Images, Visual Literacy, and Digital Storytelling

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Just what does that old saying really mean, anyway?

The uses for images in the classroom are as varied and diverse as the people occupying those classrooms. Images make great objects to illustrate copyright laws. The ease at which images can be adjusted and altered by using programs like Photoshop and Fotoflexer brings up issues of media literacy. Students and teachers both appreciate the graphic organizers at

However, with the growth of Web 2.0 applications like Flickr and Pinterest that make it easier to upload and share those images, the potential for using images in the classroom has grown exponentially. Don’t forget about Instagram, either. Students tired of creating PowerPoints? They could create a virtual posterboard instead using Glogster instead. Don’t think your students are ready yet to create their own videos? Have them create an awesome slideshow using Animoto.   Many of you recently discovered Storybird, a digital storytelling platform especially for elementary students.  Finally, think about the collaborative possibilities available through VoiceThread. Try the VoiceThread here to look at your research paper rubric.

Today, you’ll use cameras and the internet to produce three copyright-free images. You’ll manipulate them to create original images, then share them with your classmates. You’ll comment and evaluate each others’ creations. Finally, you’ll read and reflect on the various ways that image software could be used in your future classroom.


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