Remember when we used Microsoft Office and we could insert – clip art and find an array of appropriate images to use in class book reports, presentations and posters from the ClipArt gallery? Well, those days are over if you use an iPad, but I have found a solution! At the Apple Distinguished Educators Conference back in July, we went on amazing excursions around the beautiful terrain of San Diego. We all took various pictures and were able to share them with one another through iCloud Photo Sharing. It was a great way to keep up with each other when many of us were experiencing the sights on different days.
I’m finding when I work with young students (K-2) on iPad projects, they often need drawings, photos or clip art to adorn their creations. Many times students use their own photos, but there are times when stock photos or clip art are necessary. For example, if they are working in Explain Everything, they will often use photos to accompany their voiceovers and annotations. If we are working in Book Creator on letter sounds, they might need clip art to accompany their words. We can’t expect them to photograph every image they might need.
Today’s students, especially our younger ones, can’t just grab photos from Google photos and use them any way they want. Let’s face it, some of the results that come up within Google Image Search are just plain scary. Kids don’t need to see that. Adults don’t need to see that! There are also copyright rules that must be followed, and although I am thankful for Creative Commons, I still find that the “clip art” process on iPad is tedious for our K-2 students. The process involves accessing sites, such as Pics4Learning, MorgueFile, Pixabay and others from the Safari app. Students search for and find an image and then press and hold to save the image to their iPads camera roll. That is a lot of steps for a young student and just typing the keywords, alone, is a struggle.
I think I’ve finally found a solution that will work for our youngest iPad users – iCloud Photo Sharing!
Thanks to the new Apple ID for Students Under 13 Program, our K-12 students all have Apple IDs this year! It has truly transformed the way that we use iPads in the classroom, especially when it comes to iCloud sharing.
One great feature built into the iOS is iCloud Photo Sharing – Read more about it here. The best part:
- Photos uploaded to Shared iCloud Photo Albums do not count against your iCloud storage.
- A shared album can hold a maximum of 5000 photos.
- If you delete a photo from the camera roll that was used in a Shared Album, it remains in the album until you delete it manually.
- You can set up as many Shared Albums as you’d like, so you can have one for each project you are working on throughout the year.
- Want to share a shared photo album publicly with parents or other classes? You can retrieve a Public Website Link and share your photo gallery with anyone! No Apple device needed!
If your students have their very own Apple ID, teachers can create a shared photo album, invite students and add as many photos to this shared gallery as needed! The possibilities are endless! You can use iCloud Photo Sharing in the classroom in so many ways!
- Imagine going on a nature walk with student iPads. You ask your students to take pictures of insects, plants, rocks and other items that are spotted along the way. When students get back to the classroom, they can choose their favorite photos and add them to the Shared Album to share with everyone.
- A teacher wants Kindergarten students to create an alphabet book. She finds and loads a gallery of photos that begin with letters of the alphabet and adds them to the class Shared Album. Students will need a letter on each page accompanied by an image or drawing. They can now add an image from the Shared Album, avoiding the Find an Image – Save Image to Camera Roll process.
- Students walk throughout the school looking for objects with different shapes, photographing them as they find them. When students return to the classroom, they add the photographed shapes to the Shared Album. The teacher uses AirPlay to go through each picture during a class discussion.
Worried about inappropriate pictures being added to a Shared Album where there are many eyes watching? Each photo added to the album is time stamped with the name of the person who added each photo.
Here’s how you set up a iCloud Photo Sharing on your iOS devices (teachers and students):
Go to Settings > iCloud > Photos > Turn on iCloud Photo Sharing
Open the Photos app and tap on Shared – Tap Create New Shared Album
Give your new Album a name.
Invite your students and other teachers to the Stream
They will need to accept the invitation that you send them:
Begin adding photos from your camera roll to the stream. Tap on the + sign.
Tap on the photos you want and then tap Done.
You may add a description to go along with your post.
The photos are added to the Shared Album and any subscribers will receive a notification (Notifications can be turned ON or OFF)
Only the creator of the Shared Album can add new subscribers. To do this, tap on People – Invite People and add new subscribers with their Apple ID – tap Add.
To share your Shared Album with the public, the creator of the Shared Album will tap on People – turn ON Public Website and Share the Link with families, other educators or classes. You could even post it on your class website!
What are some other ways iCloud Photo Sharing can be incorporated in your classroom?