Digital Images in the Classroom

Posted on Jun 10, 2015 by Adobe Education Latest activity: Aug 14, 2017

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After participants completed the first section in the Adobe workshop “Digital Media & Learning: Photo Essays,” they were asked to discuss their thoughts about using images in your classroom:

  • How do images fit into your curriculum?
  • How have you used images in the past?
  • What have you learned so far in this course that you would like to use with your students?

Please share your thoughts.

(This discussion post is part of the Adobe Education Exchange workshop “Digital Media & Learning: Photo Essays.”)

Comments (13)

Sharin Nelson

Posted on Aug 14, 2017 12:35:28 AM - Permalink

​Images, Images are a conversation starter. If you see a photograph or an image on a tee shirt, book or in a magazine, your students can create any medium from the start.

Georgia Phil

Posted on Apr 17, 2017 6:00:30 PM - Permalink

​I've often used images to start a conversation in my class, to get my students to use English (which is learnt as a foreign language) in a context that is beyond that provided in the textbook. The images can be anything from portraits of people to landscapes, or to various social events. The question on whether editing an image is ethical or not is not an easy or a simple one to answer. In the past, well before the use of cameras (and computer programmes such as Photoshop), painters would create a background such as a hill or a forest behind the person posing for them, a battlefield, a wild animal, a couple of fairies etc. Nowadays, a person may edit certain features in their own photograph and delete a newly-acquired scar on their face when the photo is to be used for a CV for instance. Surely, an image is powerful and can depict the truth, but more often than that, it is used to show an idealised version of the self. And with the trend of selfies on the rise, this could be a topic of interesting debate among students.

Michael BoydClark

Posted on Nov 29, 2016 9:22:28 PM - Permalink

​In teaching lean manufacturing images depicting the concepts are much more effective than words, especially when I am teaching students whose first language is not English. However it is difficult and time consuming to collect the images (that is take the photographs). Lifting images off the internet in not a solution as that would breach copyright.

Melanie Gildharry

Posted on May 24, 2016 3:52:30 PM - Permalink

I think images serve as great hooks for any content area. I taught Chemistry and Forensic Science and there are hundreds and thousands of ways to incorporate images into these areas, especially Forensic Science, where I spent a whole unit teaching students how to take crime scene photos. I was never proficient with Photoshop and I do not believe my students were either, however, I could see how we could have an entire unit on ethics in crime scene photography and court. Sounds like a great idea!

Heidi Liu

Posted on Apr 2, 2016 11:50:02 PM - Permalink

My curriculum is Mathematics. Images are now one of the multiple possible "matehmatical representations". Years ago, I remember showing a picture of a sports player showing the angles formed by the position of the arms/legs/equiplment. Most recently, NCTM has been including images in their Mathematical Lens section. I would like to have students "see" mathematical concepts/ideas depicted by images, and be able to speak to what they see and why.

Cristina BOSIO FERRER

Posted on Jan 15, 2016 3:55:07 AM - Permalink

How do images fit into your curriculum?

My subject Art and Design need pictures to develop the artistic, conceptual and practical content.

Learning to see, conceptualize image and achieve technical development in the construction of visual compositions is part of my school curriculum.

How have you used images in the past?

I used the images for technical analysis either plastic concepts and and meanings they convey.

Without the support of visual images either photographs or reproductions of works of art is quite complex to achieve a good analysis of the plastic and graphic work.

What have you learned so far in this course that you would like to use with your students?

I will use some of the videos from here because I think they given excellent support to the spoken word.

I develop concepts of ethics, digital images and copyright. Understanding the importance of who owns digital content and the rules under which it can be used, modified, and shared is an important digital literacy skill.

I liked this thought: “As consumers and producers of digital content, students need to learn to think about the meaning of manipulated images as well as the ethics of editing images themselves”.


Alisha Crawford

Posted on Nov 19, 2015 10:00:02 PM - Permalink

  • How do images fit into your curriculum?

In the "real-world" of medicine images serve as a powerful asset in teaching techniques, concepts and diagrams. The health care field is in need for accuracy and adding strong the visuals helps in understanding and retention in providing care.

  • How have you used images in the past?

As an Instructional designer I lean heavily on imagery to help tell the story or instruct the minds of a youth who've grown up with the internet, I can't imagine my job without visuals.

  • What have you learned so far in this course that you would like to use with your students?

Basically, teaching students about the Copyright on usage of images is what I will definitely use pressing the importance of attribution. We assist our students in making sure the posters they create to attend both national international conferences follow the conference requirements and cite ALL sources not just the bibliographical information. Also getting them to focus on the purpose of WHY an image supports their research or point of view.

Nirupama Narasimhan

Posted on Nov 3, 2015 3:12:05 PM - Permalink

As a science teacher, I've always relied on block diagrams, flowcharts and data flows to illustrate concepts. In the beginning of my teaching career, I used to draw all the diagrams with chalk and I remember going to my class half an hour earlier in the mornings to prepare the board with the necessary drawings.

