Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement Using Digital Cameras

Identifying Similarities and Differences

• Representing similarities and differences in graphic or symbolic form enhances students’ understanding of and ability to use knowledge.
• Use images taken with your digital camera to provide explicit guidance in identifying similarities and differences.
• Use images taken with your digital camera to ask students to independently identify similarities and differences.
o Ask students to compare images
o Ask students to classify images (using photo organizing software like Picasa)
o Ask students to create and/or represent metaphors using images
o Ask students to create and/or represent analogies using images

Summarizing and Note Taking

• Ask students to summarize using images taken with your digital camera.
• Ask students to delete, edit, or keep images (using photo organizing software such as Picasa) in order to facilitate analysis of the information at a deep level.
• Use images taken with your digital camera as a visual “summary frame” designed to highlight the critical elements of a lesson or topic.
• Provide or allow students to use images as a study guide for tests.

Reinforcing Effort and Providing Recognition

• Abstract symbolic recognition is more effective than tangible rewards.
• Use images taken with your digital camera to communicate the importance of believing in effort, and ways students can learn to change their beliefs to an emphasis on effort.
• Use images taken with your digital camera to recognize student effort, achievement, and mastery.
o Create awards including images.
o Create slide shows, class books, bulletin boards, or websites including images.

Homework and Practice

• Use images taken with your digital camera to enhance or add meaning to homework assignments, or to help illustrate the purpose of homework.
• Ask students to take images with a digital camera as part of a homework assignment. (Students can also adapt and shape what they have learned by manipulating images using software such as Picasa.)
• Use images to provide feedback on homework.

Nonlinguistic Representations

• Use images taken with your digital camera to increase the variety of nonlinguistic representations of knowledge in your classroom.
o Use images to create graphic representations
o Use images to create models
o Use images to generate mental pictures
o Use images to guide or inspire kinesthetic activity
• Use images taken with your digital camera to elaborate (or “add to”) student knowledge.
• Or, ask students to elaborate on the images and to justify their elaborations.
• Use images to create time-sequence patters.
• Use images to create process or cause-effect patterns.
• Use images to create episode patterns.
• Use images to create generalization/principle patterns.
• Use images to create concept patterns. (These patterns can all be created using image organizing software such as Picasa.)

Cooperative Learning

• Use images to applaud group successes and efforts.
• Use images to document individual and group accountability.
• Use images to facilitate group reflection.

Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback

• Use images taken with your digital camera to represent instructional goals.
• Allow students to take pictures with your digital camera in order to represent their personalized goals.
• Use images to support “corrective” feedback. (The instant nature of digital images – and means of sharing digital images – can facilitate timely feedback.)
• Allow students to use images to support their own feedback.

Generating and Testing Hypotheses

• Ask students to form hypotheses based on images taken with your digital camera. Then ask students to clearly explain their hypotheses and conclusions.
• Use images to support systems analysis, problem solving, and historical investigation.
• Use images to prompt invention.
• Allow students to use images to document or facilitate experimental inquiry and decision making.

Cues, Questions, and Advance Organizers

• Use images taken with your digital camera as cues and advance organizers.
• Use images as visual support for higher-level questions, especially before a learning experience.
• Use images to focus on what is important.
• Using images may be most useful with information that is not organized.

- R.J. Marzano, D.J. Pickering & J.E. Pollock

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