Photopeach is an online slideshow creator. There are many such services on the web and have blogged about a selection of them here. The main point of difference is its ease of use and I think it makes an excellent entry point to teachers who are not familiar with web tools. It also is very useful for teaching younger children to create their own slideshows. It’s a bit like an online version of Photostory, only simpler.
Cameron’s roman slide show on PhotoPeach
In the last few weeks I have been using Photopeach with a number of year 3 classes in a couple of different schools with impressive results. The children have found the interface very easy to use and have been able to create slideshows entirely independently with the site.
Creative Commons Image Searching
At Chorlton Park the year 3s have been learning about the environment in class. So, in my ICT sessions I decided I would teach them how to use Compfight to find Creative Commons images for different types of power generation. If you haven’t come across Creative Commons before, you really should find out about it. Basically its’s a form of copyright created for the web which allows the resource creator to ascribe certain conditions to the use of their resource. Typically it means that you may copy and use the resource without asking prior permission as long as you don’t intend making money from its use. In my opinion, teachers should be teaching the use of Creative Commons search tools for all web resources that will be used in the classroom. More on Creative Commons search tools here.
The children used keyword searches to find up to six different forms of power generation. They downloaded the images from Flickr (the image database that Compfight uses) and renamed them from the Flickr auto generated filename to something simple that made sense. This last point is another thing that I think teachers should focus on. Typically children download an image with no thought as to where they will store it or how to retrieve it.
Once they had selected their images they uploaded them to Photopeach, chose their music and added captions. Some year 3s managed to search and find half-a-dozen images and create a slideshow in a single session. Here’s an example from Chorlton Park. At Ringway primary I’ve been doing something very similar, but this time with a Roman theme.
Embedding the slideshow in your blog
Photopeach makes it as easy as possible to embed your slideshow into your blog. Underneath the completed slideshow is an “Embed HTML” button. Simply click on this and copy the code. It can then be pasted into the HTML tab of the post editor screen and saved.
I notice that Photopeach has just added a quiz feature which I haven’t explored yet, though it looks like it could be good fun. If anyone has an example of such a quiz, I’d be grateful if they could share it.
In summary, I think Photopeach is the best and simplest introduction to many of the skills that children (and teachers) need to be able to use online tools successfully.