Thing 3: Photo Fun

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Photo by Skitterphoto : CC0 Pixabay

Thing 3 is a topic that will have you snapping away on your digital camera or smartphone camera, getting creative with your photos.

Topics covered in this lesson*: 

  • Cloud storage for photos
  • Ways to use photos in school
  • Creative commons photo sources
  • Social photo sharing sites
  • Editing tools

* Remember you don’t have to explore everything in this lesson. Pick what interests you most. 


There are so many different ways to share photos online. Some services are focused on organizing and storing your photos, others are primarily social sharing services and others are special purpose sites, like geolocation sites that place your photos on maps.

Social Tools: Social media tools are by far the most popular ways of sharing photos these days. Some of the most familiar services are FacebookInstagram and SnapChat. Using smartphone apps for these services makes it quick and easy to share a photo from the camera on your smartphone or tablet. Once you’ve set up an account, uploading photos from school events to your school’s social media presence is a snap.

Cloud Storage:  When you start taking lots of photos, it’s smart to back  them up for safe-keeping. Your computer hard drive is one place to store photos. But you can also backup photos to cloud storage services.

  • Flickr is one of the oldest cloud based photo sharing sites. It’s free account gives you 1 terabyte of storage space – that’s a LOT of space!
  • Google Photos is another option that works well with Android phones. Store unlimited number of photos for free, though not at full resolution.
  • iClouds Photos is handy if you have an iPhone. But you’ll only get 5 GB of storage for free. But do check for any deals that may be available to you.
  • Amazon Prime Photos offers unlimited photo storage with your Amazon Prime subscription.

There are many other good services as well. It’s just a matter of finding what suits your photo taking and sharing needs. Most of the cloud storage services offer options for editing photos, creating photo albums and tie-ins with commercial services to print photos, create photo books and more.

Geolocation Tools: Have old photos to share? HistoryPin and What Was There all have interesting map-based sharing features. Build a tour of your town, share historic photos, explore far flung locations.

Editing and Creating: And then there are tons of apps for editing photos and creating fun projects with your images. If you want to explore these, check ou the “More To Explore” section at the end of this page.


So, what kinds of things can libraries and schools do with photo-sharing?

NOTE: Photo Permissions If you’re taking photos of students in school, make sure you know what your school policy is about posting images of students.


Working with photos is a great opportunity to educate students about copyright and fair use. It is so easy to find and “borrow” the perfect image for papers, presentations and other projects. But if an image isn’t licensed for reuse, then you should assume it’s copyrighted and get permission to use it.

Better to start with tools like Photos for ClassPixabay, Photopin and Unsplash that limit searches to Creative Commons licensed images. Creative Commons licensing allows for reuse of a image (and other intellectual content) under certain conditions. The licensing is easy to understand and having students select how they want to license their own work is a great way to get students thinking about copyright, reuse and attribution.

EveryPixel is another great tool that searches 20 images sites all at once. Remember to select the FREE option. And do check original source to be sure of licensing. Free might still require credit or have limits on use.

NOTE: With any image search tool, be cautious about student use. There might be images not appropriate for younger students.


chart of creative commons images sources for the classroom
Chart by Kathleen Morris CC by SA ND


There are so many services that let you to upload and share your photos. Each has its pros & cons and some people absolutely love one tool or another. If you already have an account with one of these photo-sharing sites, feel free to use your existing account for your project. Or explore something new! It’s up to you.

Social Sharing Photo Sites

  • Instagram – Owned by Facebook, this fun photo app is available for iOS or Android. Also has a web-based interface. Take a photo, apply fun filters (or not), share with followers. Allows for commenting and ‘liking’. Simple and fun way to quickly share moments from your day. Photos can be also be cross-posted to Flickr, Facebook and Twitter. In August 2016, Instagram took on Snapchat by adding a “stories” feature.  Short videos and photos can be added to your story and they’ll disappear in 24 hours. Simpler to use than Snapchat, but currently lacking some of the fun Snapchat filters.

Geolocation Based Sharing

  • HistoryPin – Great tool for exploring the world through photos. Students can also add their own photos, create tours and more.
  • What Was There – Similar idea as History Pin.

Photo Editing Tools –Try your hand at editing a photo using one of these web and/or app photo editors.

Photo Fun– Make posters, slide shows, collages and so much more. Lots of interesting ideas here.



OPTION 1: Getting your feet wet If you’re not ready to join Instagram, Snapchat, or one of the other services, this activity is for you!

  • Search for a topic that interests you. Photos for ClassPixabay, Photopin and Unsplash are great places to start looking for Creative Commons licensed photos.
  • Select an image and find out how to download the photo from the service you’re using. Save the image to your computer.
    • NOTE: Even though you don’t technically need to give credit for the photo, it’s a good habit to get into and a good example for students.
  • Your blog post for this lesson:
    1. Please title your post “Thing 3 : Photo Fun”
    2. Post the photo to your blog by uploading it from your computer to your blog post. You may need to check the help files for your blogging platform, each one has a different process.
    3. Comment on your experience finding images and how you might use photos in your school or anything else related to the exercise.

OPTION 2: Join and Explore

Ready to join a photo service? Or dig deeper into one that you’re already using?

  • Join Instagram, Snapchat or any other service that interests you and share some photos.
  • If you’re already a member of a service, but aren’t really familiar with it, go ahead and use that to explore more advanced features.
  • Explore features such as organizing photos into folders, sets or whatever the tool you’ve chosen uses.
  • Your blog post for this lesson:
    • Please title your post “Thing 3 : Photo Fun”
    • Comment on your experience with the service you tried. What did you learn? What advanced features did you find useful? How could you use these tools with students?

OPTION 3: Edit, create, share and more

Want to explore some new editing tools or fun creative photo apps? Here are some ideas! Then share what you’ve learned through your blog post. Please title your post “Thing 3 : Photo Fun”

  • Test out an editing tool that you haven’t used before.
  • Join a photo challenge – FatMumSlim photo-a-day is a popular and fun one. You don’t have to do a whole month. Try it for a week!
  • Create a collage and post it to your blog. Check your app store for collage apps.
  • Explore Big Huge Labs and make something fun. A magazine cover, a Trading Card or…
  • Create a slideshow to put on your website or blog.
  • Try out some new photo editing apps on your smartphone or tablet.


  • Write & publish your blog post.
  • Copy the URL (webpage address) for your post.
  • Return to your Google Classroom, find the assignment page for the lesson you just completed and follow the directions for turning in and sharing your work.

*Only for students participating in the workshop for PD credit hours through the Google Classroom.

3 thoughts on “Thing 3: Photo Fun

  1. Hello,
    These were helpful sites because I learned different ways to create Photo Fun. I put together a collage and began learning how to edit and make the photos clear or fuzzy. I can make funny faces and rearrange where people are in a photo upside down or whatever. I know students like this because my granddaughter 7 years old had a ball adding ears to a face or a funny nose. I can use this as a getting to know you project in school also attendance, everyone can make their own funny face to check in.

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