I received a intriguing question from Brandon Lewis, a social studies teacher at Vianney, about how to crowdsource the archiving of an upcoming field trip sponsored by his History Club.
I am looking for an easy way for students to take pictures at the WW1 museum and for me to be able to catalog the day. I think that Twitter would be an easy way to do this by just creating a # for the day. For those students who do not have twitter do you know of a way to easily collect pictures?
Cataloging a field trip is an exciting way to allow others to participate in the experience with the class. Whenever I would take classes out on a trip, there were always half a dozen students who could not make it for one reason or another. With technologies like Twitter hashtags, teachers can now make these experiences more interactive, even for students who might be in the classroom back at school. Building a collection from a Twitter hashtag in Tweetdeck
or through Storify
works great, but not every student has created a Twitter profile. What other options are out there?
is an app that’s built to organize events. With attendees less than 200 people, you can get by with a free account that allows you to build one “guidebook”, complete with maps of the building and a shared photo album.
Benefits: Free. Plenty of people allowed to the event, considering the size of a typical field trip attendance. Teacher has the ability to “mail” students information during the trip (though it doesn’t create a push notification on the free plan). Students have maps of the location at their fingertips.
Constraints: Students must have smartphones with a data plan (or access to open wifi at the location). Students must also create an account with Guidebook.com.
are strictly photo sharing services. Users download one of the apps and then upload their pictures to a secure album.
Benefits: The primary benefit of these two apps is their “Live Photo Wall” feature, where all the pictures captured by participants happen in real time. This generates participation as people see their own photos display on the screen, or, in the case of a field trip, where kids who could not make the experience can see what’s happening “on location”.
Constraints: The free version of these apps allow up to 20 people to participate in the shared album. Students must have smartphones with a data plan (or access to open wifi at the location). Students must also create an account with Guidebook.com.
has similar features as Eversnap and Strudel, but instead of connecting through an app, studnets upload pictures (or video) through texts.
Benefits: No account creation necessary for students to participate. Teacher has the ability to vet all photos before sharing the gallery link to the group. Students do not need a smartphone to participate, but will need the ability to text pictures and / or video.
Constraints: The free version only accepts 30 pictures. This might be a great option for a very, very short field trip, or a teacher with thirty kids could ask each student to share his / her best photo of the day.
allows a teacher to set up a shared album, like the services above. The difference with this service is that uploads happen through the browser of the device.
Benefits: Students do not need to create an account with the service. They do need an e-mail address, but this can be a mailcatch address
if necessary. There is no published cap on the number of people contributing photos or the number of photos accepted for the event. There is a 1 GB cap on the album as a whole, which will limit the number of photos at some point.
Constraints: DropEvent generates revenue through advertisements displayed on the website. These display on each page of the upload process, and I had to do some considerable zooming on my browser in order to complete the upload process.
Regardless of the method, I am excited to see how this field trip is enhanced by a photo-sharing experience.