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Showcasing, Carolyn Beitzel and "Photo Jam"

"I learned about PhotoJam from Brenda Dyck, an e-colleague on the MiddleWeb listserv. Dyck uses the program in her classroom to spotlight student achievement," Carolyn Beitzel told Education World. "I developed the idea for this PhotoJam project after a MiddleWeb discussion about what to do on 'Back-to-School Night.' Several teachers said they were going to do a PowerPoint presentation or had done one in the past. My school doesn't have a license for Microsoft Office on all of its computers, so that tool was not available to me. I did remember PhotoJam, however."


This photo of teachers Carolyn Beitzel, Lauren Selim, Mike Krieg, and Tara Malloy at Beverly Hills Middle School's Spirit Day is featured on Beitzel's PhotoJam presentation.

Photo courtesy of Carolyn Beitzel

Beitzel, an eighth-grade American History teacher at Beverly Hills Middle School in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, says that PhotoJam is simple and easy to use. She saved images to a single folder on her hard drive and then started the program. The instructions provided enabled her to upload the photos, choose a theme and music, and then preview and publish the material to the Web. The finished product was a PhotoJam project called Welcome Back to School.

"The project is a compilation of digital images of students, student work, school extracurricular activities, and so on," said Beitzel. "I wanted to show parents what we accomplish in the classroom, and demonstrate the opportunities the school gives students to achieve personal success outside the classroom.

"At Back-to-School Night," Beitzel added, "you really only have the attention of the parents, and the opportunity to interact with them, for approximately 10-15 minutes before they move on to another classroom. When all you do is talk about curriculum, rules, procedures, and discipline, the event is boring and repetitive for everyone. This year, I wanted a positive first time meeting, and I felt that the PhotoJam video might get parents a little more involved in their child's educational experience."


PhotoJam 4 is available from Users may download a free trial version and/or purchase the software online.
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Article by Cara Bafile
Education World®
Copyright © 2003 Education World


Updated 9/03/2004