Monday, January 31, 2011

Cellphones X Picasa X Animoto

I enjoy trying to figure out new ways to use cell phones in a classroom setting.  Here is my latest go at it.

Create a Picasa (or Flickr) account.  I chose Picasa because of the google connection / ease of sign in and the ability to edit uploaded pictures in Picnik.  When the account is created, you have to find the unique email address that is generated for the account.  This email address can be used to send pictures take by a cell phone via text messages.  This email address can be changed at any time and can be customized to fit your liking. (this tutorial below should help...sorry for the lack of audio)

Once you have located the email address it is time to start uploading some pictures from your phone.  Because so many of my students have cell phones with unlimited texting plans, I decided to have them snap the pictures of the previous night's homework assignment and text message the picture to the Picasa email address.  The pictures will show up in the Picasa account after a few moments and at that point that can reorganized into a unique folder for that assignment and viewed as a slideshow or embedded.

I took it one step further by logging into my Animoto account (free education upgrade available), creating a new project and importing the new pictures from the Picasa folder with the student photos.

Once the project renders in Animoto (usually takes a few minutes) it is ready to share with the entire world!

There are so many applications for this type of cell phone use.

Math: Assign students one or two problems, have them snap a picture as they complete each step in the process of solving the problem and turn those pictures into a presentation that can be used the next day in class to have each student teach their problem to the class.

English: Have students create drawings based on a page or passage from a reading.  Snap a picture of their reading, send off the image with a text message and the images can be projected and shared the next day in class.  This type of sharing could create a great debate or discussion.

History: Students could create political cartoons based on a topic of study for homework and snap a picture of their cartoon, send it via text message to a teacher Picasa account.  The pictures could be the foundation of a class opening discussion about the cartoons.

Here is a finished product that I helped the English teacher on my team create based on a homework assignment.

How do you use cell phones?

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