“Worth a thousand words”

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Image created in PhotoFunia

“Different people get different things out of the images. It doesn’t matter what it’s about, all that matters is how it makes you feel.” ~ Adam Jones

Kick Start Activity 5” in the Teachers Blogging Challenge One is all about images – “The Eyes of the Blog”.  This post is in three parts – (1) Creating Images (2) Finding Images and (3) Using Images. One of the biggest advantages of digital technology is the ease with which we can capture, store and transfer images.  “Facebook”, “Twitter” and many other social networking sites are introducing new ways to share images, and the ease with which this can be done can have unpleasant consequences. However, it also provides great opportunities for learning and makes the internet an ideal medium for me and other very visual learners.  Many of our students will have their learning enhanced by the effective use of images. One of my most favorite things to do is search and find a pertinent image to match a blog post or illustrate a presentation. 

(1) Creating Images

I like to use my own photographs when I can, and I am building a resource of these images by participating in the photo-a-day 365project and posting iPhone photos directly to my Posterous site. If you haven’t used Posterous before, it is a really simple blogging platform that allows you to post text and images by email. There is also a posterous app that allows you to quickly and easily post directly from your iPhone. There are several picture editing apps for the iPhone/iPod/iPad as well, that allow you to crop, rotate, resize and add effects. Chris Betcher has written an excellent review of twelve apps available from the iTunes store at “Snap Happy”. 

Here are a few more apps for photos and images that I have used:

sscropsueyCropsuey allows you to crop, rotate, flip and save images to your album.


sscomic_touchComic Touch (from the same company as Comic Life) allows you to create cartoons from your images by adding speech and thought bubbles with your text inserted.


ssinstagram Instagram allows you to create vintage effects (like an old polaroid) from your own photos, link to all your different social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Posterous etc) and share your images. With one touch, you can post your image to all these sites simultaneously.

ssFlickr Flickr allows you to search, view, post and organise your Flickr photos.



Photocard has a range of spectacular photos from Bill Atkinson that you can send as a digital postcard. You can also use your own images.


ssdoodle_buddyDoodle Buddy  and


ssdraw_freeDraw Free allow you to create, send and save digital images you have drawn with virtual pencils, paint and crayons.



(2) Finding Images

creative commons brieflyWhen I can’t use my own images, I usually use “Creative Commons Search” or Flickr . But it is still important to check that the owner of the image you are using has licensed it for your use.

The image at left shows four different categories of Creative Commons licensing that an owner of an image may choose.  If you are using images from Flickr, it is good etiquette to leave a comment under the image, linking to the post where you have used their photograph or digital image.

Finding images on the internet for classroom use is problematic for many educators, for reasons such as copyright privileges, inappropriateness and wasted time searching. David Kapuler has written a guest post at the TechLearning TL Advisor blog listing the “Top Ten Sites for Images and Clipart” , which links to free options for image searches, suitable for student use. Note that the comments also have a number of free sites available, including Stock.xchng and Wikimedia Commons.

Photos8 is another excellent site for free photos and wallpapers, with over 12,000 images in 24 different categories. Sam Mugraby, a photographer and creator, has made these photos available for both commercial and non-comercial use, as long as you agree to his terms and conditions.

(3) Using Images in Science: Student Actvities

Images are very useful for teaching and learning about classification. Ask students to find images of:

  •  Each of the five Kingdoms of living organisms (Protists, Bacteria, Fungi, Animals and Plants);
  •  Five classes of vertebrates (mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians);
  •  Monocotyledons versus Dicotyledons;
  •  Five food groups (Carbohydrates, Fats, Proteins, Vitamins and Minerals) 
  •  Different types of Simple Machines 

 and construct a Table or a Venn Diagram.

Students can also use Bubbl.us mind-maps or a Glogster poster to display the images they have collected. Images can also be used to create Digital Stories – but that’s a whole new Blog post!


  1. Leslie Raffelson

    Thanks for the great post! I am going to do a post for students on what they can and can’t do with images they find…hopefully. I might link to yours for your links to great sites they can use. It is an effective post with lots of information.

  2. Kim Y

    Wow Britt! What a wealth of information you have provided. I have added it straight to Diigo so I can come back and spend more time exploring the sites you have recommended.

    I love the picture you created in PhotoFunia… that will be my first port of call.

    Kim 🙂

  3. asli saglam

    Hi Britt,
    Before reading here, I hadn’t heard about PhotoFunia, 365 Project and posterous. I will definitely try them out! Thanks for sharing (Also I think I will change my mobile phone :))

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  5. Penny Bentley

    Thank you for all of the resources provided in this post Britt. I’m off to have a go at PhotoFunia and to think about using images for science. I love your idea of sending students off with a camera to capture something they are learning about.

