another great reason to be a storychaser is to have FUN!

This is applicable to using digital images in the classroom also. Adding audio makes them a story. Download and listen to his podcast. It's worth it!

Finally, there are the National Education Standards for Studentswhich stress creativity and innovation.

A VERY Basic Introduction to Taking Images


Very Wide Shot (VWS) - Establishes the scene
Wide Shot (WS) - The whole subject fills the frame
Mid Shot (MS) - Part of the subject fills the frame
Close Up (CU) - A feature of the subject (like the face) fills the frame
Point of View (POV) - Taken from the point of view of the person taking the shot

Rule of Thirds- Divide your frame into thirds and put your subject into those cross points
Framing - Consider your background and make it part of the picture
Viewpoint - Take the picture from different angles - up high, down low
This free video collection from Atomic Learning has quick video clips of composition tips.

General Tips for Students
Take many pictures - Move around
Hold the camera steady
Get in close

Get to Know Your Camera
Read the manual!
Know the symbols.

Editing Photos

Free Desktop Photo Editors
Picasa - Cross platform and good all around editor
iPhoto - Comes with most Macs

Free Online Photo Editors

Add some fun effects

Just plain cool Screen Capture tools
Skitch - Mac - add text and annotations - save to your desktop or share online
FastStone Capture - Windows - some say it's like Skitch for the Mac - haven't tried it

Examples of Composition and Shots from Ian Jukes (screen thoroughly before sharing with students)

Uploading Photos

Creating a space to share photos
Google's PicasaWeb
others we're not going to use:
Flickr (my favorite - but blocked in LAUSD)


  1. Take a variety of shots that exhibit shots and composition discussed in class.
  2. Upload and share at least 5 shots to PicasaWeb. Make sure to use the caption feature to indicate what shot or composition rule you are illustrating.
  3. Read the article, 13 Lessons to Teach Your Children about Digital Photography. and discuss the article and how you would use what you learned in the discussion tab of the Day 1 Class.
  4. Complete your EdTech Profile.
  5. Look at other participant photos by following the links in the left sidebar. Leave them comments on PicassaWeb. (optional)