Soon we started using transparencies with overhead projectors and I found drawing and writing on the slippery surface quite difficult. Our department had very few projectors and I had book one well in advance. But all the teachers in the department shared the transparencies and there was a lot of collaboration going on. Next, we were able to print on transparencies and that was really a great relief.

Now every classroom is equipped with an LCD projector and I prepare my PowerPoint presentations with the happy though that technology has indeed made my life so much easier!

This course has strengthened the belief that well drawn images and our spontaneous explanations are the key facilitators for learning. Technology is an indispensable tool for the teacher.

Lesley Grove

Posted on Oct 19, 2015 3:58:38 AM - Permalink

Images are vital to get students thinking about a topic. Images can be used to convey meaning- a simple example is getting students to make images that convey the science lab rules or images that convey ideas like kinetic theory. In the past I have made students draw these images now they can create them using a camera and photoshop.

Ben Riggin

Posted on Oct 5, 2015 5:06:27 PM - Permalink

Imagery is used a lot in my learning environment. I put imagery to work all of the time. It doesn't matter if students are learning the benefits of using Acrobat, or After Effects, 'a picture is worth a thousand words.' Imagery coupled with conversation often provides the means for the student to 'get it,' or at very least allows them to ask the question(s) to put them on the path of understanding.

Over the years, I have branched out far beyond the provisional PPT., presentations accompanying the usual continuing education materiel. I often use examples of my own projects to convey the topics. I like to start things off by 'getting people unafraid' to explore the app. that we are learning. I boldly make the statement that 'we all started off in the same seat,. . . me included.' I follow that up by next showing off some image, a film or an animation, with no precursor. I just bring it up. The topic shown may not be directly correlated to anything we have to talk about regarding the app. I then begin asking a bunch of questions about what they see: what's going on, who are these people in the image, what are they doing, etc. This works to get rid of the angst a student may be feeling. They relax, it's get them thinking, they aren't shy about asking questions, they get to know their neighbor. They not only learn from me, but they start to learn from other people in the room. This has worked well over the years, and is one example of how I put imagery to work to get the idea expressed.

I really appreciate the links to resources. You never stop learning. You never stand still. . . .

Julie Terry

Posted on Jul 30, 2015 3:27:51 AM - Permalink

With so much media hitting everyone today, it's extremely important for students to learn to be discerning. To think about how they interpret and process images and words. To realize the power and impact of images and words. And become aware that others may interpret things in a whole different way than they do - and not to jump to conclusions and be judgmental.

How do images fit into my curriculum - Images are integral to my curriculum. We start by looking at works of art and design, exploring the major art movements and the specific characteristics and styles of each, and move on to the progression of visual communication and media up to current times. We talk about the development of graphic design from print and physical things to the digital environment. Then we create original works using traditional and digital methods.

How have I used images in the past - Woven into the classes are slide shows, videos and "show and tell" critique activities. We also use downloaded materials to learn Adobe programs - Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, InDesign and Dreamweaver. As students gain mastery of the software, they use their own photos or images they have selected and create original works.

What have I learned from this course that I can use in the classroom - this Adobe class has been very beneficial. I will now include lessons about careful analysis of images; the ethics of image manipulation; and critical thinking as it relates to evaluating images. I'll show several of the videos to the students that were included in this lesson (especially the Copyright video!). I'm teaching a New Media class this fall and am eager for me and the students to utilize many of the resources that were listed, such as animoto, imovie, pixton, toondoo, voki, glogster, mixbook and zooburst. I've signed up for an account with commonsensemedia.org - great organization! Most importantly - this lesson hit home with the message that the most effective way to teach and for students to learn is to cover no more than 7 new things in each class and to use images and my words. Minimal text. Don't overload the students with too much!

Edward Green

Posted on Jul 22, 2015 1:11:31 AM - Permalink

  • How do images fit into your curriculum?
  • How have you used images in the past?
  • What have you learned so far in this course that you would like to use with your students?
  • The way I see digital imagine in the 21 Century is truly an amazing event. With multi-media at its outer reaches, class room curriculum appears to have the so-to-real life expectations. It seems that the youth and many others use personal life moving moments to have it captured in imagine form.

    Most of the past experience is used to capture the event in a way that truly expresses what the artist wants to convey to the audience. Like the one Time magazine artist portray of O.J. Simpson's in dark shadows. While most people found it offensive for his style in the front cover of Time, I looked at the cover page to see that the author used what he was most fame for - dark images. His use of such speaks hundreds of words as so it had among the public.

    What I would like to see happen with others learning or being taught is that you find that within you and put it to print, video, or audio. While we do still in in a world of hate and racist views, art helps those not able to express in words that they can do in there profession in multi-media.

    Angela Porime

    Posted on Jun 25, 2015 5:21:08 AM - Permalink

    Images fit well in my curriculum.In the past I used images for teaching vocabulary and conversational subjects.

    This workshop has emphasized the importance of learning through words and images related. It also laid an accent on learning through doing activities. For instance ,my students like to make and present a powerpoint then only talking about the subject.