Log in

"Picture Our World"

Reflections on our “Cross-School Photography Exploits”

Making Connections – Linking Digitally ICTPD Cluster end year 2011.


What was important for us and why?

Our cluster goals are:

  • Student will have opportunities to develop an understanding of what it means to be a digital citizen and to develop the skills required.
  • Students will have opportunities to collaborate with others across the cluster and beyond.

We thought about how we might bring the direct impact of the contract to student level rather than indirectly through teacher or principal action and decided to explore visual language in a photographic mode across the cluster. At the conclusion we would share our learning with each other and our respective communities. There were existing skills and experiences within the cluster we could draw upon and the task was ‘simple’ enough for all teachers to participate.

What did we do?

We all ran the unit in different ways and then selected the twelve (or so) photographs that we believed to best meet the ‘advanced criteria’ of the rubric for sharing both online and at our cluster expo.

Pre unit:

  • We met with the lead teacher group and shared our photography expertise. We discussed what technical and asthetic attributes were part of a ‘great photograph’ and developed a rubric for judging our photography. In a subsequent workshop we applied our criteria to online pic to ensure a common understanding of how this is applied. Lead teachers then shared this with their respective staff. Teachers were also supported during our after school workshop series.

During the learning:  

  • Teachers introduced photography techniques to their classes.
  • Students explored visual language through photography in many contexts throughout the term.
  • Students applied the rubric to their photographs and selected their best photograph to submit to a whole school exhibition and for the ‘final selection’ (six senior and six junior selections). Selected photos can be found here.  

Immediately after the learning:

  • We reminded teachers of the commitment to ensure the learning was retained and used.
  • Schools celebrated the learning in their own individual ways. For example, one school had an in-school exhibition and had professional photographers select the ‘final twelve’ for sharing with the other schools. Another school framed every child’s selected photograph and displayed them in the school hallways. They then presented the winners of this and other media with their ‘Oscars’ at a gala night attended by students and parents in true Oscar fashion – tuxedos, ball gowns and all

 As the year progresses we will:

  • Review the impact of the learning on continued classroom practice.
  • Share our successes – e.g. at lead teacher / principal meetings, wiki, end of year celebration.
  • Review how it has impacted back at school and develop new ways to involve the students in cross school learning and to share our cluster learning with our communities.
  • Attempt something similar but with a multi-media component.

What happened, as a result?

The impact on students/teachers/whanau was initially very good.

  • I talked to one parent last night and her son was “buzzing” not a word normally associated with him.” (principal)

We now need to follow up and see the immediate impact on classrooms (1-2 terms after the unit).

What have we learned? (not all learning was new to all)

  • We can tackle large projects together – if we pull together, the task is achievable for all.
  • Kids can learn very quickly with the right conditions and are very capable of developing high quality work at a young age.
  • We can share learning with whanau and community in simple but effective ways.

What are our next steps?

  • To make sure we maximise the learning for the students and that the learning is repeated and grown in the respective schools.
  • To share some of the ways individual schools have gone on to further use the skills and understandings and to take this further. We need to embed the use of photography across the curriculum and to further develop the use it – adding also to the uses: such as to develop multimedia stories.
  • We want to repeat this again perhaps with a more complex task. E.g manipulate the image or use ‘special effects

Who are we?

Making Connections – Linking Digitally ICTPD Cluster

Where can you find out more?


Where: The wider Wellington region

ICT-PD Cohort: 2010


External Links