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TeachNet Everywhere Grant: Visual Communication Through Photography

Project URL:

langford/photowebsite/Main Page.html

How it works:
Our project throughout the year has two major aspects. One, the students work closely with the school newspaper providing important images that help tell the story. Second, students work individually on class projects that help them to become visually literate. Each project pushes their creativity, technical skills, and leads to a better understanding of themselves. Photography becomes a powerful outlet for students allowing them to communicate important ideas in a way that is both fulfilling and fun.

Standards for photography in California only cover the technical side; my units go beyond. Students use technology, English language arts and social studies skills in my class as well. The objective of this curriculum is for the students to become visually literate. Students learn about different tools that allow them to communicate visually. Students learn how to use, film cameras, chemical darkroom, digital cameras, Photoshop, Dream Weaver, and the use of the Internet to share their work. Composition and creativity is stressed with every new lesson.

I use a rubric for all photo assignments students turn in. The rubric breaks down student projects into four categories: composition, technical quality, creativity, and relevance. Each new project also has a written component that allows me to see how well they have comprehended what I was trying to teach them.

Overall value:
This project allows students to explore themselves visually and to share their work globally. Students take their work much more seriously when they realize that their photos might be posted on our website. Students also revisit lessons more often when they are on the website. The website allows them to review information at their leisure. Allowing students to share their work on the internet has created a bigger purpose for the class.
These projects contribute to student learning by providing an outlet for their work and also as a way for them to gain further understanding of different lessons. I think this could be a great forum in other classes. English and writing classes could post student essays. Science classes could show student science projects. Social studies classes could have discussion on current events or have an editorial page sharing opinions and ideas. The amount of things classes could do with what I’m doing is endless.


Teacher Name: Donald Langford

About the teacher:
Donald Langford is a Photography teacher at Fountain Valley High School in Fountain Valley, Calfornia.

E-mail: dlangford@fvhs.com

Subject Areas: 
Fine Arts

Grade Levels: 9-12



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