5 Ways to Make Your Pictures Speak a 1,000 Words

Students in our classrooms are highly variable in the way they learn and interact in learning environments. Many of our students love the power of images and video to learn. With this in mind, we will investigate the question: How do you make your pictures speak a thousand words?

Here are five ideas:

1. Google Drawings

I love Google Drawings, yet I believe it is the most underutilized Google App with the most potential. Students can use Google Drawings to label images, create graphic organizers, mind maps, etc.

David Garcia came up with a very cool idea. Why not create a Google Drawing and use it as an interactive worksheet? David designed a math activity, where students can make a copy of the drawing and use the image of a protractor to measure and draw angles.

2. Explain Everything with Explain Everything

A good friend of mine teaches a unit on genetics. He found that students can fill out a worksheet, but often struggle with explaining why they wrote what they wrote. He decided to have his students take a picture of his genetics worksheet and import it into the Explain Everything App on iPads.

 Students would record their voices and write on the image of the worksheet. When they were finished, they would send it to their teacher. Now he was to see and hear his student thought process.

3. Address Frequently Asked Questions with Screencasting

Every classroom contains students who need a little extra help, have frequently asked questions, or need the ability to rewind and listen to content again. Screencasting offers a great solution to address these questions or offer brief tutorials for students.

I enjoy using a free website called Screencastomatic to create brief videos for students. Not only does it offer the option to publish to YouTube or Screencastomatic, the recording places a yellow halo around your cursor to make it easier to track.  If you are a Chromebook school, there are other tools like Screencastify or Snagit.

4. The Problem with Homework

Kim Meldrum found that many of her students did not complete homework assignments because they did not understand the assignment and / or had no help. In fact, a recent survey by EdWeek found that 46.5% of parents struggle with understanding how to help their child complete their homework. Kim came up with a great solution, record a brief screencast to describe the assignment and uploaded it to her YouTube channel. She found other videos to add to the channel to help elaborate on concepts.

5. Where are you Posting? 

Whether you are flipping your classroom or creating brief tutorials, where you post your videos makes all of the difference! How can you make video presentations accessible to students who are deaf (without spending hours trying to come up with a transcript)? If you publish your video to YouTube, you can use the automatic Closed Captioning feature!


Regardless of the device or tools you use, there are many other ways to make your pictures speak a thousand words. I just listed a few! In fact, I developed an entire framework to leverage the power of images and videos. Check this out below:

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