  6. Anna Bring

    nice post with a lot of great resources that I hope I will get time to explore later on. I also had to try out Photofunia … Nice to play around with. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Laurie Fowler

    I love the PhotoFunia image you chose! I used one similar on my About Me page on my blog. I also appreciate the list of apps for the iPhone. One of the pictures I posted on my Images post (http://lauriefowler.blogspot.com/2011/01/pictures-really-are-worth-1000-words.html) is from my iPhone. Also, would you mind if I borrowed your science images idea for my undergraduate Tech and Ed class? It is such quick, yet fun, use of images with a purpose.


  8. brittgow

    Thanks for participating in the Teacher’s Blogging Challenge Kirby, Nancy, Mel, Suzanne and Carol – I really appreciate your visit to my blog and your positive comments.
    Kirby – it sounds like you know a lot more about photography than I do – but that’s what the 365 project is all about (learning more!)
    Nancy – the 365 project is a great way to learn more about your camera and photography in general. The 365 community is very supportive. Check out Mel’s 365 project for a great example of “a photo a day”.
    Apologies for not making my links open in a new window – I have read quite a bit about this lately and I will change my settings to allow this to happen.
    Best wishes for the rest of the Blogging Challenge!

  9. Carol Satta

    Hi Britt,

    2 things you blogged about were especially helpful to me–1) the etiquette of leaving a comment and link beneath a flikr image that you use; and 2) the post by David Kapuler. Thanks!

  10. Mel Cashen

    Hi Britt,
    What a comprehensive post. I gained so much information from it, thanks.
    I am also doing the 365 project but am using edublogs. I use the wordpress app on my android phone (it is also an apple app), which does the same as posterous.
    I am am off now to check out the link to your first image. I love that you can be the centre of attention!

  11. Nancy C

    Hey Britt –
    First thanks for commenting on my blog. I was rereading yours and realized that you mentioned you wanted to use your own photographs. In my about page I listed photography as a hobby…I think I now need to really focus on what I’m taking pictures of and guiding it toward my blogs.

    Again – thanks for the great resources and ideas.

  12. kirby

    I Love instagram too! When travelling last year I picked up 2 35mm film analogue cameras – a fisheye 2 and an action sampler multi lens camera. Ive been hooked on lomography ever since! I love all the different filters you can use on instagram to get this lomo effect on normal digital photos! Thanks for all your resource links too Britt!

  13. brittgow

    Thanks Christy, Yvonne, Lois, Jana, Glenda, Janelle, Nancy, Miss T., Malyn and Anne for your encouraging comments! I thank you also for participating in the Teacher’s Blogging Challenge and hope you are enjoying it as much as I am.
    Blogging and photography are my creative outlets, so perhaps that is why I enjoyed this challenge the most so far. If I can help you further with any of the tools mentioned please contact me by email (brittgow AT gmail DOT com) or my Twitter name is brittgow.

  14. Anne Mirtschin

    What a rich resource this is, Britt! Your opening image immediately engages your audience and makes us want to read more. You have shared some great sites. Thank you for all the work that you must have put into this post.

  15. Malyn

    Hi Britt, this is really a great post. Lots of info on it but formatted so it’s easy to read. And that first image made me think that perhaps you’re an Arts teacher.

  16. Miss T

    Another really informative post. Thanks. I must try out photofunia. I envy those people with iphones. Maybe I need to do something about that!

  17. Nancy C

    Hey Britt –
    Your resources are terrific…I will be spending some time perusing them and deciding what will work for me. Thanks for taking the time to outiine all those sites.

  18. Janelle Wilson

    I keep thinking I want to do a 365 day photo project. I have an iPhone as well, so snapping photos is easy. Some days I take loads of photos, and on other days I realize I have never taken one!

    This is a great post, Brit. Thank so much for sharing! Oh – and I love the opening image from Photofunia. That is very cool!

  19. Glenda Morris

    Thanks for your very informative post. I, too, am using this Challenge to learn about new web tools and blogging tips for the new school year that’s fast approaching.
    This activity is excellent for me as I will learn more about Creative Commons.
    I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  20. Lois Smethurst

    I love the first image and the saying that goes with it. It is a fantastic introduction to the topic and very clever.
    I do regret not using Posterous for my 365 photo blog. I love Weebly but using the iPhone to post directly to your blog is a big advantage that Weebly doesn’t have.
    This is a very informative and useful post. I am constantly amazed at the number of resources that are being created through the blogging challenge. It will be so handy when school resumes to have all this information at our figure tips.
    Thanks Britt

  21. Yvonne Osborn

    Wow Britt, what a fabulous post. I am leanring SO much from you this Summer.I really love the Britt painting. “She’s a famous artist” I instantly thought before seeing the link. When they asked us in the Teacher Blogging Challenge to recognize some of our favourite bloggers I missed you. You are now on top of my list for the next “effective blog posts” series.
    Congratulations Britt you are a brilliant educator of both students and teachers and, most importantly, a learner who shares.Thanks so much, Yvonne.

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