Using IPhoto for my Classroom Photos

In Preschool, we take a lot of photos…thousands! In the past we sorted photos into files on the server. Last year I decided I wanted to use iPhoto instead during the SY 2013-2014 year. After thinking about it procrastinating,  I decided I just needed to go for it and started to use iPhoto in August. I am NOT an iPhoto expert but I have really enjoyed exploring and finding out how to use features as problems have arisen. Here are three features that have helped me.

1. Smart Albums

I learned about this at an Early Years conference last April so it took a bit to get it working. I began by creating ‘Keywords’ – one for each student, plus a few for different subjects (PE, library, circle time etc). Once a group of photos have been imported to iPhoto, I use the keywords to tag each photo. Each photo can have multiple keywords applied.

Next, I made a smart album for each student and each area with the keyword category for the student being their name.

This photo shows my imported photos and my group of keywords in the corner.  You can also see my smart albums on the left. The photo highlighted in yellow is the one to which I want to apply a keyword. Each keyword has a shortcut, so I can use the shortcut instead of typing the whole word. If I want to put this photo in Sam’s album, I type ‘s’ and it is automatically sorted into his album.

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 1.04.01 PM    Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 1.05.59 PM

Here you can see the photo has been moved into Sam’s album. I can put the same photo into multiple albums.

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 1.06.47 PM

I also have albums for places and special events. This shows my library folder. I find these albums so much easier to use when I am creating documentation.

2. Making a SlideShow

A few weeks ago, Flickr was not working and I needed to make a blog post for my class. I created a slideshow and dropped photos from the week into the folder. This was made easier because the photos were sorted into individual files so I knew that each child would be represented in my weekly overview slideshow.

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 1.07.22 PM

Next you can choose a theme and music. FUN!

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 1.08.06 PM

Finally, I export it youtube.

I am impressed with my results! I hope the parents are as well.

3. Exporting Photos

I often want to send one photo to a parent with a little story about what their child was doing. This week I discovered the photos from iPhoto were too big and I was feeling frustrated. A short cut saved my day- Shift – command-I to the rescue!

What next?

iPhoto has helped my efficiency. I was able to sync the library to the classroom ipad mini for easier use in making documentation. I can find photos quickly and move between albums easily. As a beginner to using iPhoto, I know I may be making some errors and there are probably a ton of features that would make my life even more efficient. But for now, I am pleased with what I have learned and how it has helped me so much – most importantly with the amount of time my team spends on sorting photos. I look forward to finding out more this year! Does anyone else use iphoto and have a tip to help me?


7 thoughts on “Using IPhoto for my Classroom Photos

  1. Jen, really like the video at the end. I often find myself lost with photos in that putting them in a folder generally is the final resting place for them. I love the way that the video is able to compact and show a lot of visuals in a relatively short time frame. No tips as yet but will try it this week and let you know if I find any cool features.

  2. Finally how to sort those pictures that I have been just taking and taking. At least now I have an idea what to do to sort out tons of photos I took if I go on school trips whether its iCare or IASAS. Also personal photos will be sorted at least make room in my laptops memory.

  3. […] the internet during the summer going online was this site. I was reminded of this when I visited Jen’s blog about sorting pictures. It was taken in one tower in Tokyo. Awesome on the 360 views and zooming in […]

  4. Jen, once again you have inspired me.. I think that is why I miss you so much in 5th grade. I think your commitment to try new things and implement continually inspires me to try to do the same. When we got our new iMacs in the classroom, last year I made the conscious shift to go MAC or GO home. iPhoto then became the default manager of all my pics. Previous pictures I had stored on my hard drive became part of my iPhoto Library. I have played around a bit with my pictures BUT until now haven’t completely utilized my photos in an effective way. If anything this course has inspired me that a picture is worth a 1000 words and so the next challenge begins… using iPhoto to it’s fullest. In particular you have shown me how to export photos to my hard drive so i can work between home and school with ease. the following link has helped immensely: EXPORTING PICTURES. My next challenge will be getting Photo Stream to work between home and school! I’ll keep you posted when I figure it out 🙂

  5. This was a great post. Being new to all things Mac I too am a beginner at iPhoto. In PE we are constantly taking pictures of students in class. With so many classes sometimes doing the same activities it becomes increasingly difficult to keep track of what picture came from what class. Reading your post I now know that I need to put a little work in and learn how to use iPhotos functions properly so I can better keep myself organized.

    I had no idea about Smart Albums or keyword searches. This seems like a simple and effective organizing system that I will try to start using on my computer here at school. I also really enjoyed your use of the different frames when creating your video to send to parents. I will be stealing this idea for my next school blog post.

    Here is an article that has a list of 20 other tips for new iPhoto users. Most of the are way above and beyond what I am ready to start experimenting with, however, I am keen to try out #3 Step through effects.

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