It has become poplar to share photos via Facebook, instead of photo sharing sites like Picasa or Flickr. There are a number of drawbacks to this practise. An obvious one is that you can’t reuse your photos on the web (Moodle, blog, Google docs, etc.) as Facebook is closed web space. For the same reason I don’t even upload photos to Moodle as I might want to reuse them in different courses or even on different Google installations as I use Moodle for three different schools. So, I simply link the photos from Picasa in Moodle tests, pages, etc.
I first started using Picasa as my school’s web admin as I was looking for an easy way of getting photos online. That was around 2005 and at that time it took some real hard IT skill to get photos online: resize the photos with Photoshop, upload them via an FTP-client to your website and integrate them into a PHP gallery.
You can do the same things much faster with Picasa. It has got a slick desktop client that allows for the most important editing (colour correction and cropping), uploading and creating embeddable slideshows.
You can upload photos via
- Desktop client
- Mobile phone (sends photos to drop box album by default)
- Web (via a browser plug-in such as CloudSave)
- Email (using a special email address)
Picasa web has great Web 2.0 features: rss feeds, people tagging, geo-tagging, sharing and following, collaboration on albums via email invitation or email upload and even online editing in case you should change your mind about a photo after uploading.
Picasa saves all uploads in several sizes, so you have the original for download, a web friendly size and a thumbnail available whenever you need them, without the trouble of resizing the images and keeping several versions. Moreover, you can also quickly insert pictures from your albums into Google Docs, Blogger and Google Sites whenever you need them. Plus, the albums are great to watch on mobile phones and tablets.
The ease of use of Picasa makes it also interesting for teachers. Here are some ideas for web albums:
- Creative commons album for use in tests, blogs, docs, etc.
- Picture dictionary and picture flashcards for vocabulary work
- FCE speaking input pictures (e.g. topical picture, controversial pictures, comparing as in FCE tasks)
- Topic albums (e.g. British and American foods) for use in the classroom
- Field trip albums (your own or students collaboratively)
- Student uploads for short speaking activities in class (e.g. “my holidays”, “ my internship”)