Just returning home from vacation and this is a perfect topic to add some insight from a personal and professional perspective. I personally like to utilize the following photo sites to "save in the cloud" for easy retrieval, organization, security/privacy levels and to share with friends, family members, or educational leaders where appropriate.
HP Creative Suite: http://www.hp.com/hho/hp_create/
The creative side of me leans towards these five high quality dynamic and creative tools of Flickr, Shutterfly, Snapfish, Scrapblog and HP Creative Suite. I have seen some pretty creative uses of all of these tools as a photo literacy projects and digital products and writing prompt websites/blogs where when the privacy link is shared to the blog or website created- a threaded discussion can take place to discuss the aspects of the photos or digital creations, and more detail of information when a teachers has provided more content specific questions.
Flickr is photo sharing site where one can upload, store and share photos with many groups. One can organize, tag and share these sets of photos with key individuals and you have 5 different levels of privacy settings and attribution rights of copyright associated with your photos for distribution purposes.
Shutterfly has done a really nice job to connect communities and familes in this way with the websites, groups sites and personal pages for families- and then naturally when an individual feels comfortable with the way the tool of choice works, they will apply their new knowledge into the classroom setting to engage their students with the excitement and collaboration as well. Here is an example of the website building possibilities: http://www.shutterfly.com/share-photos/classroom-websites.jsp They also provide a free download of a "Parent Room Guide" to have parents assist in the process- it is great! http://www.shutterfly.com/share-photos/30830_room_parent_guide.pdf
Snapfish is another tool to upload photos easily, create unique digital products, order prints to be sent to you cost effectively, and
share with friends, families and parents. Here is a collection of all of Snapfish ideas to jazz up your photos and be able to purchase the end products: http://www.snapfish.com/snapfish/store
Scrapblog is another creative site to really reflect, build photo collages and dynamic collections of photos, and keep the conversation going after trips with family members, field trips with students, or to show off your classroom in an innovative way. Here is an "explore" collection to view the many possibilities Scrapblog has to offer: http://www.scrapblog.com/explore/
Lastly, a free and easy creative suite to utilize right from within your web browser to customize your photos and add your own personal touch is HP Creative Suite. http://www.hp.com/hho/hp_create/ I use this site mostly as a personal tool to create my own beautiful recipe cards that I can print out and attach to home-baked goods throughout the year to give as gifts. http://www.hp.com/hho/hp_create/cards-recipe_cards.html I feel I have personal ownership in the end product by using my own photos of my bakery items I make and insert into the appropriate display area and insert my own customized recipes as well. Here are a few of my recipes I have created and then saved as .jpg and upload to Flickr to share with others: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ie20-naomi/sets/72157608598601722/ This site even provides online digital photography tips and strategies with a portal of online classes- I just love it!
Hope this photo collection of tools helps all of you and brings out the creative side in everyone for the upcoming holidays!
Please note I have attached the Classroom Parent Guide PDF for your convenience.
30830_room_parent_guide.pdf 1.7 MB
We face a large challenge with "blocked sites" in my district. My recommendation is Yogile. Multiple people can upload pictures to the same URL - it can also be password protected. The site is free ... BUT ... you are limited to 100MB / month. This means I can have 50-60 photos uploaded in a month. You may also get the unlimited version for $24.50 / year.
Typically in my classroom, I have students bring their memory cards up and quickly upload the files onto my computer. This allows sharing via a server we have access to. Students may download from the server - but cannot upload to it.
I'm still looking for the perfect photo sharing solution - I hope you are able to find it for us!