Digital photo excursion
Contribution to the learning process
- Combination of reconstruction (e.g. knowledge about rivers presented in textbooks) and construction (formation of knowledge about the river by activities of the students)
- Learning at the level of sensual certainty (during photography) and of conventions and discourse (during the selection of photographs, their presentation and discussion).
As for the integration in the FyR-context, see "Online cooperation in your river project".
- To come in contact with the river.
- To explore the natural surroundings of the river and the use of the river by men, as a contribution to the investigation of the river.
- To learn to work with digital cameras.
The digital photo excursion does not focus on online cooperation with other student groups - it focuses on the fruitful use of your Book of the River. That is why the results should be uploaded on the public part of your Book of the River (see below: Realization - Finish).
- Book of the River > My Book, and there use "Intro" and "Our Exploration of the River" > "Our photo gallery"
Though your Book of the River > Administration, you can administer which tools (content) of your book shall be publicly available and which are not. For the method described here, "Our materials, files, links..." should be public, like it is standard setting at the Free your River platform.
In addition, you need a digital camera and perhaps simple software for photo processing.
Required time for preparation and realization
Half a day to one full day
5 - 30 participants (students) in the same place. Cooperation with other learning groups is possible, cf. "tips"
Requirements and preparation
Theme, destination of the excursion and the concrete purpose were fixed and fitted into the working process of the group. For example, if you do the digital photo excursion to come in contact with the river, you should now introduce your students to the river project and to the role of the contact step.
The participants should work in small groups (3-5 children) and each group requires one digital camera with a computer intersection (e.g. USB). A chart reader with a USB intersection is helpful for easy transfer of photographs taken with different cameras to the computer.
Go to your Book (Book of the River > My Book) and there got to Our Exploration of the River > Our photo gallery. There you should create a new gallery for this activity ("Create a new Gallery" - you can call it e.g. "our first contact with our river"). It will help you to have a clear structure in your photo collection and to find pictures even as the collection grows.
Introduction into the objective, fitting into the context of the excursion
- Introduction to working with a digital camera
- Formation of working groups and briefing of the groups. E.g.: "Discover your river! Take photos, which show your relation to the river or some aspects of the river you are especially interested in. We want to publish the best pictures in our Book of the River."
- Participants photograph the object together or where possible, individually.
- Transfer the photographs on to the computer
- Each group or individual reviews the results and select the favourite or best suited photograph.
- Phote processing is not necessary at this stage, but it may be useful to compress the pictures before uploading them to the Book of the river
- Each working group presents their best picture to the plenum and explains why it was selected. (Alternative: Every student presents his/her own favourite with a short explanation.)
- Each working group uploads up their best photo with a short explanation on the Book of the River ("Our Exploration of the River" > "Collection of data" > "our photo gallery")
- Where possible, the whole class/group should select one picture to be published on the Homepage of the Book of the River ("Intro"). This picture will be uploadet, too.
- Participants evaluate their work
Experiences / results
With a suitable task and good attendance and supervision even primary school pupils are able to make a virtual photo excursion, and through it, combine their knowledge of local studies with empathy for animals or learning technique with appreciating aesthetics (see LANGNER 2004c).
Example: photo excursion of primary school children to their river
The task reads as:
- Imagine you are e.g. a frog/stork/hedgehog - each working group is assigned a different animal
- Take a few (3-5) photos representing an answer to each of the following questions:
Where do you dwell/live?
Where do you find food?
What are you threatened by?
Where could be your favourite place?
Using a computer the children select a suitable picture for each question. This stimulates the working groups to review their material and the questions more critically.
The pupils then present and interpret their four pictures in the plenum. The whole class then has a discussion and develops an assessment of the living space "river landscape".
Even simple and inexpensive digital cameras are sufficient.