For awhile now, I have been trying to think of ways to put more of my student’s artwork and illustrations on their blog. Six year olds can tell much more of a story through their drawings than they can through their writing, especially at the beginning of the school year. The process that I have always used to put illustrations into a blog article involves me uploading the images to Flickr, and then copying and pasting the html for each image into the appropriate child’s blog. It is fairly time consuming, so I only do it about once a month.
Last month when I was at the Microsoft Innovative Teacher’s Conference, I mentioned to Darren Kuropatwa what I would like to do, and he suggested that I try using a Flickr badge. I had seen these badges on a lot of blogs, but did not know that you could set them to only display photos with certain tags. So, at Darren’s suggestion, I made a tag for each child that contained a reference to my class, the year and the child. For example, mcas08jg is the tag for one of my students with the initials jg. I already had several pieces of artwork from each child, so with a combination of photos of collages they had recently done and pictures that we had saved from Kidpix, I set up a badge for each child’s blog. Once I had made some decisions on the first one, it only took me a minute or two to make and insert each of the rest of them so that each child now has their own badge on their blog. The kids loved seeing their pictures and were fascinated by the moving parts of the badge. Now I am all set for the next school year. As my new students create more pictures, I can tag them as I put them on Flickr and they will automatically be added to the badge. Thanks, Darren!
If you have used Flickr badges before this will be a yawn to you, but it was new to me. I’m pleased that my students will get another way to display their work online. Audience has been a great motivator for their writing, so I know it will be for their visual art as well.