Spring on the Island

For this week’s blog we decided to take pictures of our environment and what we had noticed happening around us, which was springtime! We wanted to try and capture a few moments that mirrored the changing of seasons and how beautiful the island is at this time of year. We think that this time of year has such a variety of conflicting emotions to it. People are beginning to feel the stress of school take hold, having the responsibility of school, figuring out summer time plans, and saying goodbye to people that you have come so close with throughout the year. All these things stacking up can take a lot out of someone emotionally and physically. We think that taking a walk and capturing some of the beautiful moments can help you remember that no matter what is going on the world keeps going and, in the end, appreciating the little things is very important.

You could implement this in a class room by getting students to take out cameras and go for a walk around the school property trying to find something that makes them feel peaceful or happy. Students may be free to create something, use nature, or work as a group to make a collage of things that make them feel grateful. Mental health is a topic that has recently become more normal to speak about with young people and this is a really good exercise to begin to speak about things such as taking time for yourself and slowing down.

Beach Cleanup

For our photography project this week we decided to do a beach clean up! We met at

Spiral Beach to find and pick up any garbage that had been left behind or drifted ashore. We started by walking down the beach scanning for garbage, but to our surprise there was none to pick up! We decided to walk to an area where the would be more people leaving things behind so we worked our way down to Clover Point. This is where we found lots and lots of garbage to collect. We found everything from broken glass, wrappers, cigarette butts, and even paintballs sitting in tide pools around the point. We used photography during this activity to document the process of cleaning up the beach.

We were inspired by the newest social media challenge, #trashtag, where people are taking photos of trash-laden areas before and after cleaning them up. Unlike some other social media challenges such as the ‘cheesed’ challenge that involves flinging a slice of cheese at your baby, or the cinnamon challenge, this challenge has positive, real-world impacts. Originally started by Stephan Reinhold in 2015, the #trashtag challenge has recently gained popularity again thanks to a few viral social media posts.

This activity could be used to show students how to make a positive impact in their community and on their environment. Students would be given the opportunity to see what sort of impact humans have on the world around them. This could tie in with a unit focused on marine life as we could study how human-made objects affect the natural cycles and systems of the ocean. It is important to learn about the world and community that you live in, and if a class was in Victoria and close by to the beach it could be very informative for the class to see how things they may have learned in class actually exists in the real world where they live.

This activity could also be used as a way to introduce students to the concept of ‘viral posts’ and the positive and negative impacts that internet can have with real-world issues and concepts. Photography ties in well with this challenge and project because it was Reinhold’s before and after photos in combination with his hashtag that led to this viral trash pick-up movement, and so we chose to document our own #trashtag experience in hopes that we inspire a few people to pick up some trash of their own.

Photography: Playing Around

We were so excited to get started on learning all about photography and different ways that it can be incorporated into the classroom. For our first week we chose to sit down and really specify what direction we wanted to take our learning in (as there are endless possibilities). We decided that we wanted to experiment on different projects and assignments that we can do with a class involving photography and see how this can be an aid for inquiry based learning.

Now in order to do this, we had to figure out how to use the camera that we rented out from the digital media desk in the library. We chose to walk around downtown and just play around with different setting, lighting, and angles for our first big adventure in order to be able to make a fair project for future students! If we can’t do it, how do we expect students to be able to make a lesson to teach students how to?

Now we are in the middle of figuring out how to upload all our photos onto our computers. Looking through them quickly a lot of them are not great at all, but there are a few that we are very proud of! We will show you some of these in the next post but, for now, heres a selfie we took in a window downtown that is kind of cool.

Update: Here are some of our trial shots that I think are pretty cool!