Monday, September 8, 2014

Tracy's Tuesday Tech Tip: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." Henry David Thoreau

Selfies. They're all over the media - Facebook, Twitter, even award shows, the news, and more. They've become a part of our pop culture of the 2010s and will probably continue as our digital age evolves. But what makes the selfie so popular? What makes it so prevalent to "be" in a selfie?

Well, what makes someone not? Provided, many selfies are "just for fun," with comical smiles or actions accompanying them. All remembering good times - moments that are irreplaceable with memories that last a lifetime. A step further, and other pictures, maybe not selfies, but just pictures, become a deeper meaning. These pictures, in fact, end up meaning everything. Think about those little kids who get to meet their idol and get that all important picture. How about those family pictures - moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas that we cherish so deeply, along with cousins, aunts and uncles as well. Or even more, what about those pictures of friendship - caught candidly...those people that mean so much and essentially become a part of our families with smiles, tears, and laughter.

Let's take a risk, maybe something new or an expansion of an idea you've already done, and give our students the objective to take pictures of the world around them. Can they see the angles of your classroom furniture and connect them to math? Perhaps our youngest learners can describe the colors of the playground and the shapes of different equipment? Maybe some students can take a picture for each direction they take in the car ride or walk to school. The possibilities are endless, and are a simple way for students to tell their story - to document what they see, hear, feel, and experience in the world around them. Then, we can build on the learning to take those pictures to the next level - a project on iMovie or Explain Everything or Book Creator, describing their learning as a speaker or tour guide, and sharing the story of their life with deeper connections. Empower your students to take the lead, to make their pictures be worth a thousand words through their eyes, what they see and what those photos mean to them.

Me, I've never been a selfie fan. Sure, I love to photobomb all kinds of selfies being taken, but I tend to run away if someone wants me to take a selfie with them. Yet, I think of the best reason for a selfie is pride. Satisfaction to be proud, strong in your convictions in being who you are as a person. We are those people. We are teachers, changing the world of our youth, empowering them with care and compassion to become everything they will be in the future. So today, take a selfie for you - be proud of who and what you are as an educator, together with and for your students. Then, allow them to take pictures of their story, and a selfie along the way, to share and be proud of who they are as well. 

"As we look ahead to the next century, our leaders will be those who empower others." ~Bill Gates.

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