Tag Archives: image search

Teaching 5th graders to search and cite online images


Nicole Haleen teaches Spanish to 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades at The School at Columbia University. She might be one of the most organized people I work with. For the 5th grade study of Day of the Dead, 5th graders made drawings, dioramas, paintings, and scultptures of calacas (skeletons) before creating a digital altar to represent a family member. They built their altar in Inspiration, as it allowed them to quickly create tiers in order to populate with images and text.

Nicole asked me to come in and remind the students how to properly search and cite online images. This is what we discussed:

  1. They signed a Respectful Use Policy at the beginning of the year reinforcing that they’d be using technology academically, respectfully, and responsibly.
  2. Try to choose “advanced image search” in Google and Flickr and other sites so that you locate only images labeled for reuse.
  3. Use Wikimedia to search media. Wikimedia is a sister project of Wikipedia. I showed the 5th graders Wikimedia’s Reuse guide where they specifically state, “almost all may be freely reused without individual permission according to the terms of the particular license under which it was contributed to the project, but some licenses may require that the original creator be attributed.”
  4. It is incredibly easy from any browser (Firefox, Chrome, less so in Safari) to copy the image and paste it into Inspiration. Control-click on the image and choose Copy image.
  5. It is just as easy from any browser to copy the URL simply by holding down the Control key while clicking on the image with the mouse. Different browsers say different things: Copy image URL, Copy image address, Copy image location…
  6. We talked about how if you don’t cite/attribute a photo, it means you took it yourself, you forgot to cite it, or you stole it.
  7. I reinforced that 5th grade is a great age to get into the habit of being responsible, respectful, ethical, moral, and purposeful with information. The expectation is they will continue to do this throughout 5th grade and beyond.

Nicole lists the following sites for locating images:


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Seriously amazed that you can use an image to start your #Google image search…


Try it here and now: http://google.com/imghp

So Don Buckley (my boss and mentor) is helping me craft my presentation for Friday’s PNAIS Fall Educators Conference. I’m doing a breakout session on Collaborating with New Media and New Literacies. Don sent me a slideshow he put together to illustrate Henry Jenkins’ list of new media literacies for our participatory culture. As none of the images Don used were cited yet, I dreaded the arduous process of locating these images anew in order to cite them properly. I was totally blown away when I noticed a new camera icon in the Google search toolbar which allows you to search by image and not by text! Holy cow! Now there is absolutely no excuse one can possibly offer for improperly (or simply avoiding) citing online images.


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It’s so easy being green(screened) with iMovie ’09.

I recently finished a combined Art/English project with 6th grade. The year-long theme of How History Shapes My Identity is explored using the core concepts Analysis, Understanding, and Memory. Students wrote a brief “About Me” piece in English with Marisa Guastaferro, practiced delivering it orally, and wrote bulleted talking points on a note card (rather than read the essay verbatim).

Next, Yoshiko Maruiwa, 6th grade Art teacher, helped set-up three different filming stations with a stretch of green construction paper taped to the wall, a tripod, and a Flip Camera. Note: We actually have a giant green/blue screen that I unfolded once (!) before bunching it back and replacing it on a top shelf. It’s huge and heavy and the green paper (or even a monochromatic wall) is way easier to manage.

While waiting for their turn in front of the Flip camera, students were asked to locate and cite three defining images from the web or from their own albums. If searching with Google, students were instructed to perform an Advanced Search to locate a) large images and b) freely shared images. They then dragged these images into iPhoto and copied/ pasted the image URLs for future reference.

The USB arm on the Flip Camera (which @bkolani complained about recently) make it a cinch to upload the video to the kids’ MacBooks. (We’re a 1:1 school from grades 2-8.) Students imported their footage into iMovie, and trimmed a few seconds of awkward pre-teen dead air at the beginning and end of the footage as necessary.

iMovie’s Green Screen tool is ridiculously easy to use. (Verify first that Show Advanced Tools is checked in iMovie’s Preferences.) The most important thing is to remind students that order matters, and an easy mnemonic device is Photos First. Students imported their three images from iPhoto using the Photo Browser tool in iMovie and dragged the images onto the Project staging area. Based on the length of their video, they had to adjust the clip duration of each photo (the default seems to be 4 seconds) so that the photos and the videos were the same length of time.

Then, students simply grabbed the entire video clip and dragged it over and near the beginning of the first photo in their Project area. A menu popped up that offered Green Screen. Ta-da! We sometimes needed to tweak the green or blue gain with the sliding scales in the video inspector (they had to double click on the video clip to open this menu). But otherwise, the videos came out really well (technologically). The kids exported their m4v files to the desktop, used Quicktime to save as a .mov, and uploaded their finished movies to our in-house video server (powered by Drupal). They then pasted the embed code onto their profiles on our in-house social network (powered by Elgg) and commented on each other’s orations and video stylings.  Done and done.

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