Why blog about digital image editing, storing, and sharing in a higher education blog? Ask any college student and they will tell you the importance of adding digital images to lecture presentations. Presentations that use images effectively assist students to make visual associations and help them remain focused during lectures. In addition, images can enhance students’ learning experiences and stimulate student participation and interaction in lectures (Keegan, 2007; Stokes, 2002).
Now that we have the impact images can have to your students learning and interaction out of the way, let’s take a look at a few keys to effective use of images in presentations. Whether you use PowerPoint, Keynote, SlideRocket, EduGlogster, VoiceThread, or Prezi to present your course content; the images you select must mean something and be relevant to the content. Your images can roar or whisper their meaning, and they must communicate to your students exactly what you want them to say. Use images that are appropriate to the material and support the content, not distract. Don’t let a last minute insertion of a poor image quality picture into your presentation; undermine the content of your presentation. Only use images that add meaning to your presentation. Use images with high resolution, so when they are projected they will retain their quality. Avoid using clip art; it generally doesn’t add substantive value to your content.
Locating quality photographs for your presentations that are copyrighted can be challenging. The first place I search is in my own personal library of photographs. When that doesn’t render any effective photographs, I go to Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/) where I have access to the creative common photos that I can use in my presentations. Flickr is a photo sharing site, where you can upload, share, and access photographs. Photographs located on Flickr have been taken by either professional photographers or folks who enjoy taking pictures. The site has an advanced image search that allows searching for specific images. Type in Harding University and over 2,500 pictures of Harding will be rendered. You can create a free account to begin uploading and sharing your own personal photographs. You do not have to create an account to access the creative common photos.
When your photographs need editing for optimum viewing and you do not need “heavy” editing software, I suggest you download Picasa 3.9 (http://picasa.google.com/). Picasa is a free photo editing software from Google that can be used to organize and manage all of the images you have stored on your hard drive. In addition to allowing you to manage your photos, Picasa allows you to perform basic edits, which includes the feature to transform your photos with 24 different effects. If you’ve joined Google+, you can use Picasa 3.9 to share directly to your circles on Google+.
Keegan, S. N. (2007). Importance of visual images in lectures: case study on Tourism Management students. The Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism Education (JoHLSTE) [on-line] 6(1). ISSN: 1473-8376
Stokes, S. (2002). Visual Literacy in Teaching and Learning: A Literature Perspective. Electronic Journal for the Integration of Technology in Education, vol. I, no. 1.